Pink Clay Masks are still holding down the fort in mask trends. I've tried a few different masks, but I've been using pink clay as a dual action cleanser and colourant in my whipped soaps.
|Image description: 4 Panel|
1: two jars of open product
2: top of jar packaging
3: jar opened with lid leaning against the side
4: Headshot of me wearing the product on my face
I've been working on soap making for my Star Trek fan club fundraising, and playing around with other cosmetics to give as gifts to family and friends (as LaLa's D.I.Why?, which started as my brand of poo spray I made as gag gifts for my friends' birthdays), but I kind of surprised myself when I managed to formulate my own clay mask with some ingredients I found at a local supermarket. I'm feeling generous, so I'm going to share the story AND recipe with my audience!
I'm new to this area of DIY, but definitely not new to cosmetics and skincare formulas. I understand how cosmetics are made, but I've never had a proper go at it. My foray into actually making my own cosmetics was always going to start somewhere, but what tipped it off was that I got really annoyed when I ran out of my favourite whipped soap and the seller wasn't making anymore in that fragrance. I decided to research and make my own. Then it became wax melts, then room/linen sprays, poo sprays (my favourite), and perfumes. Now it's soap. I was so inspired to have a go, that I started my own line to help raise funds for my Star Trek fan club (aptly named 'Clean Me Up, Scotty!', and will only be sold at our events).
|Image description: poorly shot product photo of two spray bottles with handwritten labels reading 'LaLa's D.I.Why? Shit Spray. Make's Mark's, Rufus's, #2 smell like B52, Monkey Farts, respectively.|
So why did I decide to make a mask?
My Aunty celebrated her 70th birthday in June 2019, so my Dad and I were discussing gifts. I really wanted to buy her a gift set, but he suggested I make her something. I decided to go all out and make a pamper pack with my own DIY products. I made her all Rose fragranced products including a salt soak, solid bath oils, whipped soap scrub, hand & body cream, facial oil, a perfume spritz sampler, and the clay face mask, of course.
|Image description: gift box with four glass jars of bath and body products, a dropper bottle with facial oil, the tub of mask, and a small craft brown box with perfume spritzes inside, wrapped with a string.|
This formula could probably be considered as my own because of how much I changed it from the original recipes and techniques I sourced, but I pretty much made it to be the lovechild of Soap Queen's DIY Rose Clay Mask and Lush's Angels On Bare Skin Cleanser. I chose to make an emulsified mask, which means it had oil and water phases combined with an emulsifying wax to basically create a cream base then added clays and other dry ingredients.
|Image description: up close presentation photo of the clay mask in the jar with a LaLa's D.I.Why? label on the lid.|
I had no idea what I was doing. I was running around, asking other makers if they could offer any tips, watching countless videos and techniques, I even asked some cosmetic formulators for advice, but they couldn't really give me an answer. I just played around with my recipe on paper until I thought I had the right percentages. I didn't have materials to practice making variations of the product like a proper formulator because I don't have the analytical equipment to test my recipes properly. I had made a body cream (again, my own tweaks of about 5 different recipes) and was pleasantly surprised at how it came out. I had heaps left over and gave a bunch of samples to friends at the dog park, and got my feedback on it. I based my mask on that formula, albeit with some changes.
I bought a lot of my ingredients, particularly the food elements, from my local supermarket. I found raw cacao butter as a special buy at Aldi and bought a bunch of it. I do kind of regret that decision as it has an overpowering chocolate aroma that masks any fragrance added, but fortunately, it went well with rose. I decided to omit it from my mask recipe for that reason and may purchase refined/deodorized cocoa butter in the future. Other ingredients I had were either ones I had purchased previously (fixed oils, preservative, and I had some gourmet rose water that TVSN kindly gifted to me in a PR package), or ones that I ordered especially for it.
Over time, I found several different suppliers from which I order and they all have their own merits for ordering from them. Three of my suppliers are in Sydney, which is convenient if I need to pick up something, and one is in Western Australia. Recently, another supplier based in Queensland had to cease operations due to import restrictions on fragrances, which is a huge shame, because they were getting really good fragrances from US based supplier Nature's Garden Candles.
Over the past 6 or so months, I have been accumulating equipment and learning about what I should and shouldn't use (like any plastic container that's not polypropylene will melt when it comes into contact with fragrance and essential oils). Things like hygiene and ease of cleaning come to mind, but so does the ability for a container or spoon to withstand the chemical processes taking place (especially if it needs heating or is holding very acidic/basic stuff). Glass, silicone, stainless steel, polypropylene (PP, or recycle code 5) are ideal materials that are easily sanitized with alcohol too. My local Priceline Pharmacy supply my cleaning alcohol (90% ethyl alcohol) and distilled water.
My electric equipment consists of a hand held electric mixer and a stick blender. I tried to buy a mini egg beater with a stainless steel serrated blade, but the seller on eBay falsely advertised this item and sent me a milk frother, which makes so many bubbles and is totally not what I need!
So I have a load of chopping tools, chopping boards, two different weighing scales (1g and 0.01g increments), beakers, measuring jugs (both glass and lab grade plastic), bowls, trays, silicone moulds (so many moulds), and storage boxes upon storage boxes.
Please note: this recipe is intended to be used for educational, personal and gifting purposes. Should you be interested in selling a product using this recipe, please consider buying me a coffee or two via Ko-Fi. Support other makers!
|Image description: overhead photo of two jars of clay mask, both sprinkled with almond meal and rose petals.|
This recipe will be presented in percentage form so you can make your batch any size, I personally made 300g worth that fit 60g of product into 100g plastic jars. If you're new to making your own cosmetics, this may be a bit tricky for you to decipher, so there is some level of existing skill required to actually execute it, particularly when working with specific phases and temperatures. If you're unsure, definitely check out Soap Queen's tutorials on YouTube, because they are so great for learning the basic techniques and important hygiene practices.
It's best to weigh out all your ingredients before you start.
11.25% Avocado Oil
3% Coconut Oil
3% Shea Butter
3% Emulsifying Wax
44% Distilled Water
5% Rose Water
3.75% Vegetable Glycerine
12% Australian Pink Clay (or any kaolin/bentonite type clay)
12% Almond Meal
1% Acai Powder
1.7% Vitamin E (natural or synthetic, I use synthetic in the form of dl-alpha Tocoperhyl Acetate)
0.5% Fragrance (OPTIONAL)
100g volume jar of your choice - will hold 60g of product
+ Mix the clay and acai powder together. In a separate bowl, break up clumps in the almond meal.
+ In a batch appropriate container, place the proper amounts of avocado and coconut oils, plus emulsifying wax, and heat in the microwave or over a hot water bath until all melted. Add the shea butter once heated. When it comes time to mix, you will need to get your oil phase back to about 65-70C. In separate container, place the proper amounts of the water phase ingredients together and heat to 65-70C.
+ Plug in a stick blender (stainless steel and detachable shaft is the best option for this ) and add the water phase to the oils. Blend until the mix is opaque and not separating (about 1 minute). Add the clay and acai mix and blend until smooth.
+ Critical moment here. Your mix should be the texture of coconut milk. Leave your mix alone until it cools to below 45C, then add the Vitamin E and Phenoxyethanol. These ingredients are temperature sensitive. Blend again.
(Vitamin E is an antioxidant and skin loves the stuff. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative, so unless you can use your mask within a week, this stuff will prevent any micro organisms from growing and prolong the shelf life of your mask. You can use any preservative suitable for emulsions.)
+ I wasn't going to add any fragrance, but it smelled a bit bland, so I carefully chose a lip safe fragrance/flavour oil (Brambleberry, Passionfruit Rose Edible Fragrance Oil). I added a fragrance load of 0.5% to the mix which was just enough to offer a pleasant aroma. You can use any food grade/skin safe fragrance for this if you prefer, but please refer to the manufacturer's usage rates and adjust accordingly. If you wish to keep your product unscented, omit this step and replace rose water portion with the distilled water.
+ Add the almond meal and stir in with a spatula until combined.
+ Pour 60g into your container and set aside. Mix additional almond meal and acai powder, and sprinkle over the top of the mask. Add some rose petals and allow to cool completely before putting on the lid.
|Image description: jar of clay mask with a label on top that reads 'LaLa's D.I.Why? Little Handmade Luxuries, Pink Clay & Almond Face Mask & Scrub'|
(Your containers should be washed and sanitized prior to making the mask.)
How to use
Leave the product to sit for at least 24 hours before using, that way, it will thicken (dramatically) and take on a full fat yoghurt consistency.
Using a mask brush, apply onto cleansed skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. If you wish to exfoliate, wet hands and massage the mask into your skin, then remove with warm water and/or a face cloth. Apply skincare as normal.
|Image description: me wearing the mask. It is reddish brown in colour.|
The almond meal will offer a little bit of scrub to exfoliate, the oils and butters will moisturise, rose water will tone, acai is packed with Vitamin C, and the pink clay is soothing on dry skin. It also will kick any pimples' butts. I don't know if these claims are valid, but it seems that every brand likes to claim this kind of thing based on individual ingredients. It just makes your skin look a bit nicer and feels good on the skin, okay?!
Where to buy ingredients (in AUSTRALIA)
Acai Powder - Aldi brand is the cheapest, but any health food shop
Avocado Oil - Coles brand
Almond Meal - Aldi brand
Brambleberry Fragrance Oil - Aussie Soap Supplies
Coconut Oil - Aldi organic brand
Distilled Water - Any cosmetic supplier or pharmacy (my local Priceline Pharmacy stocks it), just don't use anything sold as "demineralised water" as it may not be skin safe.
Emulsifying Wax - Heirloom Body Care, but you can find this and other variations at any raw material supplier.
Phenoxyethanol - New Directions, but you can find this and other preservatives at any raw material supplier.
Rose Petals - any cosmetic supplier or region specific grocer (I found mine at an Asian supermarket being sold as rose tea, along with other flower buds, but I have seen them at continental delis and Mediterranean stores).
Rose Water - same as for rose petals, but generally found in Mediterranean stores (mine was a gift from TVSN). I intend to make my own in the future, there are recipes everywhere.
Shea Butter - Heirloom Body Care, but you can find this and other plant butters at any raw material supplier.
Vegetable Glycerine - Heirloom Body Care, but you can find this at any raw material supplier. Be wary of pharmacy types as they may not be vegetable derived and thus not vegan, or Kosher/Halal.
Vitamin E - pure Vitamin E oil can be found at pharmacies, but can be pricey. I purchased the synthetic kind (dl-alpha Tocopherol Acetate) from Heirloom Body Care (below).
Aussie Soap Supplies
(Brambleberry stockists, raw materials, bases, packaging)
(Fragrances, candles, bases)
Heirloom Body Care
(Fragrances, raw materials, bases, packaging)
New Directions Australia
(Raw materials, packaging)
I am going to be blunt and honest. Making your own cosmetics this way isn't cost effective and a lot of trial and error is involved. Many suppliers offer small kits to make your own products, which definitely save you some dollars, especially if you need to make several products to gift, but buying individual ingredients to make a single tub for your own use is probably not worth the effort.
Have you ever made your own cosmetics? Let me know in the comments!
This post is presented as a knowledge piece. Acquisition of products and/or services stated alongside each item, my thoughts are honest.
For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy.