For centuries, natural clays and minerals have been used for their beneficial effect on the skin. When hydrated and applied to the skin, a mud masque draws out impurities and toxins as the mixture dries, whilst nourishing the skin with minerals. Clays can also be used as gentle exfoliants, and their application improves circulation.
Note: We occasionally need to rebuild our Clay Sampler according to availability of clays.
Current Sampler Includes:
- Bentonite - a highly absorbent, swelling clay that draws oils and toxins, tightens and tones
- White (Aussie) - mild and soothing, this clay is suitable for dry skin
- Golden Spa Minerals (Aussie) - suitable for all skin types and is a powerful deep cleanser
- Green (French) - for oily, acne prone and congested skin
- Red (French) - the darkest in colour, this warm clay soothes and revives the skin
- Dusky Rose (Mediterranean) - this superfine, pale dusky rose clay is used for extra-sensitive and mature skin
- Caramel (Mediterranean) - improves the tone and texture of the skin, giving firmness and helping to prevent flaccidity. Useful for all skin types particularly recommended for mature skin
- Plus a bonus Purple Brazilian Clay - useful for all skin types particularly recommended for mature skin, firming and smoothing
And you'll receive a FREE 50g Brazilian Purple Clay valued at $6.00. Brazilian Purple Clay is suitable for all skin types including sensitive or mature skin. We adore the rich mauve colour of this clay, which is a dark purple-brown colour when wet and works well in soap as well as its specialty – in Spa Treatments. Brazilian Clays are rich in minerals and smooth in texture.
We have written this guide to using our Clays and Spa Minerals especially for our Sampler Pack.
The following information about Clays and Spa Minerals will give you an overall understanding of the types, properties, constituents and above all how to use clays and minerals. Our Clays and Aussie Spa Minerals are packed with natural goodies and can do amazing things for your skin! We recommend you undertake further research if you are seeking any specific information.
Chemical toxins and heavy metals can create mineral imbalances that reduce the absorption of important trace elements and vitamins, which can weaken the immune system. Toxic overload is considered a major factor in the cause of many modern mystery diseases and autoimmune disorders. If you are seeking to use clays for therapeutic use we recommend consulting a medical professional.
Detox Programs and Day Spa’s have become popular for many people who have a heightened awareness of Well Being and of the benefits of reducing stress and such toxic overload on the body.
Our Clays and Spa Minerals have been selected for their purity and strength – they have a very high mineral content. Our Aussie Clays and Spa Minerals are mined in differing parts of Australia from non- polluted earth and then dried in the sun, and our French Clays are mined in France, and our Rhassoul is mined in Morocco. We also have Brazilian Clays, Sea Clay and Mediterranean Clays that all have powerful drawing and absorptive properties, and have a fine smooth texture that leaves your skin feeling healthy and refreshed. Our Active Clays are a collection of the finest healing clays in the world.
Our Spa Minerals are a little different to the Clays as they have a higher cation exchange. What does this mean? The cation exchange is an exchange of negatively charged ions within cells; all matter has an ion exchange of either positive or negative ions. We find it easiest to understand what cations are by using lightning as an example. I think we have all noticed how clean and fresh the air is after a lightning storm - this is because lightning generates negative ions in the atmosphere. By leaving pot plants out in thunderstorms you “recharge their batteries” – it is the same for our skin after an Aussie Spa Mineral Mud Pack. That is why Zeolites have become so popular! Clays only have a very low cation exchange so the Zeolites are more effective in their drawing abilities. All our Clays can be blended together so you can experiment and find the right blend for your skin.
The human body is made up of 4% minerals that are essential for its functioning and maintenance. If skin cells are tired or aged they become incapable of absorbing the active substances in cosmetic applications such as moisturisers, serums and other treatments.
Clays contain the necessary minerals to activate the functions of the skin by stimulating its cellular metabolism. The minerals and trace elements of clays are natural. The skin can assimilate them effectively and achieve an increase in the supply of oxygen and assist regeneration, promoting a cleaner firmer and revitalised skin.
The skin is the largest organ in our body, and we certainly work it overtime! When our liver becomes overloaded with toxins that can't be eliminated immediately, they are stored in fatty tissue, joints or around vital organs. Some heavy metals (eg lead) can be stored in the bones. Our body will attempt to eliminate these toxins later on by releasing or excreting the heavy metals and toxins back into the blood stream. This can be stimulated by a variety of methods such as massage, or chelating supplements, but the problem is that it is very difficult to regulate the rate at which they are excreted. It may be either too little or too much. Too little is not satisfactory, and too much can have unpleasant side effects. An array of symptoms will be present, and our body has to work extremely hard to make us well again.
How do Clay Masks and Wraps work?
Basically, the clay first adsorbs the toxins (heavy metals, pesticides, and free radicals), by drawing them to the surface of the skin where they adhere to the clay, absorbing them like a sponge. Then they are held, and rinsed away when the mud or mask when it is rinsed off the skin.
Because clays are drawing, it’s important to wash off after 10 minutes or so. Zeolite based blends will often create a warm feeling on your skin, so take care if using in facial masks.
General Classification Information on Types
There are many classifications of Clay – Kaolin, Illite, Smectite, Zeolite (not a clay as such), Montmorillonite and so on. Illite clays include the French Green Clay. Kaolins include Pinks, Reds, and Yellows. The technical names such as Illite, Kaolin, Zeolite and Smectite refer to their mineral properties rather than where they are mined or what colour they may be. Bentonite Clay was originally named after the geographical location it was first mined, and the same applies to Kaolin.
Smectites are formed in three-layers that consist of two layers of interconnected silica-tetrahedrons (like cages) and a layer of water sits in between these layers. The silicate layers have a slightly negative charge. This weak charge absorbs cations (such as calcium and sodium). These minerals work well to detoxify the skin because they are negatively charged.
Zeolites are similar to clays, but they differ from clays in their structure and mineral content. Clays have a layered structure like thin sheets stacked on top of one another. Zeolites have a rigid 3-dimensional crystalline structure similar to a honeycomb with a network of interconnected tunnels and cages (tetrahedral) allowing the crystal to act as a molecular sieve and making them more absorbent.
Types of Clays
French Clays: These must in fact be imported from France to earn this name. They come in several colours – Yellow, Green, White, Pink, Red and blends. In all probability comprised of several different types of clay, but are mostly forms of Kaolin. All Red clays are rubifactants and should be blended with other clays, as they are so strong.
Bentonite Clay: Is a Smectite Clay that is green/grey in colour and very slippery when wet. Bentonite is ideal for shaving. Our Bentonite Clay is mined in Australia and is silky smooth, almost slippery when hydrated, unlike our other Smectite (swelling clay) Rhassoul. It is readily accessible for mining therefore quite an economical clay.
Kaolin Clay (French White): Is white/cream in colour. Kaolin is composed chiefly of the clay mineral kaolinite, the crystals of which are so small that they can be seen only under the electron microscope. Kaolin is generally quite porous and will stick to the tongue; it also has the distinctive property of slaking or disintegrating rapidly when placed in water.
Rhassoul: Is another Smectite clay also known as Moroccan Lava Mud. This ancient clay is buried deep under the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and as the clay deposits are so deep, this makes Rhassoul quite difficult to mine. It is a rich brown, earthy colour, and very dense, which means it absorbs a lot of water and is very rich in trace minerals. If you find it a little heavy, give it a whizz with the stick blender to make it finer. Both Bentonite and Rhassoul sit within the one classification, which explains why they both absorb so much water when we add them to our soap and mud recipes! If using Rhassoul in Soap, we suggest you avoid discounting the water, and use no more than 2% of the oil weight. It is most appealing when swirled through in rich veins.
Aussie Spa Minerals: Australia is one of only two countries with Zeolites, which are used for health, and beauty purposes and our Spa Minerals contain Zeolites. The Cosmetic & Spa industry use Zeolites to draw out toxins, in slimming wraps, to increase the activity in clays and clear up acne. They are a useful alternative to talc for deodorants. Zeolites are able to increase the activity of any clay they are blended with and improve consistency when mixing.
Brazilian Clays: offer a wide range of colours but can be quite pricey. They make awesome natural colourants for soap, and the different colours and shades exist due to the different mineral content found in the soil in Brazil. They are mostly smectite, and also contain kaolin. These clays blend well with other clays. There is Purple Brazilian Clay included in your Sampler.
Mediterranean Clays: are comprised of Illite and Kaolin and enrich formulas with the energy and vitality of the trace elements they contain which include silicon, magnesium, calcium, sodium, manganese and iron. They are representative of the rich earth and Mediterranean forests from where they are mined. The minerals contained in these clays help the skin to keep its good appearance and youthfulness.
What Essential Minerals Do
The skin is able to absorb essential minerals, which clean and nourish it. Minerals trap dirt and toxins and remove dead skin cells. Essential Minerals play a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and in the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance; hormone production and they strengthen the skeletal system. Our Clays and Spa minerals consist of a variety of the following Minerals:
Potassium: Is a constituent of all plants and animals. Potassium controls the water balance in tissues and cells
Sodium: Sodium ions are mostly found in the fluids surrounding skin cells and are coupled with potassium ions. Many body processes depend on the cells having a proper balance to produce cellular metabolic energy.
Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in many important actions within the body. It is necessary for bone, protein, fatty acid formation, cell generation and activating B Group Vitamins
Calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is the constituent of bones and teeth. Physiologically it is needed for nerve response, muscle contraction, maintenance of body temperature and blood clotting.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is an essential element in the diet and a major component of bone. It is involved in almost all metabolic processes.
Manganese: Manganese triggers energy production and activates certain skin enzymes correcting imbalances such as premature aging, irritations and blemishes.
Chromium: Chromium aids in reducing infection of the skin. It is also an important element in building muscle and reducing obesity.
Iron: Iron is essential in producing haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and cells. It is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Zinc: Zinc is essential for Cell growth and multiplication. It is required to ensure healthy functioning of many of the body’s systems it is particularly important for healthy skin and the resistance to infection. It assists wound healing and the general growth of all tissues. It is becoming increasingly scarce in our soils and so our vegetables are often lower in Zinc than previously.
Copper: Copper has a variety of roles in the body. Deficiency of copper will result in weak blood vessels and bones as well as nerve damage
How to Mix Clays and Minerals
If you have never used a facial clay mask before, we recommend a small test before continuing with full treatments.
Suggested Usage Rates:
Facial, Body and Capillary masks - In combination with other powders within a formula - between 10 and 30%
Facial and Body Muds - In combination with other powders within a formula - between 5 and 25%
Liquid Soaps and Shampoo: 2 - 10%
Soap Spa Bars for deep cleansing: 5 - 20%
Cold Processed Soap: 1 dessertspoon to 1 tablespoon per kilo of soap (swirling will use less). Mix the clay into a slurry or paste, with either water (or thinly traced soap), then add to the soap batch. Then add Fragrance or Essential Oils.
Melt & Pour Soap: 1 teaspoon per 500g of soap base (all types). Mix the clay to a slurry or paste with some water, Glycerine or Sodium Lactate Plus and gently stir into the melted soap.
You'll see recipes for Masks and Treatments in our Recipe Formulary
Bearing in mind the above usage rates, some clays and blends can be used up to 60%. All clays and every ones skin is different, so if you are beginning with the ratio of half clay, half water, add a mild clay or other ingredients and do a spot test on first application.
To make a Facial Mask or Mud Pack it is important to understand that individual clays have differing level of absorbency. As a rule of thumb, use equal quantities of water and clay – ie 50:50. So for instance use 100g clay to 100g/ml of water (Hydrosols, Floral Waters, Spring or Distilled are all suitable). What you are aiming to achieve is a smooth, soft paste similar in consistency to toothpaste (which are often Kaolin Clay based).
If you are mixing a body mud pack, or large volume of clay/minerals, the best way to prevent clogging and lumps is to avoid trying to manually “mix” to combine clay and water. The method of absorption mixing (glass bowls are great for this so you can see the progress) saves lumps and frustration. If you stir the mixture of clay and water, it is likely that you will have some problems, so just let it sit and seep through.
There are two ways of doing this:
- Using the 100g example, measure the 100g/ml water into the bowl (glass or ceramic is best). Pour 100g clay on top of the water and allow it to seep down into the water. By leaving for approximately 30 minutes or more, it should be uniformly wet. Some clays, (and zeolites and micas) are lighter than others are and these may take longer.
- The reverse of this process! Place 100g clay into the bowl and then pour 100g/ml of water on to the clay, leave the clay for around 20 minutes and check to make sure the clay is completely wet.
With both these methods, after time has elapsed you should check for dry spots. If you see any dry parts through the glass bowl, tap the bottom of the bowl lightly on the bench top until the water and clay are uniformly moist. If you see any water pooled on the surface and all the clay is moist then carefully pour off the excess water.
How to decide which Clays and/or Minerals to use
The Acid Mantle is the layer of natural oils our cells produce to protect our skin from bacteria and the elements (weather, heat, wind etc). Overactive cells can sometimes produce too much oil and develop acne when the cells become clogged. Under active cells don’t produce enough oils and skin becomes dry and irritated, thus damaging the cells and allowing bacteria to enter which can also develop into acne
The first thing you need to decide is what skin type you have - is it oily or dry; sensitive?
- Oily skin would benefit from an alkaline clay or mineral that is one with a pH over 7, 7 being neutral. Most European clays are alkaline and therefore better suited to oily skin as it tends to be drying. For oily skin try Green Clays, Red Clays, Cream & White Clays, and any of the Zeolites (Aussie Spa Minerals)
- Dry skin would benefit particularly from Spa Minerals as they tend to have the ability to encourage the skin cells to naturally produce moisture. Also White, Green, Yellow and Red Clays in the blend.
- Combination Skin (Both oily & dry) can benefit from blends of clays and minerals including a White Clay
- For sensitive skin - Try White Clays, Pink Clays, Golden Spa Minerals or Green Clays
- Blotchy, Sallow Skin or skin lacking in colour: Try Green Clays, Pink Clays, Golden Spa Minerals, Brazilian Clays. Skin that is tired and sallow would benefit from rich mineral blends and clays, which are high in potassium and iron
- Acne Prone Skin – Acne usually forms when the cells are either damaged or clogged and can’t breathe properly. It is a myth that acne is caused by dirty skin and constant cleansing can sometimes make matters worse. Avoid friction during the inflamed stage. In many cases it is wise not to use Essential Oils but to cleanse gently with a mild clay to suit the skin type. Spa minerals are useful, either in a blend or on their own. A good blend for Dry Acne is White, or Green mixed with Golden Spa Minerals. For Oily acne try Green Clays, Creams, Whites and Spa Minerals. Including White, Brazilian Clays and Mediterranean Clays in your blend are also useful.
When in doubt, blend in a White Clay and leave on the skin a short period of time!
Lips: Are our clays lip safe? From the data supplied, we believe all our Clays and Minerals are non toxic and are perfectly safe for use in Lip Balms and all other face and body treatments and masks, however we do not recommend clays for internal consumption
Face Masks & Body Wraps: Whites, Creams, Greens, Golden Spa Minerals, Sea Clay, Brazilian Clays
Cleansers & Scrubs: Whites, Cream, Greens, Golden Spa Minerals, Brazilian,
Detoxifying Mud wraps: Try Green Clays, Golden Spa Minerals, Rhassoul, Kaolin, Brazilian
Acne and pimple Masks: Green Clays, Golden Spa Minerals, Sea Clay
Bath Soaks - Pure White, Creams, Pinks, Green Clays, Golden Spa Minerals Pastel Pink Spa Minerals, Kaolin
Soap Making: ALL our clays can be used in soap in varying levels and ways. Remember the Rhassoul & Bentonite Clays absorb lots of water from your mix so hydrate well before adding them.
Hair and Scalp Treatment Masks Green Clays, Golden Spa Minerals, White Clays, Brazilian Clays
As Colourants: Use all our clays as natural colours in your soap, skin care and cosmetics.
As these are all Natural Clays & Minerals we cannot guarantee the colour will be identical from one batch to the next and may vary widely.
Please note: It is best to AVOID applying a facial masque within a week of an important event (such as a Year 12 Ball or a Wedding) – just in case! You will often have a slight worsening of redness for the first 24 hours whilst the skin detoxes and settles again.
More sample recipes and ideas can be found in our Recipe Formulary
This work is copyright and may not be reproduced. © All rights reserved. Aussie Soap Supplies® 2016
Storage & Handling
Avoid inhalation and try to avoid creating dust – wear a mask if preferred or using for long periods. Always store clays in a cool, dry place – clays will absorb atmospheric moisture. Dry powders can be stored in glass or plastic containers, or plastic bags indefinitely. Wet muds/clays should be stored in Glass, PET or HDPE containers (once water is added a preservative should be used as greeblies will grow)