How to properly use clay powders

You have surely heard of Clays: these powders with various colors, which are essential in natural cosmetics.

Rich in minerals, their properties vary according to their origin, their composition and therefore their color.

Cleansing, purifying, detoxifying, absorbing, sebum regulating, softening, soothing … so many benefits that give us good reasons to use them in skin or hair care.

You can use them to clean your face, make masks, wash your hair or even relax in a bath…

In this article, you will find advice to make the best use of it according to your needs and include it in your beauty ritual.

Clays are an ancestral remedy with multiple applications. In cosmetics, this natural product has its place to help you take care of your skin.

Indeed, clay is a sedimentary rock that is found in the basement. It is mainly composed of silica and contains many minerals: aluminum, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc,…

It allows, among other things, to cleanse, purify, remineralize and regenerate the epidermis.

To know about Clays:

  • In order to take full advantage of the clay, it must be moistened and will therefore be used with water.
  • To make your mixes, you will make sure to use the appropriate equipment:
  • Prefer inert material such as wooden, ceramic, porcelain or glass utensils.
  • Avoid metallic or plastic instruments which could change the polarity of the clay (i.e. their capacity to exchange positive and negative charges).
  • Clay is used only once and is not reusable. Throw it away after use because it will be loaded with impurities and toxins.
  • A warm atmosphere will promote the opening of pores and the detoxifying action of clays.
  • Use them for example after a hammam / sauna or a steam bath (facial sauna).
  • Clays can be used in many ways in cosmetics. 


Here are the different uses:

Cleanse your face with Clay:

Clay is naturally cleansing and purifying. It can therefore be used to cleanse your face instead of soap.

To do this, prepare the following mixture when cleaning your face:

  • In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of clay with a little water until you get the consistency of a smooth, fluid paste (like the texture of yogurt).
  • Apply to your skin, massage gently with light circular movements for 2 to 3 minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • This type of cleaning can be used 2 to 3 times a week, with clays with cleaning properties, such as Green, Yellow, Red Clay or even Rhassoul.
  • The Rhassoul cleansing is particularly indicated for oily and / or acne prone skin. You will adapt the cleaning frequency to the clay according to the tolerance of your skin.

On the other hand, if you have dry, dehydrated, reactive or sensitive skin, it would be better to avoid cleaning your face with water and rather favor the cleansing liniment with a hydrosol or a cleansing oil.

Use clay as a mask on the face:

A clay mask deeply cleanses the skin since the clay helps to loosen impurities and detoxify the epidermis.

  • If you have oily or imperfections-prone skin, prefer absorbent clays that regulate excess sebum, such as yellow, white clay or Rhassoul.
  • If your skin is rather dry or prone to redness, a mask based on Red clay, or Rose and enriched with vegetable oils, will be better.

To make a clay mask, mix in equivalent amount clay powder and hydrosol, and if necessary add a little vegetable oil:

For example :

  • 3 tablespoons of powdered clay
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil of your choice (to be adapted according to your skin type)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of a hydrosol of choice or, failing that, water.
  • Gently mix these ingredients until you get a smooth paste. Apply it on your cleansed face, in a thick layer and avoiding the eye area.
  • Leave your mask on for about ten minutes.
  • Clay is only active if it is wet, keep in mind that your mask should not dry out, as this may also dehydrate your skin. If so, spray a little hydrosol or water on your mask to keep it moist.

Finish by rinsing with warm water, then gently dry your face.

What about the hair?

Same principle as for the face, the Clays can also be used on the hair and thus allow to space the shampoos.

Again, you will choose the color of your clay according to your hair type:

– In case of oily hair and to help regulate sebum secretion: opt for Green Clay or Rhassoul which are quite absorbent.

– For dry or weak hair, use white clay.

– If your hair lacks volume, then prefer yellow clay, it will boost your dull hair

To make your clay hair mask, proceed in the same way as for the face mask by mixing your powder with water to obtain a paste of a fairly thick consistency (the mask should not run after application).

Plan an amount suitable for your hair length and sufficient to cover your hair.

Once applied to all of your hair, not forgetting the roots, massage to increase absorption and remove impurities.

After a break of up to 15-20 minutes, you can simply rinse off your mask.

Because of its cleaning properties, clay has already gently washed your scalp, it will not be useful to shampoo.

However, use water with apple cider vinegar (half water / half vinegar) as the last rinse to restore shine to your hair.

Make a clay bath:

It is also possible to use the Clays directly in the water of your bath to offer you a moment of relaxation and regain a very soft skin.

Clay bathing will be all the more pleasant if you have itchy skin. Because it soothes the sensations of scratching, and is very often beneficial for skin prone to eczema or psoriasis.

How to proceed ?

First take a shower to wash yourself and then immerse yourself in your clay bath.

In your bathtub filled (half) with water close to your body temperature (about 36-37 °), disperse about 200 grams of white clay.

Immerse yourself in your bath and stay there for 15 to 20 minutes

Use a cotton glove, or a vegetable sponge, to distribute the clay water over the different parts of your body.

Finally, rinse off with warm water and gently dry your skin, gently dabbing with a towel, before applying your body care.

Precaution before emptying your bathtub:

Place a colander or cloth on the drain when you empty your bathtub. This will serve as a sieve and will prevent the clay (which builds up with water) from clogging your pipes.

What quality to choose for Clay?

For cosmetic use, prefer a higher quality clay, which will be particularly rich in minerals.

Clays exist in different forms, for powders opt for a so-called superficial or ultra-ventilated clay which offers a fine to very fine particle size.

Also make sure by looking at the composition that it is a pure clay, not diluted with other powders.

Also be aware that since Clay is a mineral product, you will not find it labeled ORGANIC.


You will find in this table the main clays and in which case to use them:

 Type Clays             Skin                       

White                      All skin types, it is quite soft.

Yellow                     Combination skin, blemishes, dull complexion, spots on the skin:               

                                purifying, restores radiance

Green                     Oily Skin: balancing, it absorbs excess sebum

Pink                        Sensitive & Reactive Skin, mixture of White Clay and Red Clay

Red                        Dry Skin, rich in Ferric Oxide, rebalancing and brightens the complexion

Rhassoul                Oily hair, Oily or acne-prone skin: Rich in silica and magnesium