Being a formulation scientist I appreciate elegant formulations that have been carefully crafted to produce an elegant solution balancing all the competing requirements of elegance, efficacy and economy. But sometimes you just don’t need all that. This product is just a big jar of clay. A pound of the stuff in fact. But does it make up for its lack of sophistication in product development by snazzy marketing? Er, not really. It is called Indian Healing Clay evoking the sounds, smells and mystery of the sub-continent. But the pack is illustrated with what looks like an Aztec or Mayan pyramid. It’s not really considered polite to continue the old mistake of mixing up the indigenous populations of South America with those of somewhere else altogether. So it doesn’t look like this has been carefully thought out by a team of highly paid marketing professionals. I quite like the look, but as Mrs BeautyScientist always makes clear, I have no taste so this is a bad thing.
But appearances aren’t everything, even in the world of cosmetic products. Does this stuff do any good?
I think it probably does if you have greasy skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin you should stop reading now because this product will do nothing at all for you. But if you have the kind of skin that produces rather more sebum than you would like it to I think this might be worth having a look at. I have done a blog post before about how clays work to remove grease from the surface of the skin. They basically produce a network of microscopic plates that have a huge surface area. This has been found by many people over the years to be a very good way of getting the grease off their skin.
Exactly how to use it will vary from person to person and will require a bit of trial and error. But here are a few tips from having handled clays a lot.
The structure you want takes a while to develop, so I would suggest you mix the clay and the water several hours before you use it. Don’t bother about using any special kind of water, or using exotic materials like apple cider vinegar. The clay is going to absorb anything like that you put in anyway. Tap water is just fine. How long you leave it on will be an individual thing, but there is little point in leaving it on once it has started to dry. How often you use it is again very individual, but clay offers no benefits apart from grease removal. If your face isn’t greasy to begin with you are wasting your time. Once a week is likely to be about right.
Another thing is that you need only a very thin layer – though it won’t do any harm if you put more on. This means that this pack size is going to last ages. This makes this a pretty cheap skincare option. If you want to spend more, and you are no doubt worth it, I think combining this clay with a high end oil based cleanser would probably work well. That should keep your skin clean and your greasiness under control between clay sessions.
I think that there is a lot of mileage in clays in personal care and beauty. I am quite impressed that Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay has managed to deliver something that has clearly not overthought the proposition. There are any numbers of other things that can be done with clay, but it takes a certain genius to just put it in a jar and sell it.