Moroccan miracle – Rhassoul clay (Moroccan red clay)
Rhassoul clay is a lovely dusty brown/pink clay which is found and mined from deep underneath the Atlas Mountains in eastern Morocco. Because it is mined from the earth and then dried in the sun, it can come in chunks but usually it is sold as a smooth powder which has been micronized. It has been used for at least 1400 years by Moroccan, Egyptian and Roman women as well. In Morocco, it is used as part of the routine in the hamams. The clay’s name comes from the Arabic word to wash. It has a number of uses including; soap, shampoo, face and skin care.
Like many good clays, it is very high in mineral content and thus a good detoxing treatment. It contains over 50% silica, 25% magnesium as well as calcium. Silica is the element that helps the skin retain its elasticity. Magnesium helps to repair damaged skin and this helps the outer layers when applied to the skin.
Moroccan red clay has the ability to absorb excess sebum (oil) from the skin and hair as well as other impurities, which makes it great to use as a cleanser. Studies show that its use can reduce dryness, skin flakiness, and large pores and that it improves skin elasticity and texture and removes dead skin cells which results in a smoother skin. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities, which helps it to improve the appearance of skin troubled by psoriasis, rosacea, acne and eczema and can also reduce blackheads and white heads. Because it is very mild and gentle clay, it moisturises the skin rather than drying it like some other stronger clays. It has a high level of ion exchange which means that it nourishes the skin as well as removing toxins. It also swells with water. When used as a part of hair care it adds shine and gloss.
How to use: rhassoul clay could be either applied once a week as a mask or could be used daily as a cleanser. After use, your skin will feel incredibly soft.
Take 1 tsp rhassoul clay, 1-2 tsp water, 1 drop of lavender essential oil and mix together to make a paste and gently massage in circular upward motions over wet skin. If it is being used as a cleanser, then it can be washed off immediately. If being used as a mask, then it can be left on for 10-15 minutes. Before the clay starts to dry too much, wash it off with warm water and a face cloth. This can also be used as a hand treatment.
For a weekly nourishing mask, take 1 tbs rhassoul clay, 1 tsp yoghurt, 1 drop lavender essential oil and for dry skin add 1 tsp of argan oil or avocado oil. Mix these into a paste and apply to a freshly cleansed face. Leave on for around 15 minutes and then wash off with warm water.