Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tightening and Brightening with Clay


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my interest in ingredients and cosmetic formulation has skyrocketed! It all started with my review of Glam Glow’s Clay Mask (see my review here). As I researched the ingredients list, I realized that the contents of that little jar are actually pretty simple and were described in a way that made them seem a lot more exotic than they really are. As a result, I attempted to find every ingredient on the list (except the specific preservatives, which are available but others can be substituted or not used as all if you’re making just enough for one “serving” for yourself) and I actually did find all of them pretty easily. In fact, at some point, I will do a post on *my* version of this mask! Anyway, part of what I learned is that a lot of ingredients in some commercially available masks don’t really make a lot of sense (in that they don’t really add much to the formula but rather are sexier to describe in the marketing speak used to promote the product). Anyway, since I had all of these ingredients, I thought I’d start with several very simple products and go from there.

Kaolin Clay Mask 2
I made a mess!

My research took me to the LisaLise blog (click here), which is the brainchild of Lise Andersen. Lise started as a cosmetic formulation enthusiast and then turned it into a business. She now has her own line of natural skincare products, which you can see here. Fortunately for us, Lise has very generously shared her knowledge of cosmetic formulation as well as recipes for many products. The first recipe I’ve used from her site is the “10 Minute Lavender Detox Mask.” which you can find by clicking here.

This mask is really simple—some kaolin clay, a little bit of sweet almond oil, some water and some lavender essential oil. Lise uses a kaolin clay that has been colored purple (so pretty!) but I used regular white kaolin clay which I purchased for $1.98 at Bulk Apothecary. You can probably find it in your local health food store, Whole Foods or anywhere natural products are sold. In general, clay (all kinds) is inexpensive and white clay is pretty benign as far as the skin is concerned. It doesn’t dry out the skin but leaves it soft, exfoliated, clean and tightened (this is temporary but you’ll love the feeling!).

I mixed up Lise’s recipe of about 2 Tablespoons of water, to which I added 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of clay (don’t stir it until the clay has been fully absorbed). Then I added a teaspoon of sweet almond oil (again, you can find it in a health food store, Whole Foods, Amazon, etc) and then the five drops of lavender essential oil (I already had everything but the clay). This mixture will be really thin so if you want a thicker mixture, start with less water. Then take a small brush (I literally used a small paint brush) and brush the mixture on your clean face. Here I am in all my glory:

Kaolin Clay Mask 1
I’m happier about this than I look!

I left this on my face for probably eight minutes. According to Lise, you don’t want to leave it on until it dries completely. After ten or so minutes, remove the mask with a damp sponge or a washcloth.

Once I removed the mixture from my face, my skin was soft, smooth and my skin felt firm. As a quick beauty treatment, it’s lovely!! I actually made more than I needed so I put it into a small jar and added a preservative (which I also already had) so that it will keep for the next use. Unless you know something about product preservation (or are willing to spend the time to learn about it), I advise you to just make enough for one application. The ingredients are very inexpensive and there will be very little waste.

Kaolin Clay Mask 3
Post mask

I try to incorporate into my routine some sort of at home pampering beauty treatment at least once per week. A mask is perfect for a quick pick me up! Visit the LisaLise blog for more ideas.

How about you? Are you a DIY skincare fan? What are your favorite DIY recipes?