The human face is exposed to various elements throughout the day—sun, wind, pollutants, and grime, to name a few.

To counteract the effects of these factors, many people rely on skincare routines that include a face mask. But buying commercial covers can be expensive and may contain chemicals that some individuals prefer to avoid. Luckily, making DIY masks at home using natural ingredients is relatively simple.

Making your face mask provides an opportunity to choose the ingredients that best fit your skin type and enables you to enjoy a spa-like experience at home at a fraction of the cost. One ingredient that stands out in DIY mask recipes due to its vast benefits is clay.

Understanding Clay Masks

Clay is an age-old beauty secret that provides numerous skin benefits. It has been used for centuries for its natural ability to draw out impurities from the skin. Clay masks are particularly beneficial due to their ability to absorb oil and treat acne. They can also help improve skin tone, texture, and the appearance of pores.

Different types of clay are suitable for various skin types:

Bentonite Clay

Ideal for oily skin and acne-prone skin. It has oil-absorbing solid properties and can help calm skin inflammation.

Kaolin Clay

Suitable for sensitive and dry skin. It gently exfoliates and cleanses, removing impurities without causing dryness or irritation.

French Green Clay

Perfect for normal to oily skin types. It effectively pulls oil, toxins, and dirt from the skin, providing a deep cleanse.

DIY Clay Mask Recipe

Here’s a simple, generic DIY clay mask recipe that can be tailored to suit your skin needs:

Ingredients:

Two tablespoons of clay (choose based on your skin type)
2-3 tablespoons of liquid (water, rose water, aloe vera juice, or even yogurt)
Optional: essential oils (like tea tree for acne, lavender for calming, or frankincense for aging skin)

Instructions:

In a non-metal bowl, mix the clay with your chosen liquid. Start with less juice and gradually add until you reach the desired consistency.
Add 2-3 drops of your chosen essential oil and mix well.
Apply the mask to your face, avoiding the eye and mouth areas.
Leave on for 10-15 minutes or until the mask has dried.
Rinse off with warm water, pat your skin dry, and apply a moisturizer.
Note: Never use a metal spoon or bowl when making a clay mask, as clay can absorb the metals and reduce the mask’s efficacy.

Benefits of Clay Masks

1. Detoxifies the Skin: Clay has a natural ability to draw out toxins, dirt, and oils that clog pores. Regular use can result in clearer, healthier skin.

2. Controls Oil: Clay masks can be a game-changer for those with oily skin, as they absorb excess sebum without stripping the skin of natural oils.

3. Soothes and Heals: Clay masks, especially those made with Bentonite clay, can soothe inflammation and help heal acne.

4. Exfoliates: Clay is a gentle exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and promoting skin regeneration, which results in a smoother and brighter complexion.

5. Enhances Circulation: When the mask dries on your face, it boosts circulation, which can help to bring a natural glow to your skin.

Clay masks are an excellent addition to any skincare routine. Making your DIY clay mask at home allows you to reap the benefits of this natural ingredient and the freedom to customize the mask to your skin needs. Just remember to always test a small amount of the mask on your skin first to ensure you do not have any adverse reactions to the ingredients.