The use of red clay dates back to ancient Rome and Egypt, where nobility used it to tone and enrich the skin. Red clay has been used as a soap, shampoo, and skin conditioner for thousands of years. Red clay is used in body, face, and hair care as a cosmetic ingredient in various recipes and formulations. Its pigments are also widely used to color cosmetic products. Soft to the touch, its highly absorbent and exfoliating qualities make this clay a must-have in the best spas.
Benefits of Red Clay
Red clay suits all skin types, even sensitive, irritated, tired, or couperose-prone skin. The mineral composition of red clay is very similar to green clay. Still, it has a higher iron oxide content, stimulating cell oxygenation and giving it its particular reddish hue. It also contains aluminum and magnesium silicate, which help relieve muscular discomfort.
It is also known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and ease discomfort caused by irritation.
Balances, soothes, tones, and purifies.
Red clay is a powerful antiseptic that profoundly cleanses the skin, extending its effects to the deeper dermis layers. It provides vitality and tones the skin and is highly recommended for sensitive and delicate skin.
In acne-prone skin, red clay helps to regulate excess fat, reduce inflammation and eliminate bacteria. In addition, it is indicated for treating and preventing pimples and blackheads.
Red clay also has astringent properties. Nevertheless, it is a powerful remedy to promote and stimulate blood circulation and skin healing. It is also a powerful ally in treating stretch marks and cellulite.
Revives and brightens the skin.
Red clay helps to deeply cleanse the skin and promote cell regeneration, so it is recommended as an exfoliator for the body and face. It contains essential minerals and trace elements that fight toxins and impurities in the skin. In addition, red clay detoxifies and remineralizes the skin thanks to its absorbent properties, giving it a natural glow.
Mattifies and evens out skin tone.
Skin tone changes are expected due to melanin production in the pores and liver toxicity, among other things. One of the secrets to healthy, glowing skin is regularly eliminating toxins. A red clay face mask can help skin look younger and improve texture and tone thanks to its high copper content, reducing inflammation and correcting free radical damage.
Absorbs excess sebum from the skin and hair
Red clay possesses considerable absorbent virtues. As such, it can absorb excess sebum in oily hair. As a result, the clay normalizes and balances the hair fiber without damaging it and dehydrating the scalp, unlike many cosmetic products dedicated to oily hair. Naturally, this clay will eliminate impurities and purify the scalp. However, testing on a strand before use is recommended because it tends to stain on blonde or very light hair. Reducing the application time is also effective.
Restores body, silkiness, and shine to hair
The red clay will effectively cleanse, moisturize and detoxify the hair. In addition, due to its mineral-rich composition, it deeply nourishes the hair and scalp, reduces frizz, and can even help reduce dandruff.
At the same time, its remineralizing properties are so remarkable that it reduces dryness. When combined with a good nourishing oil, it provides:
- An excellent moisturizer for the skin and hair.
- More elasticity and softness.
- Frizz reduction.
Red clay is an ideal hair product for red, brown, and dark hair due to the iron oxide in its composition that helps make these hair colors even more beautiful and intense.
Helps relieve chronic muscle pain and injuries
Red clay is an effective natural remedy for stimulating blood circulation. Promoting blood flow provides heat to the area where it is applied and oxygen to the muscles, helping to relieve chronic injuries or pain. Take the most out of red clay, using it only where and when there is no acute inflammatory process, i.e., only in uncongested areas.
Another of the health benefits of red clay is that it is one of the best natural remedies for treating varicose veins and relieving pain from osteoarthritis or mild inflammation, muscle soreness after exercise, and cramps.
How to Use Red Clay
The most common use of red clay is as a face mask. To do this, mix it with water or rose water until it forms a silky paste. This paste can be applied to the clean face with a brush or with your fingers and should act for 10 to 15 minutes and then be removed with water.
Red clay can also be combined with other ingredients to perform exfoliation. For example, mix 1 tablespoon of red clay with 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal and apple cider vinegar to form a paste that can be used once a week. The paste is applied to the face, and the skin is massaged gently to exfoliate for 1 to 2 minutes. After the massage, the paste should be left for another 5 minutes to act on the face before washing off with water. This process offers the best of both worlds, the benefits of a mask and exfoliation in one step.
The red clay hair mask consists not of a paste but a more liquid mixture that should be applied only to the scalp. Mix 1 tablespoon of red clay with 1/4 cup of water until you create a more watery mixture that should be applied to the scalp and massaged gently. It is important not to let the mixture dry as it can contribute to hair breakage if it hardens. Ideally, apply, massage for a few minutes, get into the bath, and remove at the end of the bath.
Whole Body Mask
For perfect, healthy skin, make a simple paste of clay and water and use it before bathing as a full-body mask.
How many times a week can I use red clay on my skin and hair?
Red clay masks, or any clay, should not be applied daily but can and should be used regularly to reap the benefits. Red clay is gentle and helps maintain the balance of the hydrolipidic mantle, and it can be applied 1-2 times a week.
How long should I leave the red clay mask on?
Contrary to popular belief, a clay mask should be left on until it almost completely dries on the skin. This is when the clay absorbs more impurities from the pores and excess oil.
The belief that a clay mask will also absorb all moisture from the skin, drying it out even more, needs to be revised. Logically, the mask will absorb some moisture, sebum, impurities, and dead skin cells, but nothing that a subsequent moisturizing does not immediately resolve.
The duration of the red clay on the skin may vary depending on the thickness of the layers applied. Therefore, the idea is to prepare the mask until you get a consistent, homogeneous paste, not too watery or thick, that starts to dry 10 to 15 minutes after application on the skin.