The Ultimate Guide To Clay Masks: Transform Your Skin Naturally

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Transform dull, congested, blemish-prone skin, naturally. Healthy skin is beautiful skin.

 

As the founder of a skin care line, I have, what I like to call “skin talks” almost daily, with beautiful people of all walks of life, from all over the world, with all types of skin concerns. The question I get asked most frequently is which product has had the most profound effect on my complexion.

My journey into the world of formulating natural cosmetic began in 2008, over a decade ago, and since then I’ve tested thousands of ingredients and hundreds of test formulas. So when I say that incorporating a clay mask into my weekly routine was and still is one of the most skin transformative discoveries of my journey, I mean it.

 

Not All Clay Masks are Created Equal

The type of clay mask you use makes all the difference to your skin. When I say that clay masks changed the health of my skin, I’m talking about fresh powder mask formulas (also known as anhydrous formulas) that are free from synthetics and harsh preservatives.

A quick google search will give you thousands of clay mask options. But most of these are clay mixed with water, which then requires preservatives, binding agents, synthetic fragrance and other ingredients and fillers that do more harm than good to your skin.

Regardless of there being a preservative present, pre-hydrated masks are highly susceptible to bacteria and mold contamination. Every time you dip your finger into that jar, your shelf life dramatically decreases and the chance of that preservative working decreases with each contact. And preservatives are not beneficial to your skin, so if you can avoid them, you should.

So why not eliminate the risk for contamination and the need for preservatives entirely by eliminating the water component of the mask. Well that’s exactly what we did! Giving you the power to activate your mask exactly when you need it, ensuring each treatment is equally as fresh as it is effective during application. You can even customize your treatment to your individual needs, as we will discuss in detail later on.

 

“Much like diet and exercise, where consistency yields great change, skin care is very much the same.”

(Gigja, Root Science founder)

 

What I find quite interesting, is that regardless of how different all of the people are that I have these “skin talks” with, when it comes to the topic of masking, I hear the same excuse come up over and over again. “I don’t have time to mask.”

And I always refute, with “do you make time for Netflix or a book? Then you have time to mask!” Excuses be gone! (as Wayne Dyer would say). If you have time to watch tv, read, cook, take a bath, basically anything you do in the comfort of your own home, then you have time to mask.

Whenever my own skin becomes more congested than normal or what I consider “off its A game”, it’s always a reminder that I’ve gone far too long without masking. Never intentionally, but just because life is happening so quickly sometimes that my very diligent self-care ritual takes a back seat to priorities like sourcing ingredients and handcrafting our products. Regardless, my skin never fails to remind me in a not so very nice, bumpy, red, flaky, congested episode.

I’ve battled with bouts of acne my whole life, starting in my very early teens. It runs in the family and if you’re familiar with the story behind Root Science, you know that my younger sister’s battle with severe acne and skin sensitivities inspired me to turn my passion for natural skin care into a business. So to say that we’ve tried everything under the sun is not an exaggeration; as seen on tv acne products, prescription treatments, drug-store products, luxury department products, you name it and we’ve tried it. But none of those treatments worked long term or fostered healthy skin. There was always a negative side effect. This was not the case with clay masks.

Keeping my skin clear and healthy takes dedication and effort, something I now view as a joyful ritual rather than a chore. Healthy skin requires you to do the work, inside and out. Much like exercise, consistency is key in maintaining your best skin.

 

How Clay Masks Work

One of the most gratifying aspects of using a clay mask is that you can see and feel the results immediately. And with prolonged use the results will improve, ensuring your pore size stays to a minimum and breakouts decrease in frequency and size. You’ll also notice improvement in skin tone, texture and an overall healthy glow (thanks to the major circulation boost).

The use of clay to treat the skin dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations all over the world. Though the ritual of using a clay face mask is not a modern concept, it is one powerful skin care practice that has withstood the test of time and is still to this day used as an active cosmetic ingredient across all skin care categories (natural and synthetic).

 

7 Skin Benefits of Clay Masks


1. Clay Masks Minimize Pores

Clay draws excess oil, dead skin and pollution from your pores, keeping them squeaky clean and minimizing their appearance. You’ll notice that when the clay mask begins to harden, the clay will draw the impurities into the mask and you can actually see dark specks forming on the mask, that’s dirt and oil being pulled from your pores.

2. Clay Masks Improve Skin Texture
Because clay is porous, it absorbs excess oil, impurities and dead skin cells from the surface, revealing softer, smoother skin. It also gently exfoliates the skin, making it an ideal exfoliating treatment for sensitive skin.

3. Clay Masks Detoxify Skin from Environmental Pollutants
Clay has a negative ionic charge when hydrated, which makes it effective at binding to positively charged ions, also known as free radicals. Free radicals are known to accelerating visible signs of aging.

4. Clay Masks for Acne
Clay not only binds to free radicals, but also harmful bacteria responsible for blemishes, making it a powerful acne treatment, without the harsh side-effects associated with synthetic acne products that dry out the skin and leave you in a viscous, never ending battle with acne.

5. Clay Masks Improves Skin Tone
Clay stimulates healthy circulation responsible for that radiant glow we all desire. It also supports lymphatic drainage when applied to the face and neck, which decreases the appearance of puffiness and swelling.

6. Clay Masks Absorbs Excess Oil
Skin tends to go into overdrive with oil production during times of stress, health challenges or simply due to hot weather. Excess oil production can lead to clogged pores and blemishes. Clay acts as a sponge and absorbs excess oil, without the use of drying chemicals found in conventional treatments.

7. Clay Masks Gently Cleanse
Clay is nature’s perfect cleansing agent. Believe it or not, but your skin doesn’t actually require synthetic foaming agents to be properly cleansed. Clay does all the above, removes toxins, bacteria, dead skin cells, excess oil – without disrupting your skin’s homeostasis.

 

Not All Clay is Created Equal

While there are many varieties of clay, we’ve narrowed it down to the most powerful clays for effectively treating and improving the delicate skin on your face.

French Green Clay
As the name indicates, French green clay comes to us from France and gets its green color from decomposed plant matter aka phytonutrients. This is one of the best clays for acne-prone skin due to having one of the highest absorption capacities, effectively deep cleaning pores and eliminating acne-causing bacteria.

Bentonite Clay
Known as the healing clay, bentonite clay is prized for its benefits to the body internally and externally. Our bentonite clay is sourced from the United States and is composed of naturally occurring volcanic ash. Bentonite is a rich source of minerals such as silica, magnesium, sodium, copper, iron and potassium. It has been studied for its effect on boosting collagen production due to its high silica content as well as its effects on soothing redness and irritation.

Kaolin Clay
The mildest and most gentle of all clays making it ideal for sensitive skin. Regardless of its gentle nature, Kaolin clay is still highly beneficial to the skin and effectively cleanses and exfoliates without the use of synthetic surfactants and abrasives.

Rhassoul Clay
This skin softening clay comes to us from deep within the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and is recommended for skin in need of rejuvenation. Rhassoul clay has been used as body, face and hair treatment for over 1400 years and is a staple ingredient in luxury spa treatments. Rhassoul clay is known for its effect on boosting circulation and drawing impurities.

 

Root Science Tips and Tricks for Masking

 

 

When to Apply a Clay Mask

• Mask 15 minutes before a shower or bath.
• Mask while reading a book.
• Mask during a movie or your favorite sitcom.
• Mask before you get on the phone with a friend (hello chatty kathy) and you know you need an excuse to hang up after 15 minutes, so you can blame the mask (speaker phone is ideal for this situation). You’re welcome.
• Mask during your at-home yoga/workout.

 

How to Properly Activate Your Clay Mask

Start by transforming your fresh powder mask into a creamy paste using a liquid. Our powder masks are housed in a very special violet glass that preserves the clays and fresh herbs. We keep them in powder form as it allows us to avoid the use of fillers and harsh preservatives that can harm your skin. So the little bit of extra effort on your end is worth all the skin and health benefits of avoiding harmful synthetics required when water is present in cosmetic formulas.

The most basic way to activate your mask is by mixing it with hot spring water. If you can, avoid using tap water as it may have irritating chemicals or contaminants that will negatively impact the results. We recommend using hot water as that will activate the herbs, very much like steeping a tea. Always begin by adding a small amount of liquid, a quarter tsp or less at a time, mixing and adding more until the perfect consistency is achieved.

Try to avoid making the mistake of adding too much water at first, as that will dilute the mask, and the only way to fix that situation is to add more powder to the mix. Allow the mask to steep for 1-2 minutes and test the temperature with your finger before applying.

 

How to Customize Your Clay Mask

One of the main benefits of using a powder mask instead of one that comes pre-hydrated is that it allows you to customize the treatment to the needs of your skin in that moment. You decide if the mask will be an extraction mask, moisture mask, or an exfoliating mask, or a little bit of everything.

Here are 4 ways to customize your Root Science mask depending on your skins needs. To give you an idea, I usually mask 2-3 times per week. I know that may seem like a lot but when it comes to using our masks, they are powerful but also very gentle. There are no synthetics or harsh preservatives, so you can use them frequently.

You will notice results almost immediately if this is your first-time masking, but understand that a consistent routine of masking weekly will have the most profound effect on your complexion and improve your skin over time, without any side effects. We take the slow and steady approach for long term results.

Your skin barrier is sensitive so if you shock it with intensive treatments, you throw it out of whack and may start noticing that your oil production is imbalanced or small bumps or red patches are forming. That’s your skin telling you “too much too fast”. Slow and steady is the way to go, very much like exercise.

You’ll begin to notice a smoother, more even toned complexion and smaller pores (no, we can’t change the size of your pores but the masks will remove the debris from them, keeping their size to a minimum and visually more appealing).

• Add raw honey to create a skin softening enzyme mask
• Add plain yogurt to create a cooling + probiotic mask
• Add 1-2 pumps of facial oil to create a deep moisture replenishing mask
• Add green tea instead of water for an extraction mask with astringent, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory boost. Use leftover green tea, re-steep and add to clay mask powder.

 

How to Properly Apply a Clay Mask in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Begin by cleansing your face with water only. We recommend starting with a bare face, not freshly cleansed using a traditional cleanser as we don’t want to disrupt the PH of your skin too much, but a bare face meaning no makeup. If you need to wash your face to remove makeup, allow your skin a few minutes to recalibrate before applying the clay mask.

Step 2: Apply a generous layer of freshly activated clay mask all over face and neck, avoiding areas that are fragile such as the under-eye area and lips or any broken or chapped skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, or until dry. We’ve heard through the grapevine that people may think that by leaving the mask on longer it will increase the benefits, however that is the exact opposite of the truth. Do not leave the mask on for long once it has dried, as it can irritate the skin and negate the benefits. Once the mask dries, remove it or rehydrate it if you wish to leave it on longer. If mixing your mask with honey, oil or yoghurt, you can leave the mask on for 45 minutes.

Step 3: We always recommend masking before a bath or shower for ease of cleanup as well as enjoyment. Remove the clay mask using warm water. Begin by wetting your face to rehydrate the mask and begin to gently massage the mask for gentle exfoliation. Continue rinsing and massaging until mask is fully removed. Always follow with one of our nutrient-rich oil-based serums. It is vital to replenish moisture after using a clay mask.

 

Clay Masks: A Powerful Natural Blemish Spot Treatment

Clay replaces the need for harsh synthetic spot treatments. Simply apply a clay mask on blemishes as they begin to appear to stop them in their tracks. Blemishes will decrease in size immediately and begin the recovery process much sooner than if left alone.

As you can see, the benefits of using a clay mask are numerous. Which is why clay makes for such a powerful ingredient in skin care formulations. But at Root Science, we don’t stop there. Each of our clay-based facial masks is infused with organic, time-honored medicinal plants renowned for their reparative, soothing, antioxidant and overall beautifying effects on the skin. We supercharge each formula to build upon the foundational super powers of clay.

 

The Anatomy of Root Science Masks

 

Detox: Clarifying Face Mask

Clays Used:
• French Green Clay: Pore + Blemish Decongestant
• Bentonite Clay: Detoxifying
• Kaolin Clay: Cleansing

Botanicals Used:
• Calendula: Healing
• Chamomile: Soothing
• Neem Leaf: Anti-bacterial
• Turmeric Root: Antioxidant
• Gotu Kola: Firming
• Marshmallow Root: Hydrating
• Licorice Root: Brightening
• Slipper Elm: Anti-Inflammatory

 

Reborn: Youth Preservation Mask

Clays Used:
• Rhassoul Clay: Circulation Boosting
• Bentonite Clay: Detoxifying
• Kaolin Clay: Cleansing

Botanicals Used:
• Turmeric: Brightening
• Rosehip: Cell Regenerating
• Sea Buckthorn: Skin Nourishing
• Hibiscus: Exfoliating
• Slippery Elm Bark: Emollient
• Gotu Kola: Firming
• Calendula: Healing
• Chaga Mushroom: Antioxidant
• Licorice Root: Brightening
• Marshmallow Root: Hydrating
• Oat Straw: Calming

 

I hope that after reading this you feel inspired to begin your weekly masking ritual. I can’t wait for you to see and feel the transformation I’ve personally experienced since incorporating clay masks into my life!

Tag us on Instagram using one of our masks with #rootscience to be featured on our Instagram feed.

 

Root Science Products Featuring Clay

Detox Clarifying Mask
Reborn Youth Preservation Mask
Polish Superfood Exfoliant

 

Your skin protects you, and at the end of the day, you too should protect your skin.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are based on personal opinion and experience accumulated over the numerous years of being the in the natural skin care industry. The intent of this site is to present information and advice based on personal opinion and experience, and may differ with the experience of those reading this blog. The views and products expressed are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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