Clay is known for its exceptional absorbing properties and has been gaining a prominent place in various health and beauty routines and in the manufacture of cosmetic products.
It eliminates blackheads and removes oil and dirt from pores. In addition, it contains beneficial minerals that absorb and eliminate impurities, bacteria, organic substances, heavy metals, and environmental free radicals.
Each type of clay comes from different sources and has a unique mineral composition that offers distinct benefits.
Experts have long considered argan oil to be the "secret" Moroccan ingredient for beauty; however, there is another ingredient that the people of Morocco have used for centuries as a natural wellness product and fountain of youth - rhassoul clay.
The people of Morocco have been using rhassoul clay since the 8th century to cleanse their skin and keep it radiant. For centuries, they have used Rhassoul clay to massage, exfoliate and moisturize their bodies and hair or as part of the rituals of the Hammam, one of the oldest cleansing traditions in the world. Ghassoul is so valued by the Moroccan people that traditionally, this clay is offered by the groom's family to the bride.
But what exactly is Rhassoul Clay?
Rhassoul clay, originating in Morocco, also known as Moroccan red clay, red clay, or Ghassoul clay, is a pure natural mineral product called Moroccan Stevensite, its main component being magnesium silicate. The name "Rhassoul" is derived from the Arabic word "Rassala," which means "to wash."
This clay is extracted from the Atlas Mountains. Millions of years of geothermal and volcanic activity have formed ghassoulite, the mineral deposit that makes up Rhassoul. It is a complex compound to mine; hence it is not widely available. However, the ghassoul clay was used for centuries in Rome and Egypt.
There are only two active deposits of ghassoul on earth, both on the edges of the middle Atlas range in the Moulouya valley, 200 km from the city of Fez. After extraction, the pure clay is washed, sun-dried, and ground to an ultra-fine powder. This is a high-quality clay due to its high mineral content and ability to extract impurities from the skin and scalp.
Rhassoul Ghassoul Clay Benefits
Rhassoul clay is rich in essential nutrients and minerals, many of which contain healing properties for the skin and saponins. As a result, stores and cosmetic departments sell products formulated with these minerals. Still, the advantage of Rhassoul is that it includes them in an almost raw, unprocessed form. This is beneficial because, in this state, the minerals are more easily absorbed by the body, providing more far-reaching results.
The Minerals in Rhassoul Clay
Arguably one of the most powerful minerals for our health, magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. For example, it regulates nerve and muscle function, stabilizes blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and assists in producing bone matter, proteins, and DNA. In addition, magnesium indirectly improves the skin by stabilizing hormonal imbalances, cellular processes, and cortisol - all of which directly affect the appearance of the skin. In fact, redness or rosacea can be improved with a dose of magnesium. This master mineral also helps improve uneven skin tone and can be easily absorbed into the skin.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to every tissue in the body. Unfortunately, many of us are familiar with iron for the wrong reason - a deficiency in iron levels that causes what is known as anemia.
It also plays a crucial role in both oxidative stress and UV damage to the skin. Besides, iron participates in collagen metabolism. Since the skin is a critical organ in iron homeostasis, as we lose iron through the skin by scaling, absorbed with the application of clay, it may help to bridge this natural tendency(1).
The role of lithium is still poorly understood. Doctors prescribe it to treat psychiatric conditions, such as bipolar disorder. In addition, lithium salts are indicated in facial seborrheic dermatitis; they have anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and antifungal properties(2).
Widely used as a food additive and an excipient for tablets, silica participates in the bonding processes between fibrous molecules such as elastin, collagen, and keratin, which is essential in the structural support of the body's tissues. It is necessary for the body to produce collagen and is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Adequate silica production helps reverse collagen damage caused by free radicals, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Silica also binds to protein molecules, allowing the skin to maintain its ability to retain water and hydrate itself.
Sodium, mainly known as salt, is okay for your health. On the contrary, salt, by measure and preferably whole grain, has many benefits for the body and is only problematic when there is too much of it inside our body. Salt is highly underrated in its ability to maintain skin health.
It contains anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin and reduce rashes and irritation. It is also a natural exfoliant that removes dead skin and provides a powerful antimicrobial effect.
A mineral and simultaneously an electrolyte, it helps muscles to function correctly, including the heart and those responsible for breathing. In addition, potassium helps regulate the water content in the body. This process protects the skin and hair from dehydration; people with dry skin or brittle hair may be potassium deficient.
Rhassoul Clay's Action on Skin and Hair
Powerful detoxifier: The minerals in rhassoul clay make it highly effective in removing bacteria and toxins from the skin. This is why using a rhassoul clay mask helps restore the smoothness and tone of facial skin.
Natural cleansing agent: Rhassoul works on the skin's surface and removes excess dirt and sebum, allowing the pores to breathe. That means you'll see a reduction in acne, blackheads, and pimples.
Exfoliating: The mineral composition of rhassoul clay helps to increase skin hydration and improve the complexion. It accomplishes this by removing layers of dead skin and unclogging pores.
Anti-aging treatment: Aging is inevitable. But the silica in rhassoul clay helps stimulate collagen production, reversing the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines caused by aging.
Natural Shampoo (No Poo): Rhassoul clay benefits not only the skin but also the hair. Dandruff and dry scalp are a problem for many people. Still, the moisturizing and exfoliating properties of rhassoul clay help end dandruff. It is suitable for all hair types and serves as an excellent ingredient for shampoos or hair care; and can be scented with rose water, jasmine, or orange blossom.
As you can see, rhassoul clay is a multi-purpose skin treatment that may well compete with many products on the market! Best of all, rhassoul is natural and free of the toxic chemicals we often find in conventional cosmetic products.
How to Use Rhassoul Clay as a Facial Mask
To make your own pure rhassoul clay mask, mix the following ingredients together:
- 2 tablespoons of mineral water;
- 1 tablespoon of rhassoul clay;
- 2 drops of argan oil (optional - for dry skin);
Put the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with a wooden spoon. Apply the mixture to your face and body and rinse off after 10 - 15 minutes.
How To Use Rhassoul Clay For Healthy, Shiny Hair
For a natural shampoo, mix three tablespoons of Rhassoul clay and enough mineral water to ensure a liquid paste texture. Apply the mixture to the roots of wet hair and massage thoroughly. Wait a few minutes, and then wash your hair with warm water.
Rhassoul Clay has numerous benefits for the skin, hair, and scalp due to the presence of potent minerals and saponins, which give it superb cleansing properties! Add Rhassoul Clay to your eco-friendly routine to help detoxify and purify your skin and scalp. You can find it here.
(1)The role of iron in the skin and cutaneous wound healing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091310/
(2)Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis: a comprehensive review. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29737895/