With so many different kinds of clay out there, how are you supposed to know which ones are right for you?
Today I'm going to break down four different types of clay, where they're sourced, what they're made of, and how they work. While this post is intended to help you decide which one is best for you, I think people of all skin types can benefit from these healing treatments.
A bonus of using clay as a skincare mask is the clay can act as a type of exfoliation. Before exfoliating grains were a thing, I used to just exfoliate when I masked because my skin is just too sensitive for face scrubs.
While masking does help exfoliate your skin, you should still use a konjac sponge or gentle exfoliator once or twice a week to really do a good exfoliation.
On to the clay!
French Green Clay
Like the name suggests, this type of clay is often found in France, but it can also be found in Montana, Wyoming, and China.
It's a green clay that's made from a blend of decomposed plant minerals including manganese, silica, copper, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
French green clay is amazing for people with oily or acne prone skin types. While my skin is quite dry, I use this clay to help my skin detox and heal my acne.
The molecules in the clay have a negative charge. The impurities in your skin, like dirt or makeup, have a positive charge, which means the molecules in the clay will attach to the impurities.
When you remove the mask, you remove the impurities - dirt, makeup - with it, leaving your skin in a position where it can start to heal now that it's properly cleansed. This also means after masking is a great time to use nourishing serums to give your skin a boost.
While these properties make it wonderful for detoxing your skin, if you have drier skin this clay may not be for you. If you're curious about trying it, mix with a more soothing clay - like kaolin to balance things out.
Kaolin clay is created from the weathering of rocks in hot, humid climates like a tropical rain forest.
It's a gentle clay that's ideal for sensitive skin, however, it's also great for dry or oily skin types.
The clay has absorbing properties that are also regulatory - this clay won't leave your skin feeling tight or dry, but it will absorb excess sebum.
Kaolin clay has a lot of silica, a compound that removes dead skin, improving your skin's ability to purify, renew and heal.
When you want to use french green clay to detox your skin, you'll want to use kaolin to balance and exfoliate.
While bentonite is notoriously difficult to remove, it's incredible beneficial for your skin. All skin types can benefit from this clay.
This clay should always be a grey or cream colour, never white. A white colour indicates that it's a clay of lesser quality, and you never want that. I buy mine from Be Naturally Prepared.
Bentonite clay is made from aged volcanic ash and has lots of healing minerals including silica, calcium, sodium, iron, and potassium that are all great for nourishing your skin.
It has a powerful, negative electrical charge once it's been hydrated, giving the clay the capacity to absorb toxins. This is very similar to french green clay, but bentonite is a little more powerful. It's actually well known specifically for it's ability to remove impurities.
An important note is not to mix bentonite clay with metal as this changes the electrical charge. Use a wooden or glass bowl and a wooden spoon.
This is a unique clay found in Morocco. It's made from natural volcanic activity and geothermal changes.
What's so unique about this clay is it has the abilit to reduce acne and also nourish your skin, making it a great option for drier skin types that suffer with acne.
Like some of the other types of clay we've talked about, rhassoul clay has a high negative charge that makes it great for removing impurities from your skin. But it won't dry out your skin, it's actually been shown to do the opposite and reduce dryness and flakiness.
I think this is the underdog of clay - it's great for all skin types because it will help clarify and detox your skin while also nourishing and healing skin.
We've talked about a lot of clay today - what's your favourite? Which do you use most often in your skincare routine?