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Deep Skin Cleansing – Tips and Advice
Cleansing can be taken one step further with treatments that harness the skin-purifying powers of various types of clay and mud.
The clarifying properties of clay have been recognised for centuries. Each type of clay has a slightly different effect on the skin depending on its composition of minerals and plant-derived nutrients. Yet all share the same remarkable powers of absorption.
Every clay particle carries a slight negative charge and, like a magnet, attracts the positively charged impurities found both on the surface of the skin and within the body. Applied to the skin, clay literally vacuums stale oil and cellular debris from the pores. This oil and debris is responsible for blackheads and creates conditions conducive to spots. These earthy powders form the basis of many professional face and body masks.
The clays most frequently used in deep-cleansing masks are kaolin, green clay and fuller's earth. Green clay has healing and slightly antiseptic qualities which makes it useful for treating congested and problem skins. It has a rebalancing action so helping to normalise an oily skin while softening and revitalising a dry one.
Fuller's earth is so effective at absorbing toxins and impurities that it is used to treat the victims of radiation exposure.
Ingredients such as honey, oils and essential oils can be added to these clays to make masks that are tailored to your skin's particular needs.
Mud packs are a popular deep-cleansing treatment. Many of the oldest spas around the world were established at places renowned for their unique therapeutic muds. These include the 'fango' found at certain natural springs in Italy, the mineral-rich mud collected from the Dead Sea, and moor, a peat rich in healing herbs and plants from Austria.
Mud masks also generate an inner warmth that promotes perspiration. As toxins are drawn out through the skin, they become absorbed by the drying mud.
These muds are sometimes blended with oils and plant essences to make a warm paste which is then smeared over the skin. The body is usually wrapped in foil or a sort of clingfilm to seal in the heat and promote sweating. These kind of treatments may be done at home. They are messy, however, and you may need a little assistance and a shower close at hand.
A Clean Sweep
- Wiping away your cleansing milk or cream with a finely textured muslin cloth may provide all the buffing a dry or sensitive skin needs.
- For the gentlest exfoliation of all try smearing a teaspoon of clear honey over your face, then patting lightly and rapidly with the fingertips all over your face for about 5 minutes. The old cells stick to the honey and patting lifts them away while helping to plump up the cells underneath. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry, then spray with the refresher of your choice.
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