Clay has a long tradition of use by humans both internal and external throughout the world, today dry clay masks are popular for various reasons. One, in dry powder form which means there is no requirement for preservatives, that’s a big plus. Two, different types of clay benefit different kinds of skin, you can almost say that you can find a clay mask that will work for your skin. To make a paste from powder, you can create whatever consistency you prefer and mix almost any liquid that will benefit your skin, most importantly you can custom make your mask based on your skin condition on that day. What do I mean by that? I will come back to it in a minute.
Some people think that clay masks are not for dry or sensitive skin because they will accentuate the dryness or sensitivity. This comment could be correct if you are using the wrong clay. There are many types of clay and in many colours depending on where they are from and how deep they are found, many are packed with minerals. For example, white Kaolin clay is known as the mildest and does not draw oil from skin therefore it can be used on dry or sensitive skin. Whereas French green clay on the other hand is a relatively aggressive clay as it pulls a greater amount of impurities from the skin, including oil.
If you don’t know the difference between the clays, do not panic, there are so many great products out there that you can choose and many of them have added extra goodies to accompany the healing power of clays. Click here to learn more about these great dry mineral masks.
We spoke about custom making your dry mask to suit your skin condition, here is how. Believe or not our skin reflects our body and mind, when we are physically or mentally exhausted, our skin will look dull. When it comes to a day like this, try adding a couple of drops of diluted True Lavender (calming, relaxing), Roman Chamomile (calming, soothing) or Neroli (calming, anti-depression) essential oils in your mask paste, you will be surprised the difference it makes. When your skin feels a bit dry, you can use Rose Water to mix your mask with a few drops of your favourite face oil to add some moisture. Whenever your skin feels a bit oily, don’t be afraid to use Neroli Hydrosol to mix your powder and a couple of drops of diluted Neroli essential oil to gain its astringent property.
No matter what you add in your dry mask, ensure you apply a generous layer (not too thick or it will take forever to dry and may “suffocate” your skin) onto your skin and wash it off in time to avoid any irritation it might cause. The duration of how long the mask should stay on your face depends on the thickness you apply, the type of clay and what other goodies you have put in it. Generally speaking, when you feel that the mask starts to dry out on the edge, it’s the time you want to start washing it off. Sometimes when the mask is dry on the edge but other areas are still very wet, try this trick: spray some of your favourite face mist along the edge of the mask to keep it hydrated while waiting for the rest of the mask to dry.
Never let the mask dry out completely before washing it off, when the mask starts to dry out it will start to draw moisture from your skin and will start to irritate. Remember our rule number one, less is more!
Sellar, Wanda 1992 & 2001 The Directory of Essential Oils, Random House, London.