Clay has the ability to absorb excess oils, dirt and harmful toxins from the skin. Clays can be used in facials, body powders, soaps, and as a natural colorant for soap, lotions, creams, bath salts and more.

Cosmetic clays are made up of different mineral contents and each clay type has a different effect on the skin. The high mineral content of clay rejuvenates the skin while the clay exfoliates and stimulates blood circulation to the skin. Regular use of clay facials will remove dead skin cells, improve circulation to the skin, remove debris from the pores and bring about a smooth healthy glow. Each clay has the ability to absorb toxins from the skin but they differ in their level of absorption.

Below are a few cosmetic clays and their properties:

Rose Clay is mild kaolin clay that can be used on normal to dry skin to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin while improving the skin's circulation. Rose Clay is tinted with iron oxides and gives a beautiful pink color to soaps and powders.

White Kaolin Clay, also known as China or White Clay, is basically kaolinite and is the mildest of all clays. White Kaolin Clay is suitable for sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. White Kaolin Clay does not draw oils from the skin and can be used on dry skin types.

French Green Clay consists mostly of montmorillonite and is highly efficient at drawing oils and toxins from the skin. French Green Clay is rich in important minerals and phyto-nutrients and is the most commonly used therapeutic clay. Use it for facials for oily skin, and body wraps. This clay is not recommended for dry or sensitive skin.

Yellow Kaolin Clay is mild clay making it suitable for sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. Yellow Kaolin Clay does not draw oils from the skin excessively and can therefore be used on most dry skin types. It can be used in soap and body powders. This clay is suitable for dry, sensitive or normal skin types.

Below are a few facial clay mask recipes.

China Clay Mask
(a deep cleansing mask)
3 teaspoons White Kaolin Clay
1/2 teaspoon Bentonite
1/2 teaspoon Glycerin
5 teaspoons Water or Hydrosol
2 drops of rose geranium essential oil
Mix the powders well. Add the glycerin and water/hydrosol. Add the essential oil last. Stir and apply to your face in a circular motion. Allow the mask to dry and then rinse off with warm water.

Soothing China Clay Mask
(a gentle, soothing mask is a treat for those who have sensitive skin)
1/4 cup colloidal oatmeal fine
3 Tablespoons china clay
2 Tablespoons lavender flowers
2 Tablespoons chamomile flowers
One or more of the following wetting agents: honey, floral water, herbal tea, water
Powder the dry ingredients well. Place a few tablespoons of the mix in a small bowl. Add wetting agent to make a paste. Apply to face and allow drying for ten to twenty minutes. Rinse with warm water. Store remaining mixture in airtight container. For super sensitive skin, herbs can be left out or lessened. Posted from Stephanie of Conway, AR on the From Nature with Love website

French Green Clay Facial Mask
(for acne prone skin)
4 Tablespoons French Green Clay
5 dried bay leaves
1 cup distilled water
Boil one cup of water and add bay leaves. Slowly add the liquid to the clay to form a fairly thick paste. Apply to face and allow drying. Leave on 15 to 20 minutes then rinse with warm water

As with any new skin care product, always do a patch test first.

For more skin care recipes, articles and how to videos, visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Author's Bio: 

Carol Belanger author of 300+ Skin Care Recipes