The benefits of using clay in cosmetics

The Benefits of Using Clay in Cosmetics

For centuries mineral-rich clay has been used as a natural agent to beautify the skin. Clay minerals may comprise 15% of the volume of the earth’s crust. In soil, clays are generally the most important adsorbents for inorganic metals and organic solutes as well, this gives them their mineral content. Their presence in our soils is imperative for plants growth and nutrient density. They are an extremely important natural resource and have many uses. 

“it (the clay) absorbs all of those properties of nature. It takes on the energy, so when you look at it as a substance, you can say that it’s the sum of the pull of nature’s energy.”

Different powdered clays are used as the basis for facial body masks popular in many spas, think mud baths! They are largely used for their ability to absorb excess oils, dead skin cells and potential toxins from the skin. They are often paired with powdered herbs and nutrients to enhance their abilities to heal, tone, soften and detoxify the skin. Applying clay to cosmetics may help to exfoliate, clean and invigorate the skin whilst improving blood circulation (you can often feel some heat and see redness after a clay mask for this reason. When the effect softens down the skin normally looks glowing).

As well as being in masks, clays are added to natural scrubs (for their natural exfoliating properties, natural vegetable soaps (as they can enhance their lather capabilities), some clays are used in toothpaste, deodorant and also shampoo or face cleansing bars. We use clay in the bath with essential oils and as a ‘talc’, I also add clay to my dry shampoo recipe.

TOP TIPS:

  • Wet your face at night, apply your clay, and just begin to lightly massage the clay in for about two or three minutes for a soft, natural exfoliation. Apply a nutritious oil infused with essential oils afterwards for a real treat for the skin.
  • Mix clay with a liquid to make a paste:
  • You can add ground coffee, salt, oats, almond flour or desiccated coconut to increase the exfoliant properties.
  • Add herbal teas like chamomile, calendula, rooibos or rosewater to the clay for a calming and nutrient dense combination.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, kombucha or kefir to the clay to increase detoxification and to make your skin tighter, brighter and simply glowing!
  • Rinse off your mask using just water. You may have to gently scrub a little with your fingers to get it off. It tends to try to stick to your skin.
  • I mix raw cacao and red clay with arrowroot flour for my dry shampoo!
  • Avoid getting clay in mouth, eyes, ears, nose.
  • After a clay mask tone the skin with a little rose water or kefir/water spray
  • Moisturiser will be soaked into the skin with greater effect after a clay mask.
  • Clays mix nicely with activated charcoal.
  • Clay infused sponges work really nicely and gently on the skin.
  • Traditionally clays have been taken externally or internally. Consider contacting a practitioner like myself for advice with this.

Different clays have different properties and are ideal for different skin types and also different needs. The clays come from all over the world and different locations will have different mineral constituents. The mineral content and physical structure of each clay will help to determine the desired effect for the skin.

Different clays for different reasons:

Bentonite clay:

Bentonite clay is a generic term made of rocks that come from volcanic ash beds. Settled on the ground the ash has immersed itself into the soil, Bentonite is found wherever volcanic eruptions have occurred and where the ash beds have not been destroyed by erosion. Today most of the clay available to buy is harvested in western U.S. (mostly Wyoming), Greece, France, India, Australia and Italy. You may see it as Bentonite or Montmorillonite clay, the two names are interchangeable.

Bentonite is a very popular clay with many for skin benefits. With its strong negative electrical charge, it is seen to draw out positively charged toxins like a magnet. Also as one of the most absorbable clays bentonite is also helpful for oily skin. Normally used for tightening, brightening, acne-clearing and toxin reducing, bentonite is also very good for first aid.

Bentonite clay swells when mixed with liquid, making it a highly porous and absorbing substance. It can actually absorb more than its initial mass, including any swelling from excess fluid anywhere in the body. It is also great to add to scars, stretch marks and red skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce scars, stretch marks, rosacea or liver spots.
  • Softens and detoxifies the skin
  • Soothes dermatitis.
  • Hydrates the hair.
  • Decreases eye puffiness: Moisten the under-eye area (be careful to be away from the eye itself) and apply quite a thick paste application of clay/apple cider vinegar or water around the eyes. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then wash it off. 
  • For a first aid paste good for cuts, bruises, sores or blisters: Mix bentonite clay powder with baking soda, water and turmeric. You can also add cooled thyme or calendula tea to maximize the effect it has on your skin.

Red Clay:

Used for its beauty benefits since the dawn of time, also known as Rhassoul clay, this ancient clay is mined from Morocco. It is considered more rare and pure than other clays, it was reserved for Egyptian royalty in the past. Extremely high in minerals and trace elements it owes its colour to a high concentration of iron oxide. This clay is used to stimulate microcirculation in the blood vessels helping to improve circulation to the skin and remove toxins and impurities.

Like Bentonite clay the minerals cause a negative charge, most toxins in your skin are positively charged, so this clay is also the perfect magnet. However, this clay is excellent for more sensitive and drier skins as it also has elasticity and texture-improving effects. Gentle enough for daily use in small doses like in soap, makes a great exfoliator and in a hair mask or shampoo may absorb excess build-up on hair, restoring volume, and shine. It is also very good on sensitive scalps.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Gentle and effective exfoliant
  • improves dryness and scaliness of skin
  • clarifies skins texture and firmness.
  • Mattifies and unifies the complexion
  • absorbs impurities and detoxifies skin to revive and brighten the complexion
  • Reduces redness and soothes discomfort caused by irritations
  • Acts as a natural colour in makeup or dry shampoo
  • Absorbs excess sebum from the skin and hair
  • Restores body, silkiness and shine to hair

Pink clay:

A mix of red and white clay, pink clay enjoys the benefits of both. It is great for sensitive and mature skin and has the benefits of both bentonite and rhassoul clay. Considered to be the mildest of all the clays, Pink Clay masks do not remove the skin’s natural oils, making it perfect for tight, dry and dehydrated skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Restores radiance to the skin.
  • Reduces irritation and inflammation.
  • Treats damaged skin by promoting healthy cell renewal.
  • Good to use on scars and stretch marks
  • May help to reduce wrinkles
  • Softens and hydrates the skin.
  • Cleanses and refreshes dull, tired and dry skin.
  • Eliminates redness.
  • Smoothens the skin’s texture.
  • Revitalizes the scalp and hair.

Green Clay:

Green clay, also referred to as green illite, sea clay or Montmorillonite clay. Found in abundant deposits in France (also extracted from other places in the world including China and the U.S.), it is mined several thousand feet below the earth’s crust (up to two thousand feet below the surface). A naturally occurring material rich in nutrients, it gets its greenish hue from the presence of blue-green algae and chlorophyll left by decomposed plant life mixed with Iron oxides. Once the clay is mined it is brought out into the sun to remove excess water and moisture and to make it the powder we can use. 

The clay’s amazing detoxifying quality of this material is best demonstrated by its use in 1986, when it was used in a massive quantity to cover and neutralise the nuclear reactor site at Chernobyl. It was also added to chocolate to help people to detoxify it from their body. Green clay has also been used for centuries in a poultice and Arizona State University reports their researchers have found French green clay effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium marinum. These bacteria can play a part in serious skin infections.

French green clay is also excellent for exfoliation and pore-tightening. It is another very absorbent clay that especially drinks up oil from the skin and hair, it also encourages blood towards the surface of your skin, giving you a bit of a tingling sensation as it boosts circulation. Extremely nutrient-rich, green clay also contains dolomite, manganese, silica, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Helps hair that is oily, shiny or dull.
  • Softens dry or rough skin.
  • removes dirt from the skin and scalp.
  • Great used in deodorant.
  • Daily mask can help regulate your skin’s sebum production to reduce oiliness.
  • Clears acne and reduces blackheads
  • Calms and soothes eczema, rashes, psoriasis.
  • Improves skin condition and appearance.
  • Purifies and balances the scalp and clears dandruff.
  • Detoxifys body.
  • Great used in first aid and in poltices.
  • Good to use in toothpaste especially with gum issues.

Get in contact below for some recommendations for brands and how to use them….

Kitchen sink omelette waffle

I love to add whatever is in the fridge into my omelette, hence the kitchen omelette waffle sink title! A little bit of this, a little bit of that, cheese is a definite (unless I am on my whole 30 weeks). By then adding it to a waffle maker, well, it becomes a special fancy omelette waffle and it is then also super portable (good for packed lunches) and surprisingly more delicious!

You make this like you would any omelette, I serve mine with a kitchen sink salad, but that recipe another day……!

Eggs are natures perfect package, I like to eat them every day. Rich in macro and micronutrients, you get a great hit of nourishment. If you struggle to digest eggs, then I suggest supporting your digestive system by adding some herbs to this recipe and having a shot of apple cider vinegar in some water either before or after eating it. This omelette is a great brunch recipe and will get some good oohs and ahhs! I like it with some guacamole too!

Kitchen Sink Omelette Waffles
Serves 2
A fancy take on an omelette which not only looks cool, but also tastes delicious.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 eggs
  2. (whatever is in the fridge- here are some recommendations)
  3. Fresh (or dried herbs) especially oregano or thyme
  4. 1/2 small diced onion
  5. 3 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped up
  6. 1/4 red pepper diced
  7. 1/4 cup sliced fresh spinach/kale
  8. 1/4 cup grated sharp mature cheddar
  9. Salt and pepper to season
  10. butter or ghee (optional)
Instructions
  1. Begin to heat waffle irons
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl
  3. Add your flavours
  4. Season with salt and pepper and beat with a fork until combined.
  5. add a little butter/ghee, beat again.
  6. Pour a 1/4 mixture onto each waffle space.
  7. Close waffle maker and allow to cook for 15 mins.
  8. Repeat until mixture is finished.
  9. Serve with a salad or guacamole and salsa.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

Warming, healing and delicious Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea

This time of year and every change of season our body needs help to adjust. The healing spices in this turmeric tea have been used for centuries. We need to maintain our body temperature every day and when the outside environment is up and down that can be a stressful task for the body (cue fever!).

Spices have a long tradition in every culture to help support the body by providing essential nutrients as building blocks. Turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, cloves, cacao and nutmeg all have a rich tradition as healing herbs. Any combination of these is going to help to support, boost, calm and restore the body during any up and down period (stress included).

I love to make this at the beginning or end of the day. Especially when I am feeling run down, cold, stressed or pre-menstrual. The combination of the herbs gives a big dose of nutrients and healing power. I sometimes make it with milk (I tend to use this coconut cream or cashew milk), I also make it with hot water and a dash of coconut cream.

Simply make up a jar of this mix and add what you like. I especially like to add it to my hot chocolate recipe! The kids like it too….

Turmeric Tea
Yields 20
A warming cuddle in a mug. Perfect to boost the immune system and calm the nervous system.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 tbsp ground turmeric
  2. 10 tbsp coconut sugar
  3. 1 tbsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  6. 1/2 tbsp cardamon
Instructions
  1. Use 1-2 tsp of the mix in a mug.
  2. Either warm a cup of milk (any milk) and pour into cup, stirring while pouring
  3. Boil kettle and take off just before boiled. fill mug stirring whilst pouring.
  4. Enjoy
Notes
  1. The sweetness may need to be adjusted for your palate. If it is too spicey for you, adjust rather than not drinking it at all
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
I normally get big bags of herbs from my favourite brands on iherb, here are my links here (I get a bonus if you buy through these links) however you can find them elsewhere too.

Turmeric

Coconut Sugar

Ginger

Cinnamon

Cardamon

Black Pepper

Raw Cacao

Nutmeg

Star anise

Cloves

Blender Flourless Brownies

Blender Flourless Brownies

Yep, you read right, make flourless brownies in your blender! So easy and quick! Throw all the ingredients and then pour the mix into your baking tray or molds like I do!

My kids love these and they also take them to school as their snack. I love them because they take literally minutes to make, there is minimal washing up, they have great nutrition in them and are sugar-free so continue to build their healthy relationship with food and real chocolate.

They are also great with a cup of tea for me!!

Blender Flourless Brownies
Yields 25
A simple, delicious and nutritious adjustment of a classic chocolate brownie recipe to make in the blender. Blitz, pour and bake. Sugarless too.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  2. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink salt
  4. 1 cup coconut oil (you could also use butter/ghee)
  5. 14 dates (more or less for you own sweet tooth)
  6. 1-2 tbsp. coconut sugar (optional)
  7. 3/4 cup cacao paste or 1/2 cup 70-80% chocolate bar/chips
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 3/4 cup water
  10. 1/2 cup collagen hydrolysate (optional)
  11. pinch of vanilla or tsp vanilla extraxct
  12. Chocolate chips for the top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients
  2. Blend
  3. (yes it is that simple!)
  4. Pour into greased baking tray or moulds
  5. Bake for 20 mins at 180c (it may be longer if you are baking it in a baking tray)
  6. allow to cool. They may feel fragile but when they cool they will firm up
Notes
  1. These have a rich dark chocolate taste. My kids love them but if you are used to refined sugar brownies, these may taste bitter, adjust and reduce the amount of sugar each time you make them to change your palate. On the flip side if you are used to being sugar free, these may taste really sweet!
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
If you want to know where I get my ingredients from, have a look at these items. I normally buy from iherb and these links will send you there (I get a bonus if you buy them too with this link). However, you can find the same brands in other shops too.

Raw Cacao

Coconut Oil

Ghee

Chocolate Chips

Cacao Paste

Dates

Coconut sugar

Collagen hydrolysate

Parsnip, Apple and Cashew Soup

I absolutely love the combination of parsnip and apple together. I make cashew milk every few days and absolutely love how creamy it is. The combination of the cashews in the soup really make this creamier and also pack it full of healthy fats and protein. I soak my cashews first before I add them to help remove irritating phytic acid and cashews can be soaked for at least 30 minutes.

I make this soup on a regular basis and have it for lunch or dinner. If you love soups have a look at my other soup recipe: Coconut and Ginger Chicken Soup and how I make my own homemade stock.

Parsnip, Apple, Cashew Soup
A deliciously warming and nutritious soup. Made with broth and cooked with ghee and cashews makes this dish a balanced meal for lunch or dinner.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 litre Bone Broth (I like to use Chicken)
  2. 3 Parsnips chopped into equal size pieces
  3. 1 Apple, chopped (preferably organic- I have a high powered blender so I don't need to peel it)
  4. 1 sweet potato, cubed
  5. 1/2 cup cashews (preferably soaked for 1 hour)
  6. 1 onion roughly chopped
  7. 4 cloves of garlic
  8. 1-2 tbsp. Ghee (you could also use olive or coconut oil)
  9. 1-2 tbsp. Collagen (optional- add extra nutrients)
  10. 1-2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional- just adds flavour)
  11. sea salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a saucepan and saute onions with garlic. Add parsnips and sweet potato. When a little softer, add apple, drained cashews, collagen and nutritional yeast.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and add broth.
  3. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 10-15 mins or until parsnips and potatos are soft and cooked through.
  4. Add to blender gradually and blend till smooth.
  5. Taste and add extra salt or pepper as needed.
  6. Serve with a dollup of ghee and sesame seeds.
Notes
  1. This recipe freezes well too
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

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