Using Clay for Skin Cleansing / Facial Masques
Healing Clay as a Skin Cleanser
Unlike soap, clay removes undesirable contaminants and waste products from the skin by a method called sorption, leaving the skin absolutely clean as the clay is washed away. It literally pulls waste from the body, unclogging pores and stimulating circulation as it does so. Tiny clay particles also attach to dead skin cells and help to remove them from the surface of healthy tissue. The more that clay is used on a regular basis in place of pore-clogging chemicals, the better the skin can breath, and the more healthy skin can become.
A super-hydrated clay gel can be used in place of soap. The best way to do so is to apply it to the body before a shower or a bath in the same manner one would if using liquid soap. Allow the clay to dry to the point it is "tacky", and then shower with warm to hot water to remove all of the clay.
Individuals with VERY healthy hair can use clay to strip oils and contaminants from the scalp and the hair, once to twice weekly. For hair use, it may be a good idea to water down clay even further prior to applying it; this makes it easier to completely rinse the hair.
A few drops of essential oils can be added to hydrated clay just prior to use. There are many excellent organic essential oils that work well with clay, based on one's personal preference. Some of my favorites include rose wood, eucalyptus, naoli, neem, frankincense, and geranium. For skin health, any pineal oil, while strong, stimulates and invigorates the skin.
The Fabulous Clay Facial
There are many methods of using clay, and many fun formulas that can be used that are extremely healthy. For deep facial skin cleansing, this is the method I've used and taught for years, which is quite different from the methods taught at most cosmetic schools. It's perfect for use with our green desert clay or the skin care/spa clay that I've developed.
With clay pre-prepared and ready to go, apply the first tacking coat. A tacking coat is a very small amount of clay gel applied to the skin. One rubs the clay deep into the skin, massaging all of the acupressure points of the face while doing so. By the time the "coat" of clay is finished, it shouldn't even be visible on the skin. If using something like our bulk green desert clay, the skin should become tacky very quickly. Once the clay has "set", apply a second coat in the same manner as the first. Then, apply a third, in the same manner as the first two coats.
The skin should tighten just a bit, but not too much! This is a mistake often made by people who love those pulsating, very tight masques: They place a thick amount of clay on the face, and let it dry, which squeezes everything out of the pores. While one can do this, one needs to be aware that it can result in increased wrinkling of the skin. Using dry clay to squeeze the pores is really not necessary to get the most out of regular facial care with clay masques.
One can end the session here, or add one final step. For deeper cleansing, gently apply a thin cover layer of clay over the three tacking coats. This time, don't rub the clay in, instead just gently smooth it over the skin evenly. One can allow this final layer of clay to remain on the skin for five to ten minutes or so. However, rather than let it dry, have a spritzer bottle handy filled with something like rose water, or rose water mixed with some EIS (colloidal silver). The clay will act as a carrier, and the result will be a deep penetration of the very hydrating rose water. There is never a need to allow the clay to dry. It works best when kept moist.
When ready, remove the clay from the face using a wash cloth wet with warm to hot water. Pay careful attention, and be certain to remove all of the clay, rinsing the face when done, or better yet, shower.
Having removed the clay from the face, look carefully in the mirror at the pores. You may notice that the pulling action of the clay is still at work. With the warm/hot water opening the pores, one will often see that the pores are still cleansing, and visibly so. By paying attention to one's experience with clay, as time goes on, one will notice a lessening of this visible effect. The skin becomes cleaner and cleaner at a deep level, and as it does so, it becomes healthier and more vibrant, with less of need to eject stored waste products.
I've taught many professionals some of these methods to use with massage and personal cosmetic care. In fact, I once had a chance meeting with one of Stephen Spielberg's massage therapists. I showed her some of my methods, and she was astounded at the difference they made, and wondered why they weren't taught at any of the trade schools she'd attended.
My discovery of clay had to do with curing a very terrible facial skin malady, and I had a few years of extensive experience with clay used cosmetically prior to studying clay's other profound uses. In fact, even today when I look in the mirror, I only see scars. I get shocked when other people say to me: "What scars?"
When clay is used on skin covering an unhealthy body, it cannot be used as often, although it can still assist in many ways. The problem is, as the clay pulls stuff out of the skin, the skin can react to the toxins in the oils. If the skin is overly dry due to electrolyte imbalance (it's never 'genetic' like some people believe), the skin can become very irritated, and one must pause several days to allow the skin to recover.
There was a time in my early twenties where I could only tolerate clay twice weekly. Now, if desired, I can tolerate clay used on the face/skin twice daily. Though there is seldom a good reason to do skin cleansing twice daily, it is a method I sometimes use to see if I've kept my electrolytes in balance, my body properly hydrated, and a few other factors that will be discussed in future posts!
If the skin is overly irritated and unhealthy, and one is still working on the underlying factors (liver toxicity is one of the biggest conditions), one can still use clay as a quick facial wash without causing a severe reaction. In such a case, an individual would likely also greatly benefit from clay baths loaded with sea minerals; the clay baths will help the entire body cleanse, and start to help take the load off of the primary elimination channels.
After the Clay Facial
Because of the pulling action of clay, it is not easy (although there are some formulas I will share in the future) to do deep facial cleansing with clay without experiencing some dryness. The first step is not allowing the clay to dry on-skin. For individuals with vibrantly healthy skin, one will not notice that clay temporarily pulls oils out. For those with healthy skin, proper re hydration occurs within about 45 minutes of clay use.
For the rest, it is important to properly care for the skin in order to protect it while it recovers and heals. Most "rehydrating" cosmetics are chemicalized and work simply by the principle of insulation. It is this "principle" of "insulating" the body that people really need to get away from. While it is true that insulating the skin gives the appearance of glowing, hydrated skin, it actually is suffocating it, and interfering with the body's natural and healthy breathing function. The skin needs to breathe and detox.
Furthermore, many people are not aware that the skin can easily adsorb up to 60% of substances used on-skin. These substances go into the body, and either aid as health-promoting substances, or burden the body with more garbage it needs to work to cleanse.
The desire for beautiful and vibrant skin should never have to have a negative health consequence. Luckily, there are truly natural and healthy topical products that can be used to nourish and protect the skin. Choose your products wisely!
Our green desert clay makes the perfect facial. So does our skin care and spa blend.
May your skin breath deeply!