Even if you’re new to DIY beauty, you must have seen a Clay Face Mask pop up at least once in your Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram feed.
A Clay face mask is a great way to make an all natural DIY mask at home. But as easy as it might look, it can get quite confusing when you’re trying to figure out which clay mask is best for your skin type.
I was actually looking for exactly this kind of information myself not that long ago. Just a simple overview of the different kinds of clays and their benefits for your skin, that shouldn’t be too hard to find right?
As it turned out, it wasn’t. So I had to piece together bits and pieces. And now I present these pieces to you, in one long overhaul post about clay masks.
So here’s an easy guide to help you figure out which type of clay to pick, where to buy good quality ingredients and how you can mix and match a custom face mask for every skin type!
Why do you need a Clay Face Mask?
Clays are used in all natural skincare for their absorbing properties. Pretty much all clays absorb oils to some extent.
A Clay mask absorbs excess oils from your face. Your skin will feel balanced and refreshed after you take the mask off. In turn, your shine free face will be less likely to break out.
Because of their gritty texture, they’re also great skin exfoliators. Don’t go rubbing it into your face like a maniac though!
When you’re applying the mask on your face it’s already doing the scrubbing for you.
There’s actually an easy DIY formula to make your own Clay Face Masks:
Clay of your choice
= Epic Clay Face Mask
With just 2 all natural ingredients you can make an amazing Clay Face Mask at home. Just pick a combo you like and let it work its magic.
I’ve put together an easy step by step guide so you can start making your own clay face masks at home. First you’ll need to choose a clay, then you choose what you’ll add to it. All that’s left for you to do next is apply it on your face!
Or you can just skip to the bottom of this post, as I share my 3 favorite easy recipes to make at home.
Step 1: What Clay to Choose for your Face Mask?
There are many more kinds of clay you can buy, but these are the most common ones you’ll find:
– Normal, oily and acne-prone skin
This clay is known for its super absorbing capabilities. That makes this clay an excellent choice for oily skin types or to use on an oily T-zone.
French Green Clay is very similar to Bentonite Clay.
White (kaolin) clay
– Mature, sensitive and dry skin types
White clay or kaolin clay is known for being one of the more gentle clays out there. It gently purifies the skin by drawing impurities from your pores.
– Dry and sensitive skin types
Pink clay is also a gentle clay for the skin, making it a good choice for people with sensitive and dry skin.
Moroccan Lava Clay (Ghassoul/Rhassoul Clay)
– Most skin types including acne-prone skin
Rhassoul clay is a great cleansing and exfoliating clay. It’s very effective at drawing oils and impurities from your skin.
– Oily and acne-prone skin
Fuller’s Earth is a deep cleansing clay. Oily skin types can benefit from the absorbing properties of this clay.
Where do I buy these Clays?
This post contains affiliate links. It means that I make a small commission if you buy something via these links (at no cost to you!). It costs you nothing and helps me out a lot, but feel free to search for ingredients on your own!
Some health stores, drugstores and even grocery stores will sell small bags or containers of clay. Green and white clay seem to be the most common kinds and can be found in the beauty/oils/natural skincare aisle. Make sure they are pure (nothing has been added to them) and that they are labeled for cosmetic use!
If the price seems kind of steep to you, just keep in mind that you can make a lot of DIY beauty products from one bag. In the end it will be cheaper than buying a ready made face mask!
Step 2: Mix Your Clay Mask
Choosing the type of clay you’ll use is just one part of the process. Next, we want to turn that clay into a paste we can easily apply on our skin. For that we’ll need a liquid.
How to Choose your Liquid?
Water is obviously a very easy choice. It comes right out of your tap and is the easiest way to turn your clay powder into a paste.
If you want to step up your face mask game, flower water is your choice.
Flower water, also referred to as hydrosols or hydrolats, is a natural byproduct of the distillation of essential oils. Some of the best known flower waters are rose water, lavender water and witch hazel.
You can get similar effects by making a ‘herbal tea’. Make a strong cup of chamomile tea for example. Scoop out 1 tablespoon and let it cool down to room temperature. Use this cold tea as the base of your face mask.
Raw honey is a great moisturizing addition to your face mask. Honey has anti bacterial properties, making it a great choice when you suffer from acne.
For a plant based alternative, try pure agave syrup.
Milk contains a popular skin care ingredient you might have already heard of: lactic acid.
Lactic acid is a mild exfoliator. It removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.
When your milk comes straight out of the fridge it also has that extra cooling effect on your skin.
If you’re vegan or are looking for vegan options, try a plant-based milk like coconut or almond milk. Make sure you use pure, unsweetened milk without any additives.
Just like milk, yogurt is another great source of lactic acid.
It also turns the mask into a thick paste (especially if you use full fat or Greek yogurt), making it the perfect ingredient to turn your clay into a Face Mask.
For a vegan alternative you can experiment with coconut yogurt or another plant based yogurt.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a much loved addition to clay face masks, as it balances the high pH of the clay and tones the skin.
That’s why it’s often used with bentonite clay in a face mask, as bentonite clay has a slightly higher ph than most other clays.
Recipe for one face mask:
– Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of the clay of your choice in a mixing bowl.
– Add the same amount of liquid of your choice (water, milk, yogurt or honey) to the bowl.
– Mix to combine the ingredients until it starts to look like a paste. Add more clay or liquid if needed.
Once the clay has been mixed with a liquid it will start to spoil. Only mix your face mask ingredients right before you want to use the mask. Use it all in one go and throw away any leftovers.
Can I use Metal Spoons and Tools with Clay?
I’ve read multiple times and on several websites that you can’t use metal bowls, spoons and other utensils when handling clays. The explanation for it however seems to be different every time. Some say that when clay comes into contact with metal it makes the clay useless, others say it absorbs ‘dirt’ from the spoon.
As all these sources seem to contradict each other, I tried to find a good scientific article that backs up these claims. But I couldn’t find one.
From what I understand, clay can only exchange ions with metals in water. And even when you’re mixing water and clay, the chance of ion transfer is very slim (source).
In conclusion: yes, it seems like you can just use your regular metal spoons when handling clay. Especially when you’re only using your tools to scoop the dry powder out of the container into the mixing bowl.
If this still worries you, I see no harm in opting for ceramic, plastic or glass tools instead. The only material I wouldn’t recommend is wood, as they are harder to clean and to keep hygienic.
Step 3: How to Apply a Clay Face Mask
– Use a clean makeup brush or clean, dry fingers to apply an even layer all over your face. Avoid your eye area and your lips.
– Let the mask sit for about ten minutes. Depending on the ingredients you use some face masks will dry quicker than others. You don’t have to wait until the mask has dried completely. Rinse it off as soon as it starts to feel uncomfortable.
– Rinse your face with plenty of water. You can use a face cloth to remove every bit of mask from your face. Pat your face dry.
– Follow with a cotton pad with miccelar water, flower water or a mild toner to remove every last bit of face mask. Finish by applying your favorite moisturizer.
A face mask or DIY beauty product (or any product for that matter) should never sting, burn or hurt.
Don’t mistake it for the fact that it’s ‘working’, it actually means your skin doesn’t like it. Rinse it off right away with plenty of water. Applying aloe vera gel to the affected area can help cool the irritated skin. If irritation persists, check with a doctor.
It’s always a good idea to patch test a product first before using it. It really is better to be safe than sorry!
Floral Clay Face Mask
This gentle face mask is a good option for sensitive skin types. The rose water gives it an amazing scent, while the lactic acid in the yogurt gently exfoliates the skin.
Scoop pink clay into a mixing bowl.
Add rose water (hydrosol) and stir to combine.
Add yogurt and stir until the mixture forms a paste. Add more clay or liquid until you get the consistency you like.
Apply an even layer on your face using a brush or fingers. Let sit for ten minutes and rinse.
Green Bee Clay Face Mask
This easy face mask uses the power of absorbing bentonite clay and anti-bacterial honey. This mask is a great choice if you want to fight acne breakouts.
White Knight Clay Face Mask
This anti-aging face mask uses gentle kaolin clay combined with moisturizing evening primrose oil. Other great options to battle aging skin are rosehip seed oil and avocado oil.
Scoop kaolin clay into a mixing bowl.
Add carrier oil of your choice to the bowl. You can use a carrier oil you like, such as olive oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil. Stir to combine.
Add a bit of water until it start to form a paste. Be careful not to make the mask too liquid. Add more clay if necessary.
Apply an even layer on your face. Let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
There’s no reason why you should have to stick to making only 1 face mask!
Mix different types of face masks for different areas of your skin. Bentonite clay, Moroccan lava clay and fuller’s earth are best used on an oily t-zone. Pair with honey if you have acne breakouts.
Pink and white clay are excellent choices for the more sensitive parts of your face, like your cheeks.
What’s your favorite clay mask combo?