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WHAT ARE CLAY MASKS? TYPES | USES | BENEFITS | SKIN SUITABILITY

A face with natural clay mask applied on the cheeks.

Clay masks are a type of mask that contains minerals which  are activated when it comes in contact with water, gels or hydrosols. They act like magnets to suck out impurities from open pores by drawing the dirt or impurities out from the skin to the surface of the skin. It gives a tingling feeling, cooling effect and acts as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. They also have great absorbing qualities which help in reducing excess oil from the skin. Clay masks can be used on the body, face, and hair.

 BRIEF HISTORY OF CLAY MASKS

Clay masks, commonly also called as complexion clays, clay packs and mud masks, have become very popular since the 1920s. Though clay masks were commercially available, most barbers, beauticians, spa's used to make their own clay masks by adding water to clays sourced  locally depending on the underlying skin concern. Every geographical area has its own specialty clays with varied unique benefits to address different skincare concerns.  Traditionally, they created their own mask with these readily available raw ingredients. It was also understood that on the face, finer particles were used as clay and on the body comparatively, the powder was a little coarse. Clay masks were used to first clean the skin, it was used more as the preparatory step and was left on the skin for about 20 minutes. 


DIFFERENT TYPES OF CLAY MASK: USES, BENEFITS, SKIN SUITABILITY

Today clays are being used in varied forms of skincare formulations and are gaining popularity yet again.

With a plethora of clays available in the market we have tried to create  a compilation of the various clays with their benefits and skin suitability in a tabular form for your reference:

 

S.NO

CLAY NAME

ORIGIN

BENEFITS

SKIN SUITABILITY

1

Activated Charcoal Powder

India

Activated Charcoal Powder is known for its natural deep cleansing and exfoliating properties, which allow it to gently remove dead cells.

Oily / Acne-prone Skin

2

Amazonian White Clay

Amazon River Beds

Amazonian White Clay absorbs excess oil and helps to eliminate toxins and debris from the skin's surface, also visibly minimize enlarged pores for smoother-looking skin.

Normal/Dry Skin

3

Bentonite Clay

India

Calcium bentonite aids in the healing and detoxifying of the skin, and hair.

Normal/Dry Skin/Acne Prone

4

Chocolate Clay

Morocco + India

Reduces bacterial and fungal growth on the skin. This combination of (cocoa powder and illite clay (rhassoul) clay is great for skin tightening.

Normal/Dry Skin

5

Dead Sea Mud

Dead Sea

Dead Sea Mud may cleanse and draw out impurities from the skin, and tightens & tones the complexion, giving it a refreshed look.

All Skin type

6

Calamine Clay

India

It has a calming effect on the skin and also possesses toning ability. This powder is one of the most absorbing and soothing clay.

Normal/Oily Skin

7

French Blue Clay

France

French Blue Clay  tightens and purifies pores, cleanses the skin, improves circulation, brightens the complexion, and removes dead skin cells and impurities, stimulating blood flow to create healthy and glowing skin.

All Skin Types

8

French Green Clay

Montmorillonite region of France

French Green Clay absorbs and removes impurities from the skin, revealing the fresh surface of the skin to provide a healthy-looking glow.

Normal /Oily Skin

9

French Pink Clay

France

French Pink Clay can be used to cleanse the skin, slough off dead skin cells, and to create an overall refreshed appearance.

Normal /Oily Skin

10

French Red Clay

France

French Red Clay cleanses and sloughs off dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, leaving it refreshed and toned with a rejuvenated look. 

Normal /Oily Skin

11

Fullers Earth

India

Multani Mitti is said to make your skin radiant and appealing by reducing the appearance of blemishes and acne scars. On the other hand, it deep cleans the pores, reducing the look of blackheads and whiteheads.

All Skin Types

12

Glacial Marine Mud Clay

Pacific North-West Canada

Glacial Marine Mud Clay helps draw out impurities, remove dead skin cells and nurture skin with more than 50 skin-beneficial minerals, including zinc and sea botanicals.

All Skin Types

13

Light Kaolin Clay

China

Light Kaolin Clay helps to remove oil from the skin and reduces the unwanted oily shine on the nose.

Oily /Dry /Sensitive Skin

14

Marine Mud Powder

Local Marine Area

Marine mud powder has  detoxifying and animating impacts  that improve your skin tone and surface. An additional advantage of marine mud powder is that the salt and magnesium in it can improve your skin's usefulness by making it a superior obstruction and more flexible

Normal/Sensitive/Combination

15

Moroccan Rhassoul Clay Nude

Atlas Mountain of Morocco

Rhassoul Clay's most impressive properties that benefit the skin is its capacity to absorb.It reduces the dryness and flakiness of the skin while improving the texture of the skin.

Normal/Combination/Oily Skin

16

Moroccan Rhassoul Clay Red

Atlas Mountain of Morocco

Rhassoul Red Clay is a magnesium-rich clay often used  to obtain a good skin elasticity, healthy, and clean skin.It is known for its skin barrier qualities to fight acne.

Normal/Combination/Oily Skin

17

Purple Brazilian Clay

Brazil

Purple brazilian clay is renowned for it’s Anti-aging properties.It can also help with preventing your skin from absorbing environmental contaminants and other impurities.

Dry Skin/Normal Skin

18

Rose Clay

India

Rose clay provides gentle exfoliation, helps to draw toxins from the skin, helps to increase circulation, reduces skin irritation, and helps to reduce inflammation. 

Sensitive Skin, Dry Skin

19

Serbian Blue Clay

Siberian Lakes

Serbian Blue Clay is known to be an effective complexion booster, good cleanser, detoxifier, have a healing effect on skin and balance the skin.

All Skin Types

20

Yellow Brazilian Clay

Brazil

Yellow Brazilian Clay  can improve skin elasticity up to 173% It is also known for it’s  detoxifying, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties. It facilitates oil sebum control along with anti-dandruff, and hair cuticle repair.

Normal/Oily Skin

21

Yellow Clay

India

Yellow Clay  sloughs off dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and tightens & tones the skin, leaving it feeling smooth, fresh, and radiant.

Normal/Oily Skin

22

Zeolite Clay

Volcanic Origin

Zeolite has the ability to absorb, store and neutralize toxins making it a valuable detoxifying ingredient for beauty and spa products. It is rich in silicon, calcium, potassium, and iron.

Normal /Oily skin

 

SHELF LIFE: The shelf life of powdered clay is indefinite, if stored properly. 

STORAGE: It is recommended that clay masks or powdered clays be stored in air-tight glass or non-metal containers (i.e. plastic or silicone) as some clays tend to react when in contact with metal. It is advisable not use metal spoons as well and to store the same in a cool, dry place.

USAGE: Clay masks can be made by mixing distilled water/ Floral Waters/ Hydrosols with  powdered clay. It can  be incorporated into various natural or organic gels and other skincare products as well.

Make sure not to add excess water or gel and make the paste liquidy, it will not be effective and can get really messy. Try to add the liquid slowly, in small proportions, to achieve the desired level of consistency. Determine how much water you need. On average, clay will need about 2 tbsp. of warm water for every 1 tbsp. of clay powder. One tbsp. of clay is probably enough for one face mask.

  • Mix the water with the clay powder thoroughly, using a wooden spoon. For best results, use a wooden bowl, as a metal bowl may alter the charged particles in the clay.
  • Apply the mask with your fingers or a mask brush, avoiding your eyes. You’ll feel the clay begin to dry on your face, and it may crack. This is normal, and you don’t have to add more clay.
  • After about 10 minutes, rinse your face well with warm water. Complete your skin care routine as you normally would.

Clay masks are used for different skin treatments since time immemorial and we have seen a huge shift in the skincare industry towards clay/mineral based skincare Clay masks  should be a definite addition to your  skincare routine, if it isn’t already.

REFERENCES | MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

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