If your skin is hankering for a bit of pore cleansing, brightening, lavender-scented goodness, this is the mask for you. It stars Fuller’s Earth clay (also known as Multani Mitti), a clay with a long history of cleansing, brightening, and helping fade acne scars. I’ve paired it with lavender for some skin soothing goodness, and some glycerin and meadowfoam seed oil to keep things from getting too tight and dry. It mixes up into a lovely, creamy paste that’ll leave your complexion brighter and happier—let’s dive in!
Fuller’s Earth, or Multani Mitti (and sometimes “Umbrian Clay” from certain posh brands), is a clay with some interesting history. The name “Fuller’s Earth” comes from its use in “fulling”—it was kneaded by fullers with water into wool to remove lanolin and other greasy bits as part of the finishing process of wool. Multani Mitti means “Mud from Multan”, and this name comes from ancient Pakistan, where the clay was used in cosmetics. Today the clay has many uses, popping up in everything from cat litter to chemical decontamination to the film industry (apparently the twister in The Wizard of Oz was made of Fuller’s Earth!). Neat, eh?
The clay is a not terribly appealing brownish-yellow colour—mustardy, but not quite as nice as mustard. It’s a fine, light, smooth clay, and the vast majority of it comes from the United States. It’s rich in minerals, and as you can probably guess from its history absorbing greasy lanolin form wool, it’s a wonderful oil absorbing clay. It also has a long history of being used to brighten and lighten the skin, and fade scares and irregular pigmentation.
The liquidy bit of this mask is a mix of a few things. Water, of course, and some lavender hydrosol. If you don’t have lavender hydrosol, replace the amount with more water and add 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil. If you don’t like lavender, or you’re feeling like something else, you’re more than welcome to use a different essential oil! I also included some vegetable glycerin and meadowfoam seed oil so the mask doesn’t get super dry and crumbly ASAP.
You’ll also notice a sort of odd addition—I’ve been seeing Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Amphosol CG) included in some commercial face masks, so I thought I’d try a wee bit of it here. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a gentle liquid surfactant, and it helps with wash-off—it’s completely optional, but I definitely noticed this mask came off way easier than masks without it, so if poor wash-off bothers you, it’s worth adding!
As with all masks this one is a simple whisk-smear-wait-rinse and is an oh-so-lovely way to treat yourself on a summer evening. Enjoy!
Fuller’s Earth Calming Lavender Face Mask
4–5g | 0.14–0.18oz Fuller’s Earth/Multani Mitti clay
Weigh the hydrosol, water, glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and oil into a small bowl. Gently whisk all of that together until smooth.
Start adding the clay, 1–2g at a time, whisking between additions, until you’ve got a thick, smooth paste.
Because this mask is absolutely loaded with delicious bug food it must be made in single use batches and used immediately. No amount of preservatives will make it safe to store!
- If you don’t have lavender hydrosol, replace the amount with more water and add 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil
- You can use honey instead of vegetable glycerin
- If you don’t have the Cocamidopropyl Betaine just replace it with more water
- Feel free to use another lightweight oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed instead of the meadowfoam seed oil
- You can use another smooth, light clay like French Green or Kaolin, but that will obviously change the mask a whole lot as the clay is the star ingredient!