Earth is the source of life, and since clay is part of earth, it plays a great role in healing and restoring living organisms. Clay is so rich in nutrients, minerals and other elements that detoxify, replenish and revitalize our hair and skin.
There are several types of clay from different parts of the world that have a magical effect on skin. However, only few can be used for both skin and hair. Some types of clay are too absorbent and might leave your hair dry. Here are three unique, nourishing, and gentle clays that can be used as a head to toe mask.
Dead Sea Clay
Located about 15 miles East of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea is known to be the lowest surface below the sea on the planet. The Dead Sea has been for thousands of years a Mecca for locals as well as visitors from all over the world seeking to heal illnesses and skin diseases. The Dead Sea clay has a high concentration of minerals that have healing properties as well as a nourishing effect for both body and hair. Dead Sea clay is also popular because while it absorbs oils and toxins, it keeps the moisture locked in leaving you with gorgeous and soft skin and hair.
Ghassoul or Rhassoul is a clay mined from the Atlas mountains in my mother country, Morocco. I grew up using it as a hair, face and body mask. My grandmother and mother would crush the raw Ghassoul that comes in dark soft rock form, mix it with a blend of herbs and dried rose petals. Then add rose water to create a wonderful beauty paste. Just like the Dead Sea clay, Rhassoul can be used on face, hair, and body. It is so rich in minerals and other elements that gently remove toxins from skin and hair. Rhassoul shares another unique characteristic with Dead sea clay, it also doesn’t leave you dry after it absorbs the toxins and excess oils. Ghassoul has softening and conditioning properties that leave the skin and hair velvety soft.
Illite Green Clay
Also known as Montmorillonite clay is originally from France, Green Clay mixed with Aloe Vera or rose water is used as a full body mask; and just like Dead Sea clay and Ghassoul, French green clay is known to have a magical effect on both the skin and hair. It’s called Green clay because it contains decomposed plant matter and iron oxide. The greener the clay, the richer it is in minerals and nourishing elements. This clay is great for exfoliating, pore-tightening and even blood circulation.
Note: Even though these three clays are very gentle on the skin and hair, they can be too absorbant. I recommend people with dry skin to either add few drops of oil (preferably organic olive, Argan, coconut or almond) to the clay paste or to apply oil directly after washing the clay mask.