Green clay, also known as French green clay, is quarry-mined from naturally occurring deposits of clay located in southern France, but it has also been found in some areas of North America such as Montana, Wyoming and even in China. It was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders. After the clay has been mined, it’s prepared by crushing and spreading it in the sun to remove excess water as it sundries; it’s untreated, with a beautiful light green color and soft texture. Green clay is by far one of the most majestic, most effective and commonly used mineral skin clays found in the world. It belongs to a subcategory of clay minerals known as illite clays, the other two major groups being kaolinite and smectite clays. Unlike other clays where key elements work in symbiosis off of each other, green clay contains several elements which act as their own “body,” meaning that each element is responsible for working the outer epidermis (outermost layer of skin cells) in its own way and in dispensing its biological constituents as best as possible. The luxurious green clay’s coloration comes from the very cycles of life that the earth uses to regenerate itself, which is why it’s sometimes called sea clay. In other words, it owes its natural green tones to two very important factors: iron oxide and decomposed plant matter, mostly kelp seaweed and other algae. The other components of green clay include a mineral known as montmorillonite, as well as dolomite, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, aluminum, silicon, copper, selenium and cobalt.
Skin & Topical Benefits
Green clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It can be used on oily skin and acne-prone skin because it literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances and impurities, removing them from the epidermis. Green clay exfoliates your pores and removes the dead cells revealing a new layer of skin with a refreshed and healthy glow. As the clay dries on the skin, it causes the pores to tighten and the skin to feel firm. This toning action stimulates the blood flow on your skin which helps to clear and heal occasional skin blemishes. It can be used daily on those trouble spots, or weekly just as part of a complete facial treatment. Some practitioners maintain that the plant matter in green clay has anti-inflammatory as well as antiseptic or bactericidal properties, this is supported by a study published in 2008. This wonderful clay can even help to soothe and facilitate the healing of cuts, scrapes, minor burns, insect bites and allergies. As well as treating arthritis, sore muscles, sprains, bruises, and mineral baths for stress relief.Hair Benefits
On hair, green clay has been used topically for its clarifying properties as it effectively eliminates dirt, product build-up, dandruff, and toxins. It helps clean excessive oils without completely stripping the natural oils that help maintain a healthy oil balance on your scalp environment. It also enhances circulation on the scalp attracting blood to the skin’s surface which in turn helps with healthy cell turnover. Combining the clay with hydrating ingredients, such as aloe, can help prevent the clay from drying out your skin, much like how we crafted our Nature’s Medicine Bar Soap. Also, due to our unique soap making process (hand-milling), the green clay we use in Nature’s Medicine is completely unaffected by the saponification process, giving you more of it’s raw benefits!
FTR Tip: Save some money and craft your relaxing day at the spa right at home by mixing some green clay powder with water and your favorite carrier oil and essential oil duo until it becomes a paste. Apply it to your entire body, let dry a bit, then buff off and enjoy some soft exfoliated skin!