How to :: Clay Masks for Sensitive Skin


Here at COSM, we already have a love affair with clay. The countless benefits for many different skin types is nothing short of amazing. We can’t think of a more universal element in skincare routines than clay. 

The Basic Types of Clay

Clay benefits all skin types on the spectrum: from dry, dehydrated skin, all the way to oily, acne prone skin + flares. The key is to know how different clays work their magic on different concerns. We truly believe everyone can find a clay-based formula for them. The most popular clays include:

  • Kaolin Clay: the gentlest clay with light absorption, perfect for sensitive + dry skin.
  • Rose clay: a type of kaolin that has naturally occurring iron oxides giving it a pink hue
  • Sea clay: originates from the undersea mud and great for normal to oily skin types
  • French Green clay: sometimes called Montmorillonite clay or Illite clay, the green hue originates from plant matter and iron oxides. This clay is effective for oily skin types.
  • Bentonite clay: created from volcanic ash, high absorption and a choice for very oily skin. A well-known clay for acne and inflamed blemishes.

How to use clay for sensitive skin : Cleanse + Mask

Sensitive skin is caused by a myriad of internal or external aggressors. Some causes being so complex you'd think there wasn't one way to address this skin type. Time for you to meet Kaolin clay, and time for you to customize!

Cleansing and Masking with Kaolin Clay

1. Find/Create a powder clay base 

Clay bases are simple enough to come by, but not usually simplified or cruelty-free. They can be full of fillers and thickening ingredients that give a great product feel but very little advantage to your skin. We suggest starting with a healthy powder base, like

  • White Kaolin + Coconut milk powder 
  • White Kaolin + Matcha powder 
  • White Kaolin + Oatmeal powder
DIY: Sifting these together you'll find a clean, clarifying base for your cleanser or mask.
Don't have time?: We've pre-blended the softest clay base ready for you to jump right to step 2!


2. Mix your clay base with a medium in a non metallic bowl/brush

Since we're working with a customized dry base, you get to choose your medium. 3 popular mediums and their results:

  • Water :: creates a thin consistency that will dry tight :: perfect for masking
  • Cream ::  creates a thicker consistency that will aid in exfoliation :: equally perfect for masking or cleansing 
  • Natural Oil :: creates a wet, non drying consistency :: perfect for cleansing

Mix thoroughly until you achieve a creamy consistency. 

Note: We suggest avoiding essential oils, since they are extracts and not nourishing lipids for your skin, and metallic tools since they can react with clay ions.

3. Apply the customized clay base 

Using a brush or skin spatula, spread your custom blend on clean skin before washing or showering. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then massage in circular motions under water. This will buff, nourish and soothe the skin.

Note: Any unused formula can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, depending on ingredients.

Why Kaolin Clay? Why This Method?

Kaolin clay is nourishing enough for use by all skin types. It provides mild exfoliation and cleansing coupled with a smooth consistency for daily use. Kaolin clay is the best clay for our reactive, allergic skin and gentle enough for the sore, acne, inflamed skin.

This method is designed for the most sensitive skin types to customize their cleansing and masking. Sensitive, reactive skin needs blood flow and circulation as much as oily, acne prone skin, they just need it in the gentlest way possible. 

Using this method you can avoid harsh solvents, preservatives, and unnecessary ingredients. 

When using kaolin clay and this method, you can expect to

  • Protect your lipid layer
  • Retain your natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that your skin is programmed to deliver
  • Sooth inflammation and reactions

Kaolin clay is a comfortable, trustworthy clay. It’s not too strong and not too weak. Its effective and gentle at the same time. And when blended with coconut milk powder, creates a silky, fine grain powder, customizable for any reactive skin concern. 

The benefits of all clays are far reaching, yet we love our Kaolin clay the most!

 Sources: [1], [2]

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