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….

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

Fermented Garlic

Fermented garlic is super simple. Great to use in so many recipes you probably already make, or as a side dish on its own.Fermented garlic can be used in any recipe that calls for raw garlic. It has a softer taste and is milder than raw garlic. Some describe the flavour as tangy and refreshing.  I always thinks it adds more vibrancy to our foods.

Sometimes whilst fermenting, your garlic may appear green, blue or even red. This is completely natural and occurs when the acidic environments and the sulphur or amino acids in the garlic react together. It is safe to eat. As with all fermented foods, the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients, rendering fermented garlic even more nutritious and beneficial than the original starting point. So that means more immune boosting, digestive healing, bacteria balancing, liver supporting and Vampire repelling for us all!

Avoid using fermented garlic in foods you need to fry, boil or heat as it may destroy the bacterial balance and other nutrients. Add to soups, vegetables and salad dressings before serving.

When it comes to using your garlic the only limitations are what you have available!

You can add it to anything, plus you can also play with the flavour of the garlic itself. Try with adding spices or herbs to your ferment like turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds etc.

I like to add it to my salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, ketchup, dips, ghee to toss steamed vegetables in, soups before serving, salsa. I also add it to my raw pet food and eat them whole when I need an immune boost. You can also dehydrate it to make garlic salt.

 

Fermented Garlic
A super simple way to get fermented food into every meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 Garlic Bulbs (peeled and separated)
  2. Approx. 2 tbsp Sea Salt (1-2%)
  3. Water
  4. Equipment;
  5. Weighing Scales
  6. Mason Jar (or glass fido jar)
Instructions
  1. 1. Weigh the peeled garlic to work out the salt weight (1-2%)
  2. 2. Weigh and add the salt to the garlic in the jar.
  3. 3. Fill the jar with water to cover the garlic cloves
  4. 4. Leave for 1-2 weeks on the counter and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days.
Notes
  1. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

Here is a handy printable pdf of the recipe for you: Fermented Garlic PDF

 fermented-garlic-2

 

 

fermented-garlic
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How to Ferment; Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean ferment. There are hundreds of variations using cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber as the main ingredient. The paste can contain a variety of ingredients. There may be more than 187 different varieties, all from different regions of Korea. Traditional ingredients will may use garlic, ginger, red pepper, some also add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce or paste to add to their recipe. Families will pass on their different seasonal varieties and they are traditionally buried in the ground to ferment.

Traditionally made by brining the vegetables and then mixing in a paste before packing it into a fermentation vessel to become full of probiotic bacteria and flavour.Kimchi Loula Natural

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions (see my sauerkraut here and a flavoured version here). The fermentation process produces the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune system, plus making nutrients in the foods being fermented come to life and are more accessible.

The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering Kimchi even more nutritious than the original starting points.Brining Kimchi Loula Natural

Salt is one of the most amazing natural products. Hugely beneficial to the body when consumed in the right way. I am often asked which salt to use- these are my salts of choice:

Sea salt – originates from drying the sea water in the sun, salt lakes or other methods. This is what I prefer and generally prefer those from Wales, France or Scotland. Sea salt nutrients can vary and may contain up to 80 or more minerals than table salt (which is refined down to one or two) it will hugely depend on where the sea salt was obtained.  In addition to sodium and chlorine, you are likely to find potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur. Trace minerals in sea salt can include iron, iodine, manganese, zinc, bromine, boron, copper. 

Pink Himalayan salt – this salt is traditionally harvested in the Pakistan  side of the Himalayan mountain range and the pink colour may be due to the salt containing iron oxide. Harvested from caves of ocean salt settled into geological pockets. It is an unrefined, unprocessed raw mineral, mainly mined by hand. The salt can be up to 250 million years old, which is pretty cool! Its nutrient content is similar to sea salt (since they both originated from the sea). 

I use these two salts in fermenting, in cooking, in the bath, as a scrub, as salt lamps and also on the carpets to help deep clean them. 

Kimchi
This is a basic Kimchi recipe. There are around 187 different variations of Kimchi, this one uses Chinese cabbage, daikon radish and carrot. I have made this one sugar free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians as it is also seafood free.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1 daikon radish thinly sliced
  3. 2 carrots thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% weight sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt
  5. 10 garlic cloves
  6. 1 ½ inches fresh ginger
  7. 1 ½ tbsp. Korean red pepper
  8. 1tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  9. 1tsp Fish sauce or water
  10. 1tsp fish paste (you can also use seaweed)
Instructions
  1. Weigh cabbage, radish and carrot to work out how much salt is needed.
  2. Try and retain one of the out side leaves for later. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic or ceramic)..
  3. Weigh and add the salt to the vegetable in water. Mix into the cabbage with your hands to massage and work in the salt. Leave for 1-8 hours.
  4. Make the paste by adding the remaining ingredients to a mini chopper and pulsing until a paste.
  5. Drain the vegetables from the brine, taste to determine saltiness. (note the saltiness will mellow). Rinse if necessary.
  6. Wearing gloves, mix in the paste, massaging the vegetables.
  7. Add to your fido jar pushing the vegetables down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
  8. When all the vegetables are in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. You may weigh down the cabbage with either ceramic baking beads, marbles, rocks or a shot glass. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
  9. Leave for 1-2 weeks on the counter and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Notes
  1. It is optional to use 1tsp fish paste, you can also use seaweed in the paste.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
 Mixing in paste Loula Natural

Here is my video on how to make the paste to add to your vegetables:

When it comes to flavoring your Kimchi the only limitations are what you have available!

You can add anything. Play with other root vegetables, using vinegar, fish sauce and other spices in your paste (like turmeric, cumin or coriander).

Kimchi is added to most foods, soups, noodles, stews, pancakes and so on. It is really nice mixed in to sauces like BBQ, mayo and ketchup. Kimchi is also delicious with cheese and also eggs…

Kimchi Cheese on toast Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

articlesNurture Your Life Loula Natural fi

Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.

Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.

I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

Nurture Your Life pin

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