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Get Your Clay On

Alexis Krauss

Bustle's DIY beauty maven Kristin Collins Jackson is back, and this time she's really excited to tell you about clay. We've all heard of clay face masks, but they are often pricey and full of filler ingredients. Lucky for us Kristin has gotten her hands dirty experimenting with a variety of DIY clay concoctions and we're thrilled to report that clay can be an easy, effective, affordable and fun new addition to your skincare routine. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Clay is found nearly everywhere on earth, the United States naturally produces several types including some particularly beneficial for mild skin problems like kaolin, bentonite, and Fuller's earth clay which makes it relatively inexpensive and unless you plan on personally digging up clay to make your own clay mask, it's easy to find. Because of this, I couldn't continue to pay upwards of $60 on a clay mask — instead I spent the last years playing in clay to become, if not a clay genius, then a person who could whip up a clay mask in 5 minutes for merely a few dollars.

Since skincare, particularly natural, can be pricy, there is no shame in researching ingredients in the beauty aisle, but you can save yourself money and your phone's data by trading in the public research for a fun DIY clay mask at home. I purchase a few different clays in bulk to make masks depending on my skin's needs and trust me, a bag of clay goes a long way.  You don't need a lab, you don't need a doctorate, in fact, you don't even need an apron — a little inspiration will have you ready to book a play-date with clay.   

French Green Clay

I am a huge fan of green clay, particularly when the temperature is rising and my skin starts acting like it needs to produce enough oil for me to repurpose for the apocalypse; green clay is very cleansing and while it's drying properties are great for oily skin types, it still doesn't keep your skin from naturally producing oil on its own, it merely controls the oil production. This clay mask is for just that: with grapefruit essential oil to further promote astringent properties and lavender to calm and balance the stimulating effects of the clay and grapefruit essential oil.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has a huge fan base because it works well with oily, combination, and dry skin. Just like its clay cousins, bentonite absorbs impurities and gently exfoliates the skin. During your menstrual cycle, bentonite is a great way to release toxins and I especially recommend it at the onset of menstrual cycle; this is a great time for women to get rid of toxins. Pair it with hormone balancing essential oils like geranium to control those dreaded period breakouts.  

White Kaolin Clay

This clay is great for sensitive skin and not just the ones prone to breakouts or dryness. As the skin ages it becomes thinner and things are absorbed faster through the blood stream, white kaolin clay is gentle enough for mature skin while removing dead skin cells, calming and soothing lines, wrinkles, and overall stressed out skin. I love this mask in the dead of winter when my skin doesn't know if it's dry or breaking out or both: I infuse my clay with hibiscus tea which speeds up cell regeneration and improves the elasticity of skin and to support of the kaolin clay.  

Black Clay

I'll start by saying there are a different forms of black clay; this one by Fig + Yarrow is infused with activated charcoal and kaolin black clay, the combination makes it an exceptionally detoxifying mask that controls oil and breakouts while giving your skin a deep clean. This mask is ideal for oily skin, stressed out skin. To balance the detoxing effects of the clay, I infused it with chamomile tea to keep my skin from getting too excited.