There are a wide variety of clays you can use for making facial clay masks. This quick guide to facial clays will help you find the best facial clay that is most suitable for your skin type.
French clays are clays with high mineral content and this gives them the active properties that affect the skin. They generate heat due to the mineral salt content and this helps the skin to release toxins. Facial clays are excellent for cleansing, drawing, detoxifying, exfoliating dead skin cells as well as being healing, soothing and toning.
Also known as Argiletz clays as they come from Argiletz in France, these facial clays come in different colours which is due to their mineral content and this gives each type its unique healing properties.
Green clay consists mostly of chromium, nickel and copper. It is best suited to oily skins and useful for acne treatments. It reduces sebum production, exfoliates dead skin cells, assists in tissue repair, draws out toxins and calms inflammation. Green clay is ideal for poultices to relieve and sooth a variety of skin conditions.
White clay consists of pure aluminium oxide with traces of zinc oxide. It can be drying and is best suited for detoxification and balancing sebum and is milder than green clay. White clay is suitable for delicate, sensitive and mature skins. It can also be used as a deodorant and natural alternative to talcum powder.
Yellow clay is derived from iron oxide. It helps to improve the condition of devitalised, tired and neglected looking skin.
Red clay contains iron and is an oily and mildly absorbent clay. It helps to improve the condition of dry and sensitive skin and is excellent for cleansing as well as toning. A word of caution here, if using red clay please be aware that is can stain easily so use dark towels to cover clothes when applying it.
Pink clay is soothing, cleansing, hydrating and gently detoxifying. It exfoliates dead skin cells and is suitable for dry and sensitive skin. It makes a great clay to use as a maintenance program for both face and body masks.
Other facial clays
There are a couple of other facial clays worth mentioning here that are not French clays yet just has useful in any skin care regime.
Also known as China clay, White Kaolin gives an astringent and drying effect on the skin. It is excellent as a detoxifier and improves the lymphatic flow and increases blood flow to the area applied. White Kaolin is best suited to normal and oily skin and like white clay above is a great alternative to talcum powder as a body deodorant.
Last but not least is Fuller’s earth, a very common ingredient in facial clay masks. It is a soft, brown clay and another excellent exfoliator for dead skin cells and helps to stimulate the epidermis. Fuller’s earth is most suited to oily skins.
For more information on facial clay masks and some great recipes, please visit facial clay mask page in the natural skin care recipes section.