Like many people, I spent some hours (a definitely unspecified amount!!) in lockdown watching YouTube videos, mine were mostly about soap making. I wasn’t a particular YouTube lover before lockdown but the soap videos became a daily treat and they are actually really informative – and a little addictive. There are some amazing soap artists around the world who make really creative and beautiful soaps, many using mica and other colourants to get the vibrant, lively colours in their little works of art. Others went for using only natural ingredients, which were more subdued in colour but also beautiful creations in their own right. Listening to all the different ingredients being added was fascinating, from Tussah Silk fibres or sugar, to goats milk or sodium lactate, I knew early on I was going to go for only natural ingredients, which would be definitely vegetarian and in most cases vegan. Rather partial to a swirl or patterned soap though, the ingredients needed to include something that would be skin loving but also add a touch of colour to some of the recipes. Inspired by lots of soapers on YouTube, clays were the first ingredient we tried and we’ve stuck with them.
Clays have been used since ancient times by Egyptians and Romans and so have a long history associated with looking after the skin. We currently use White, Green, Pink and Yellow clays in our soaps. They do add colour but we think they also have lots of other benefits too. We can’t make any specific claims about our soaps being beneficial for this or that, but we have looked at lots of research some of which is summarised below. The first benefit though is one we can feel when we use our soaps. Clay gives them a nice ‘slip’ on your skin, it helps them feel silky. The clay also acts as a gentle exfoliant so it will also be helping to gently get rid of dead skin or unclog it and let the new soft skin have its day.
If you’ve ever used a clay face mask you’ll know that clay can absorb excess oil, the teenagers who have used our soap have said their skin feels good after washing and helped ‘clear it up’ and other feedback has said how the soap has not dried their faces like they thought it might do. Clay seems to be a good balancer, getting rid of toxins and also helping to keep moisture in the skin. Websites such as Healthline.com say that green clay particularly is good for “drawing out impurities from pores, exfoliating dead skin cells, toning and firming, stimulating circulation, helping to heal blemishes.”
Pink clay is supposed to be very good for sensitive and more mature skin, modernvintageville.com has a really interesting article about the benefits of pink clay. They say pink clay “deeply cleans the pores, without stripping” it can also “Whiten and brighten … help with the production of collagen and elastin and improve skin tone.” From research I looked at, pink clay is also supposed to reduce redness in skin, something my rosy cheeks would really appreciate!
As all clays absorb oils from the skin it is not recommended clay face masks are used more than once a week. However, all of our soaps with clay also contain other skin loving oils and butters so they can be used every day. As well as allowing us to make pretty patterns in the soap, one further benefit we’ve heard of adding clay is that it will make the bars harder and last longer, so it’s win-win. Check out the website for our full range of soaps with clays and show your skin some love.