Nov 7, 2010

Know the Ingredient: Clay/Mud

I do not know very many people who would not have tried a clay-based face mask at some point in time - okay, that is partly..or mostly...because most of my family and most of my friends have oily, acne-prone skin, just like I have. I absolutely refuse to be friends with the clear-skinned beautiful girls! From "multani mitti" to "French green clay," the internet throws up some interesting names, and here's a look at some types of clays and products using them.

Bentonite - Bentonite usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water.  It absorbs grease and dirt from the skin, tightens and smoothens the skin.
Fuller's Earth (Multani mitti) - fine-grained, naturally occurring earthy substance that has a substantial ability to adsorb impurities or colouring bodies from fats, grease, or oils. Its name originated with the textile industry, in which textile workers (or fullers) cleaned raw wool by kneading it in a mixture of water and fine earth that adsorbed oil, dirt, and other contaminants from the fibres.
Kaolin - also called China Clay, soft white clay. Named after a hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it was mined for centuries. Its very fine particle size, whiteness, chemical inertness, and absorption properties make it a valuable addition in face masks.
Rhassoul mud is a natural mineral product, sourced from the Atlas mountains in Morocco, that also has a foaming effect, grease remover property and acts as a natural shampoo in cleansing hair.

These are just a few among the many different types of clays available.  There are minor differences between all these clays, but the major common property is that they draw out toxins from the skin.  Some of the clays also have anti-inflammatory properties - helpful in soothing sensitive skins - and also antiseptic to some extent and help control skin infections.

Here are some clay-based skincare products that have worked well for my oily-combination skin type.

Lush Mask of Magnaminty Reviews Ingredients

Lush Mask of Magnaminty

This is a refreshing minty mask. It does not go on smooth - is a bit granular because of the ground aduki beans. Apply, wait for about 10 minutes for the mask to dry, not completely dry though because then bits start dropping to the ground. Wash off, scrubbing the face while washing off the mask.  The Lush Mask of Magnaminty is superb for oily skin, but can also be easily used on normal skin too because its not drying at all.  Mask of Magnaminty ingredients: Bentonite Gel, Kaolin, Honey (Mel), Talc, Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Glycerine, Evening Primrose Seeds (Oenothera biennis), Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita), African Marigold Oil (Tagetes erecta), Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Limonene, Perfume, Chlorophyll, Methylparaben.  Cost: Rs. 420/125 g and Rs. 850/315 g
Himalaya Herbals Neem Turmeric Face pack Mask Clay Reviews Ingredients

Himalaya Herbals Neem Face Mask - Review here

This basic pocket-friendly mask combines the antiseptic properties of extracts of Neem and Turmeric to help clear up acne with Fuller's earth which helps draw out skin impurities.  Himalaya Herbals Neem Face Mask Ingredients: Active ingredients: Neem, turmeric, Fuller's earth. Inactive ingredients: Sodium methylparaben IP, sodium propylparaben IP, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin.  Cost: Rs. 110/ 75.

TBS Lush Peppermint Purifying Foot Mask Volcano Scrub Reviews Ingredients Clay

Two foot masks - one from TBS (Peppermint Purifying Foot Mask) and another from Lush (Volcano Foot Scrub and Mask) - full reviews here

Both work the same way - apply a thick layer of the mask all over your feet. Wrap in plastic wrap, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off for fresh happy feet :) :) With the Lush Volcano foot mask and scrub, while washing off the mask, the pumice granules help in giving a nice scrub too.  Bodyshop Purifying Peppermint Foot mask - Ingredients - Aqua , Kaolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Theobroma cacao, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Sesamum indicum, Panthenol, Myristamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, p-Anisic Acid, VP/VA Copolymer, Mentha piperita), Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene.  Lush Foot mask and scrub - Ingredients - Kaolin, Pumice, Limeflower and Cleaver Decoction (Citrus aurantifolia and Galium aparine), Fresh Tomatoes (Lycopersican esculentum), Fresh Papaya (Carica papaya), Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), Glycerine, Bentonite Gel, Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum cassia), Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.  Cost: TBS - Rs. 845/100 mL

Lush Reincarnate Shampoo

A solid shampoo with henna to give a tint to the hair, sedra powder to give a shine to the hair, and Rhassoul Mud to draw out impurities from the scalp. I feel that Reincarnate is meant for oily hair/scalp - well, at least not for dry hair like mine.  It made my hair dryish, and I have not used it enough to know for sure it gives any tint.  Lush Reincarnate Shampoo Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Red Henna (Lawsonia inermis), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Rosemary Infusion (Rosmarinus officinalis), Fleeceflower Root Infusion (Polygonum multiflorum), Nettle Leaf Infusion (Urtica dioica), Cocamide DEA, Soya Lecithin, Rhassoul Mud, Labdanum Resinoid (Cistus labdanum), Sedra Powder, Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Irish Moss Powder (Chondrus crispus), Limonene, Perfume.  Cost: Rs. 370/100 g

The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask

I have not tried this mask, but this is something I would like to try.  This mask magically warms itself up as you smooth it on.  With feel-good ginger, cinnamon oil, and kaolin clay to deep cleanse all skin types.  For all skin types.  TBS Warming Mineral Mask Ingredients - PEG-8, Zeolite, Glycerin, Kaolin, Methyl Gluceth-20, Zinc Oxide, PEG-220, Algae (Seaweed Extract), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Curcuma zedoaria, Zingiber officinale, Cinnamal, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Coumarin, Cinnamyl Alcohol.  Cost: Rs. 795/100 mL

Do you have any favorites for a clay-based goodness for the skin?

Note:  Lush Reincarnate shampoo Image Source -
TBS Warming Mineral Mask Image Source - Bodyshop