This rich, gentle creamy clay cleansing balm is a hybrid between a cleansing balm and a clay bar. It pairs the cleansing powers of emulsifying wax and clay with nourishing oils to leave your skin gently cleansed and lightly hydrated. It also smells a bit like a creamsicle, thanks to a blend of sweet orange and vanilla-y peru balsam essential oils. I think you’ll like it!
The base of this cleansing balm is a fairly soft blend of emulsifying wax, hydrating virgin coconut oil, cleansing castor oil, lightweight grapeseed oil, and glassy candelilla wax. I kept it soft so we can add lots of clay without ending up with a clumpy, crumbly final product—instead it’s nice and creamy.
I chose white kaolin clay, but if you don’t have it you can use any other light, smooth clay you have on hand; French green, French yellow, or zeolite would all be good choices. The heavy clays (bentonite and rhassoul) aren’t good alternatives due to their completely different textures (especially bentonite, which absorbs moisture in a completely different way than the lighter clays).
For essential oils I went with a blend of sweet, juicy orange, surprisingly vanilla-like peru balsam (benzoin would work as well) and spicy cape snowbush. The cape snowbush is optional (I know it’s pretty weird), but it does a nice job of taming the sweetness of the citrus/vanilla blend. If you love sweet scents you likely won’t miss it! You could also try a drop or two of clove instead of cape snowbush for a spiced cake scent. Yum!
The final balm is thick, creamy, and utterly packed with clay. It’s best massaged into damp skin with wet hands and wiped off with a washcloth. I find it leaves my skin beautifully clean without feeling dry—give it a go!
Creamy Clay Cleansing Balm
6 tbsp white kaolin clay
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops peru balsam essential oil or 2 blobs benzoin
2 drops cape snowbush essential oil (optional)
Weigh the emulsifying wax, coconut oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, and candelilla wax into a heat resistant glass measuring cup. Place that measuring cup into a small saucepan that contains approximately 5cm/2″ of water and bring that water to a gentle simmer. Allow everything to melt through in the water bath, stirring to combine, and taking care to ensure the water bath does not summer dry.
Once everything has melted stir in the clay a tablespoon at a time, taking care to break up any clumps so your final balm is smooth.
When all the clay has been added, remove the measuring cup from the water bath and dry it off (to avoid incorporating any water by accident, which will cause the balm to spoil much faster). Stir in the essential oils, and pour the balm into a 60mL/2oz tin to set up.
To use, take a finger scoop of the balm that’s roughly half a teaspoon in size and blend it with some warm water between your palms. Massage into damp skin and wipe off with a wet washcloth (you will need a washcloth or some sort of a towel to get a fully clean washed-off feeling). Follow up with some argan oil and enjoy your soft, clean face!
Looking for something a bit different? I’m utterly smitten with my cold snap cleansing balm!