Since ancient times, clay has been a top item kept on hand by women everywhere for taking care of skin and hair. Even Cleopatra herself would have used clay for skin care. But what’s the attraction of putting dirt on your body to get clean? Doesn’t seem to make sense… or does it?
Drinks the Bad Stuff
Each clay varies in what it’s best used for. In general, clay is an absorbing substance because it has lots of tiny pores that can soak up oils, toxins, and other impurities. It’s literally like the clay “drinks” the bad stuff from your skin. Clays are generally very sensitive to metal and can absorb metals readily. It’s a good idea to only use wood (or plastic if you have to) utensils around clay, so the metal doesn’t get absorbed by the clay and transferred to your skin.
There is a spectrum of absorbency when it comes to using clay for skin care. For example, kaolin clay does not actually absorb oil from the skin, making it a very popular choice for people with sensitive skin. On the other end of the spectrum, bentonite clay is highly absorbing which makes it a powerful detoxer. However, it can be a little harsh when used too frequently on skin.
Some clays, like French green clay, have naturally beautiful colors. The green color from French green clay is due to iron oxides and decomposed plant matter like algae. This makes them very rich in nutrients that can benefit your skin and hair. The minerals are good for replenishing your skin, hair, and nails and giving you that youthful glow.
Clay’s fine texture is amazing for gently exfoliating and cleansing skin. That’s why I love it so much in masks (for hair or face!). It does a great job of scrubbing away the dead skin, pulling out the toxins, and leaving your fresh face and clean. That’s right… all from dirt! In fact, for over 1400 years, Rhassoul clay has been used in everything from soap to shampoo to luxury spa treatments because it does such a great job as an all-purpose cleanser and natural exfoliant.
How To Use Clay
You’ll find clay in a wide variety of natural beauty products. Clay can be used in masks for the skin and hair. It can also be incorporated into soap and shampoo bars and makes for an easy dry shampoo. Many natural toothpaste and tooth powders are bentonite clay-based. And of course if you’re looking to go all out, you can indulge in clay treatments in the mud bath at the spa.