Face masks for cosmetic use have dated back to the ancient Indian subcontinent, Rome and China amongst other great historic civilisations. 5,000 years ago in India, botanical face masks called ubtan became the first ever cosmetic product to be used in the world.
In China, Yang Guifei, one of the Four Ancient Beauties became the country's trend-setter for face masks, whilst ancient Roman women were known to be more experimental with their skincare - incorporating oils, vinegar and goose fat into their routines.
The first ever face masks in Egypt were made of clay. Cleopatra herself would apply a clay face mask twice a week to cleanse her skin and retain her youthful glow. Moreover, it's said that she swore by using rose, even dousing her ships in rose perfume to announce her arrival. It sounds like our Clay Rosé clay mask would have been fit for this queen...
So, why clay?
Clay draws out impurities. From pollution, dirt and grime, our skin comes into contact with aggressors on a daily basis. When these impurities and bacteria linger on the skin, they cause a dulled complexion and acne breakouts.
Clay controls excess sebum. It's brilliant at absorbing oils and other impurities that clog pores. Kaolin is an important ingredient to look out for. Also known as white clay, it is the mildest clay and works to draw out oils without irritating the skin.
Clay is hydrating. You may be surprised to find out that some clay mask blends can strengthen the skin's moisture barrier. Kaolin clay for example, is fine-grained with mild absorption properties - making it suitable for dry to combination skin types. Bentonite clay has stronger absorption properties, a good fit for oilier skin types.
Clay is calming. It has both skin calming and oil-absorbing properties, making it useful for both sensitive skin and oily or acne-prone skin. It also refines pores, making skin tone appear more even and allowing for a smoother complexion.
Now that we know why, let's outline how to apply powdered clay to our skin and really reap the benefits from our mask. Just like anything in skincare, a clay mask is redundant if not used correctly:
Clay masks that are free of chemicals and preservatives usually come in powder form. This actually allows you to mix the mask with whatever will work for your skin type for even more benefits.
For oily or acne-prone skin, you may benefit from mixing filtered water in with your powdered mask until it forms a paste. Rose water, Coconut water and Aloe Vera juice are other great alternatives to water.
Drier skin types will also benefit from mixing their masks with these water-based ingredients but can also combine facial oils or plant-based yogurts for added hydration.
Apply the mask to your face and neck area. Allow your mask to work it's magic for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until you feel that it's not "wet" on your face anymore. Leaving on a clay mask for upwards of half an hour may actually be more drying to your skin, so make sure to find the time that works for you and your skin.
Some people may experience a tingling sensation while the clay is working on their face, which can actually be due to a variety of reasons - the skin's moisture barrier may be damaged and so may be more sensitive to the powder, or the skin may be tightening and adapting to the ingredients in the mask. Either way, it is important to patch test any new products before you introduce them into your skincare routine.
Powdered clay masks are just as easy to remove as they are to apply. Because they harden from their original state, taking them off is not at all difficult.
Simply wash away the mask with lukewarm water, either in the shower, with a non-abrasive towel, or with your hands. Remember to give your face a layer of moisturiser to lock in the hydration, preferably while your skin is still slightly damp.
Clay masks are best used weekly, so incorporate them into your "Self-Care Sunday" routine or whenever you need a glow-up that lasts the week!
Clay Rosé is the perfect blend of Bentonite, White and Pink French clay that works to curb acne breakouts and clear pores of dirt and bacteria. Combined with Rose Hip, Rose Petals and Sandalwood this mask is a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and vitamins that help smooth fine lines, even skin tone and give skin it's youthful glow. Click here to find out more about our newest, all natural clay mask.
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