At this time of the year it can be easy to feel a little under the weather, as the days are short and cold and the fun of the festive season is beginning to fade. Making time for some self-care can be the perfect antidote to tired and dull winter skin and low energy levels. Here are some ideas to rejuvenate yourself with the healing properties of clay.
What is so special about clay?
Why choose cosmetic clays when there are so many self-care products out there on the market? Well, clay is made up from tiny particles of decomposed rock, which is full of earth minerals and contains ionic bonds that carry a negative electrical charge. This helps natural clay products to draw out toxins and impurities from the skin.
Natural clays have been used for thousands of years to cleanse and purify the skin, leaving it looking and feeling wonderfully soft and glowing with a gentle exfoliating action. They can also have medicinal properties, helping to heal wounds and soothe inflammation.
What type of clay should I use?
For a mild clay that won’t cause any irritation to sensitive skin, choose kaolin white clay. This formula will help to draw out impurities while not drying out the skin or absorbing its natural oils. The clay has a lovely cooling action that is ideal for restoring the natural balance to red and irritated skin.
Montmorillonite red clay is rich in iron oxide, which is what gives it the characteristic red hue. It is composed of ancient volcanic ash and minerals and has a potent ionic charge. This makes it particularly effective for deep cleansing pores and leaving the skin feeling wonderfully hydrated and refreshed.
The clay can also stimulate the turnover of skin cells by boosting enzyme production and the flow of oxygen to the epidermis, leaving tired skin looking smoother and more youthful. It’s an ideal product for reducing the appearance of oily inflamed looking skin, because it absorbs excess sebum and has antimicrobial properties that can soothe acne.
How to make a clay mask
Simply follow the manufacturers’ instructions, which will typically involve adding mineral water to the clay powder to make a smooth paste, which can be applied to the face or body and left in place for 15 to 20 minutes while it works its magic. Then simply rinse away with warm water. You may wish to apply a carrier oil afterwards for maximum results.
Be sure to use a wooden spoon rather than a metallic one when you are mixing the paste, because metal can destroy the ionic charge and the treatment may be less effective. For additional benefits, you may want to choose a clay with added vitamins and nutrients such as rosehip powder, green tea extract, and aloe vera powder.