Clay has been used for many years as a way to care for the skin in face masksand poultices.
Clay is versatile and effective, but is it overlooked in favour of more sophisticated products today?
The simplicity of nature is often best. It isn't just humans that use clay on their skin, African elephants are known to spray clay/mud on their skin at watering holes. It is thought to remove parasites, act as an insect repellant and give protection from the sun.
Clay can detoxify, reduce itching (associated with bites) and help bruises, due to its remarkable drawing properties. A little paste on a bruise, insect bite, splinter or sting will often provide relief. I have had success with clay reducing the itchiness of mosquito bites. I was bitten by a spider recently and made a paste of bentonite clay to put on the bite; the itching subsided and the clay prevented scratching. A win-win with clay!
Rhassoul clay, from Morocco is popular in facial exfoliators and it is thought to help reduce flakiness of the skin and tighten the pores.
Used once a week you might find that a clay mask relieves congested skin and brightens the complexion. Less is more though: a mask once a week may yield results, but that does not mean every day is better!
Quantum Vitamins and Nesters have bentonite clay; an all purpose clay suitable for poultices, which you can apply to bruises, achy joints, cuts, acne and rashes according to Redmond Trading Company who have a brand of bentonite clay in the United States.
To mix clay: stir clay and filtered water with a plastic spoon (not metal). Gently apply to the face or body. Keep the mask moist or let dry depending on your skin's preference. Remove clay after a few minutes.
Clay is also found in some toothpastes. In his book The Healing Power of Clay,Michel Abehsera talks about clay toothpaste saying it "lifts off dulling film, removes mouth odors naturally, and acts as a gum stimulant."
Where to find clay products:
Redmond's Earthpaste made with bentonite clay is available at Quantum Vitamins
Kynk's Good Clean Dirt Rhassoul clay facial exfoliator is available at Nesters Market
Joanna writes for www.ActualOrganics.comand uses clay as it is simple to use and natural.