Lets face it, everyone (including us guys though we probably are more reluctant to admit it!) loves a good face mask. Organic and natural options are becoming ever popular and are big sellers here on Eco Market, but how many of you have thought to make your own? For some reason the process involved carries the myth of being complicated or time consuming which scares off the majority of people. Its definately not, and hopefully after reading this hopefully youll be inspired, like I was, to give it a go!
Last summer, like many other holiday makers I chose to take a last minute holiday to the Greek island Zacynthos. Part way through the week, myself and my girlfriend decided to go exploring on one of the smaller islands (accesible by a short boat trip). The scenery was breathtaking. Being fans of not 'sticking to the path' we decided to adventure across some of the natural rock formations along the beach and it wasnt before long, wearing only flip-flops, that i heard a big SQUELCH, realising that the combination of fresh sea water and clay rock had formed face mask-esque puddles on the ground.
'Look at this mud, we have to bottle it!' was my first reaction and (after ignoring my girlfriend who seemed less impressed and clearly thinking i had lost my marbles) bottle it I did! I started chipping away at the dry rock into a plastic water bottle we had been carrying around.
Let me point out, I am no expert when it comes to this type of thing, but my thinking was surely on a natural unpolluted island, rock that is been sitting there for probably thousands of years being constantly coated with fresh sea water pack with minerals - cant be bad for you!
After getting the clay back home (thankfully managing to avoid getting arrested by customs!) I couldn't wait to find out how to turn it into the finished product and after a bit of basic googling realised there was really nothing to it. Heres the process I followed...
1. Put the clay peices into a bag and beat it (I use a rolling pin) to break up into smaller peices until as fine as possible. Sieve the clay to remove any larger bits still left.
2. Spread out the clay onto an oven tray with some baking paper underneath (this helps soak up any additional moisture in the clay when in the oven). Spread out the clay so it sits evenly on the tray.
3. Put the tray into the oven on about 120 degrees celcius so its low enough not to burn but hot enough to kill any bugs (especially if like me you got the clay from somewhere wild)
4. After half an hour to an hour the clay should be ready to take out. When cool enough you can sieve the clay again and pour into some pots (I used some recycled face cream pots i had saved up).
5. At this point, if you feel like adding something extra, you can add a few drops of your favourite natural oils, I used a couple of drops of lavendar. Im sure you could add all sorts at this point (for example squashed fruit, finely chopped, orange peel - get creative, anything good enough to eat works on the outside of your skin just as well as inside, but if you use anything fresh then remember to keep in the fridge and use ASAP.)
6. Seal well to make sure any moisture doesnt get in and when you want to use the clay mix some with a few drops of water.
To borrow the words of Gorden Ramsey, natural clay face mask - done!