We recently released our line of clay masks, and thought we’d share some of our favorite ingredients to mix them with. Regularly using clay masks is a great way to exfoliate and soften your skin and improve its overall appearance. Our clay masks come in powder form to extend their shelf life without the use of preservatives, making them more versatile, and allowing you to add additional wet and dry ingredients of your choice. Most people will opt to just add water to their clay masks, but there are many other ingredients you can use with them. We recommend switching it up depending on the season and your skin's particular needs. Here are a few of our favorites:
Aloe Vera Juice
Best known for its sunburn-soothing effects, Aloe Vera is also a mild astringent, heals acne, and balances pH levels, so it's a great addition to facial care products including clay masks. Make sure your Aloe is in liquid form, not commercially packaged gel. The gel is usually full of all kinds of additives, so opt for liquid Aloe Vera from a trusted supplier (or harvest some from your aloe plant).
Apple Cider Vinegar
It may not smell pretty, but Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) works wonders on the skin and hair. The malic acid in it makes apple cider vinegar a great nonabrasive exfoliant and astringent. It also restores pH and soothes itchy, dry skin. Be sure to dilute ACV with water in a 1:2 solution (1 part ACV to 2 parts water) before mixing it with the clay mask.
The natural catechins (antioxidants with free radical-fighting superpowers) found in green tea provide anti-aging benefits by preventing and repairing cell damage and promoting healthy cell turnover. It also tightens pores, moisturizes, and soothes inflammation and puffiness. Finally, the caffeine in green tea helps increase circulation and fight redness. Use certified organic teas - you don't want to put pesticides on your face! Brew a cup of green tea and let it cool to room temperature, or try it chilled for an extra soothing mask.
Raw honey is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and other minerals and vitamins, and is one of the best natural humectants (which help keep moisture in the skin). It's also antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it fights off acne-causing bacteria. Local, organic honey is best. You may need to thin it a bit with warm water before mixing it with the clay mask. Avoid honey if you have pollen allergies.
The juice and rind of lemons are rich in antibacterial phytochemicals and circulation-boosting citric acid. As a possible skin irritant, lemon juice should only be used diluted. It evens skin tone, brightens and lightens skin and hair, reduces blotchiness, and is a non-abrasive exfoliant. Citrus aromas are also wonderful mood lifters! Do not use if you have very dry, sun or wind-burned, or sensitive skin.
The lactic acid in milk is a mild, non-abrasive exfoliant, great for cleansing, renewing, and softening dry, irritated, and sensitive skin. Whole milk contains extra fats and proteins as additional skin-soothers. Be sure to use hormone-free whole milk. Almond, goat, and soy milks can be used as substitutes, though none of these will have as much fat or lactic acid as cow's milk.
There are so many oils to choose from, each with their own benefits: Sweet Almond Oil is rich in fatty acids and great for all skin types; Apricot Kernel Oil is great for mature skin; Grapeseed Oil is hypoallergenic and great for those with sensitive skin; Jojoba Oil is our go-to because it most closely matches our skin's own natural oils and is also safe for those with nut or tree fruit allergies; Olive Oil is very heavy and moisturizing, and high in vitamins and minerals; if you’re on a budget, Sunflower Oil is a great alternative to Jojoba Oil (which can be pretty pricey).
Also known as rose hydrosol or rose distillate, Rosewater is a byproduct of rose essential oil production, made from distilling fresh flower petals with water. Rosewater balances all skin types, retains moisture, soothes redness, and is a mild astringent and antibacterial. It can be used on even the most sensitive or dry skin. Uplifting and anxiety-erasing, rosewater is emotionally beneficial too!
Because it's made with milk, yogurt also contains the non-abrasive exfoliant, lactic acid. It gently dissolves dead skin cells, softens skin and hair and evens out skin tone. Be sure to choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt to combine with your clay mask.
Avocado is super hydrating, and nourishes your skin with essential fatty acids to help your cells restore and regenerate. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as E, C, K, and magnesium to improve chronic skin conditions like eczema and acne. Mashed, fresh avocado can be a great addition to your mask treatment.
You can mix any of these ingredients into our clay masks, just slowly add small amounts of your desired ingredient(s) and blend well until you have a nice paste. Apply your mask to freshly cleansed skin and let it sit for 10-30 minutes then rinse well with warm water. Use a wet washcloth to remove the remaining clay, if needed. Follow with a toner and/or moisturizer. Enjoy!