Our cosmetic and skincare industry has been growing and expanding day by day with so many new technologies and innovative product releases that it almost gets overwhelming at times to keep up with the ever elongating list of steps in our daily skincare regimen.
But few products have always been a staple part of our lives since ancient times and one of them is our earth’s very own clays.
For centuries people have believed in the healing power of clays. They were used internally to help our body get rid of ingested poisons or act as an antacid. Other times they were applied to infected wounds and other skin lesions as a natural antiseptic remedy.
Even in modern times, although we no longer eat our clays, they are an important part of our skincare routine. As much as we overwhelm our skin with layers of products day and night and exposing it to harsh environment, clays are the ultimate detox we need.
Dry powdered clays are also free from preservatives which are used to increase shelf life of many hydrated masks and creams, these preservatives can often cause more harm than good. A dry clay can be stored for much longer without concerns of it going bad.
As I’ve always had problematic skin, from severe cystic acne in my teens to its remnant scars in adulthood. Over active glands are often responsible for oil production which is the leading cause of acne.
On the flip side, dry skin also ages much faster and there is nothing more unsightly then a flakey foundation.
With oily skin, my best friends have been these clay masks.
Clay is well known for its absorbing qualities, applied to the skin in form a paste it’s made up of negatively charged particles which attracts positively charged gunk and excessive oil from the pores leaving your skin clean, fresh and glowing.
Can a clay mask help reduce the size and appearance of facial pores?
Pores are a part of our skin’s natural structure.
What are the main causes of enlarged pores?
- increased oil production
- reduced elasticity of the skin
- excessive hair follicles on the face
- Your hormones also play an important part in enlargement of pore
In my years of research on how to make my skin better without using a ton of expensive chemical heavy products I have observed that clay masks for their astringent and absorbent properties are probably the best for this job.
There are several types of clays used in the beauty industry. They are sourced from different parts of the world and have unique properties which makes each of them really special.
The three most famous clays are:
- French green clay
All three of them are widely used in commercial beauty products and many people including me, are firm believers of their almost magical healing powers.
I’ve used all three of these clay masks and I have my opinion on why each of them are so important for specific reasons.
Bentonite clay is probably the most absorbent of the bunch. It takes out everything from the deepest darkest corners of your face. You even feel your face pulsating as it dries. It’s that powerful!
Also known as white clay, on the other hand is unique because the dry paste doesn’t completely dissolve in water, leaving behind tiny particles to scrub the dead skin cells away while cleansing it.
French Green Clay
The third type, French green clay has been considered The ultimate healing clay due to its medicinal properties by many people for thousands of years. It has proven antibacterial activity against certain type of dangerous ulcerative (skin eating!) bacteria and E.coli.
This clay has a special place in my routine as it helps me the most in dealing with the humongous pores on my T-zone. This green powder has been mined from a place called Montmorillon in France but is now produced in several parts all over the world.
Along with having the most aesthetically pleasing and calming shade of green, it is a naturally occurring clay rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, selenium and zinc. Its healing nature helps exfoliate and tone the skin, reducing inflammation and improving elasticity while removing impurities from the deeper layers of your skin.
It has a very strong astringent and absorbing quality. As the paste dries it helps in tightening and shrinking the size of facial pores and removing all the impurities so they become almost invisible from afar.
The over-all effect is fresh and smooth glowing skin which makes you feel like a new person every time. The cleaner your pores are, the smaller they will appear.
So the trick is having a French green clay mask a regular part of your skincare as the pores will assume their regular size when they get over burdened with product buildup and sebum production throughout the day.
A bed time French green clay mask routine will ensure your pores are always squeaky clean and ready for the next day. You can get creative with ingredients to add to your French green clay mask recipes too.
How to Make French Green Clay Mask:
- Mix 1 ½ tsp of clay with 1 tsp of water
- Cleanse your face
- Apply for approx. 5-10 minutes
- Remove before mask is dry
- Follow up with toner and moisturizer.
As anyone with oily skin knows how difficult it is to get our makeup to last all day long, smaller and cleaner pores ensures your makeup applies much better and last way longer than what we’re used to. Regular detoxification using clays also prevents clogged pores, acne and blackheads.
Your ideal skincare should be natural and free from dangerous chemicals which can harm your body in the long run. This is why a clay mask is one of the most important step in your nightly routine and all skin types can benefit from this wonderful gift of nature.