A while back I posted about the benefits of bentonite clay for a fantastic purifying and skin smoothing mask and I thought it would be helpful to post the recipe for my DIY clay mask. For me, this works better than any other ready made clay mask I have tried, plus it's a lot cheaper!
There are various types of clay available and you could try any of them with this recipe – just sub out the bentonite clay for an equal amount of alternative clay. I particularly love bentonite clay as it’s great for anti-ageing: firming and regenerating (making it great for healing / reducing scars), but it’s also detoxifying / purifying making it ideal for skin prone to breakouts and / or oiliness (it works great on my normal to combination skin and the recipe below doesn’t dry my skin out).
Other clays to try:
- Green clay – good for oily skins
- Yellow clay – more gentle, good for combination skin
- Red clay – good for dry skin. NB. Haven’t tried this myself but it looks very messy and could cause staining so be careful!
- Pink clay – very gentle, ideal for sensitive skin
I do a clay mask once weekly – I have on occasion missed a week and I do notice the difference when I don’t use this.
- 1 level tsp of bentonite / other clay (use a plastic spoon, not metal for bentonite clay as metal reduces the effectiveness of the clay)
- 1 tbsp milk (I find milk less drying than water and you get an exfoliation from the lactic acid. Or you can use water instead)
A few drops of carrier oil or face oil. Again this stops the mask from becoming too drying. Carrier oil suggestions for different skin types:
- Normal to combination / prone to breakouts: hempseed oil, safflower oil, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, tamanu oil
- Normal to dry skin: macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, argan oil
- Sensitive / irritated skin: comfrey oil, calendula oil (see note below)
- If you happen to own any good quality essential oils, you can even add a drop of skin-friendly oils (e.g. lavender, rose, geranium, frankincense)
Add the milk to the clay and mix using a plastic or wooden spoon. You want a smooth, loose spreadable paste consistency. The amounts aren’t an exact science so add the milk a little at a time until you get a consistency that you can easily spread onto your face without it dragging. Add a few drops of carrier oil and 1-2 drops of essential oil if using.
Spread over a cleansed face using a brush (an old foundation brush will do), avoiding eye area and leave for 10-15 mins. Gently scrape off excess clay (dispose of in bin rather than down the sink to avoid clogging up pipes!). Apply a warm, damp flannel / muslin to the face and hold it over the face for a few seconds. Gently wipe off the remaining clay and rinse off with warm water. Apply toner / serum / face oil as usual.
This is a fairly basic recipe but it's possible to add other ingredients to it for different effects, e.g. turmeric for brightening, green tea / matcha powder for antioxidant effect. To be honest, the basic recipe alone works great for me, but feel free to "pimp it up" your way! ;)
Only make up enough for each treatment as once mixed with milk will obviously not store well!
NB. If your skin is easily irritated, do a patch test first to a small area of skin and leave for a few mins the first time you use this. Bentonite clay can have quite a powerful “drawing out” effect so it’s best to make sure your skin won’t react! I'd also suggest that you avoid using this for the first time before a big night out, just in case it brings any spots to the surface.