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By John Oleander
Clays are a wonderful beauty product that boast not just rejuvenating skin, but also promote physical health and well-being. Clay types such as Bentonite and White Kaolin are not only used as facial masks but have also been incorporated in bath soaps, lotions, creams, skin care agents, and toiletries, as colorants or beauty-enhancing ingredient.
You can whip up your own clay masks at home or use the powder for your bath water, as poultice, or in first aid treatment. Cosmetic clays are known to have exfoliating properties and are known to detoxify and improve blood and lymph circulation. Around two or three ounces of clay mixed in with scented bath water will leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. You can also create a paste with a small amount of clay, aloe vera gel, or distilled water to be applied on rashes, small cuts, minor burns, insect sting and bites. The paste can also be spread on gauze and kept moist on aching muscles or rheumatic joints.
In whipping up your own clay mask, it is important to know that different types of skin require a specific type of clay. White Kaolin is the mildest clay mask as it does not absorb too much oil, making it perfect for dry sensitive skin, while Green Clay are for oily and acne-prone skin. The following are some clay mask recipes that you can use and apply at home during your beauty rest. Just make sure you perform a patch test on a small area of your skin (e.g. a portion of your forearm) before putting the mixture on the face. Always apply the mask over a clean, damp face for better clay action.
Note: You can replace orange flower water with distilled water
French Green Clay Mask (for acne-prone and oily skin)
1 ounce green clay
3 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon orange flower water
1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice (lavender, tea tree, and orange is recommended)
Mix the clay, aloe vera gel, orange flower water, and drops of essential oils in that order to form a thick, fragrant paste. Make sure to mix the ingredients well before applying to the face. Avoid the eye area. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water and then cold water to tighten pores. Apply other beauty products as directed.
Pink Clay Mask (for dull, dry skin)
The Pink Clay in the recipe will exfoliate as well as improve blood and lymph circulation for a fresh, youthful glow.
1 ounce pink clay
3 tablespoons orange flower water
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice (e.g. orange, Neroli, jasmine or sandalwood)
Mix the ingredients together in a dry, clean bowl. Apply over damp face, avoiding the eye area. Leave on the mixture for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Completely rinse with cold water to tighten pores.
Mature Skin Clay Mask
1 ounce red clay
2 teaspoons finely ground oatmeal
3 tablespoons rosewater
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice
Combine red clay and oatmeal before adding rosewater and avocado oil. Mix until a thick consistency is achieved; add one or two drops of essential oil of your choice. Apply over face, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water to close the pores.
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