I've recently been enjoying the benefits of clay on my body in many different ways. During my obsession/quest for knowledge with clay, I've found that some clays work best for specific beauty benefits. While I tend to fear detoxing my skin during outbreaks, it seems that using red clay for acne might just be the cure I was searching for. My skin tends to be the most sensitive during an outbreak and some clays have dried out my skin or pulled impurities to the surface way too aggressively, turning my outbreak into a complete pimple epidemic. Red clay, however, is a different story.
According to sources at Wellness Mama, red clay, also known as Moroccan clay or Rhassoul clay, is a natural mixture of volcanic activity and geothermal changes. As Refinery29 reported, red clay contains a higher amount of iron oxide and other minerals than any other type of clay, which promotes the healing of skin. It removes dead skin cells, blackheads, dryness, and excess oil while gently cleansing the skin. My experience with red clay has been overwhelmingly positive: It brings blackheads to the surface and clarifies and soothes my skin. Like other clays, red clay is activated with warm water and as you wash off the mask, you rinse the toxins away too.
There are a number of ways you can use red clay. Some find it to be a clarifying hair cleanser and once you're a clay pro, you can start adding extra yummy ingredients like natural exfoliates to your masks. During outbreaks, less is definitely more for my skin, so here's how I whipped up a quick red clay mask to fight my latest pimple.
1. Choose A Pure Clay
There are tons of clays to choose from, especially with more and more people wanting to make their own personal care clay recipes these days. I purchase most of my clay from the Frontier Group because they have competitive prices, high quality, and the option to buy in bulk. When picking yours, check out the ingredients list and make sure there isn't anything listed besides clay. You can add all the oils you want when you make the mask.
2. Get Prepared For A Mess
The pigment in red clay is intense, so you should treat this recipe as if you were working with turmeric. The crimson coloring is going to get under your figures, on your countertop, and possibly on your clothes. I've always been able to get the red coloring out with a little elbow grease, but it's good to lay down an old t-shirt or towel on the surface you will be working from to save yourself some scrubbing.
3. Boil Water
Boil filtered water (if you don't have filtered water, I usually triple boil my water) and set aside to let it cool slightly.
4. Add Clay In Sealable Container
IMO, it's easier to activate clay in the container I'll be storing my clay in for future use. I've found working from a separate bowl leaves too much clay behind, even though it's less messy. I added one ounce of clay to my two ounce container.
5. Activate Clay
Next, I added one tablespoon of water and started mixing. As I stirred, I add more clay until the mask reaches a smooth, thick consistency. Typically, a 2:1 ration of clay to water will create a workable consistency.
6. Apply Your Clay Mask
Apply your mask on makeup free skin and massage gently into your face and neck. I like to massage for about 30 seconds making sure I'm working the mask into my pores and getting my ears and underneath my chin...you know, those often ignored parts of our face that are prone to little blackheads.
7. Let Mask Dry, Then Rinse
Personally, I never exceed five minutes with clay masks because every time I have, I've found my skin has felt dry and too tight. My own rule is to allow the clay to dry completely and then wait one full minute before rinsing off completely and following up with my usual toning and moisturizing regimen.
Don't be surprised that this mask comes off way easier than bentonite clay does and leaves behind the same silky, smooth feeling on your skin. Seriously, you're gonna love this stuff.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (8)