I’m a huge fan and advocate of clay face masks—I love the pampering factor, how they gently exfoliate, and how they help clear out my pores, leaving my face refreshed and invigorated. For all the praise I heap on them, though, it’s been a hard thing to get my not-DIY-inclined friends to adopt, and I get it. It’s not cheap to buy store-bought clay masks, and when you look at buying the supplies for yourself you’re often looking at minimum quantities of clays and other ingredients that aren’t all that “mini” if you’re not using them for anything other than face masks. All of this adds up to make face mask mixes awesome gifts. Thoughtful, inexpensive when you’re already interested in the ingredients, and valuable to those who don’t want to find space in their home for a kilo or two of light, fluffy powders. Booyah. Enter this Snowflake Face Mask Mix—your friends will thank you!
In the interests of pleasing many friends and family members I’ve kept this mask fairly simple and gentle, designed for gentle cleansing, a touch of exfoliation, and some all-around post-Christmas pampering. The base is mostly white kaolin clay, and I definitely recommend sticking with the white stuff—no need to introduce your giftees to face masks only the force them to clean their bathroom directly afterwards!
A touch of calcium carbonate helps with oil absorption, and some Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) helps boost the rinse-off of the mask, which I am really appreciating lately as it seems I find streaks of un-rinsed clay lurking somewhere along my jaw more often than not after doing a mask. A touch of Epsom salts helps soften the skin, and some white willow bark brings along a touch of acne-fighting thanks to its salicin content.
Scatter in a couple drops of argan oil to help keep the mask from being too drying, and some pine essential oil for a bright, fresh, wintery scent and you’re done! You’ll need to blend this mask together in your DIY-only coffee grinder to get the salt and dried willow bark to thoroughly incorporate, which makes this really simple to make—basically just dump and blend! Easy peasy. Simply spoon it into some cute jars afterwards and consider topping them with some festive bows or ribbon and some printed instructions to polish it off. Voila! Your friends will thank you for their happy skin 🙂
Snowflake Face Mask Mix
Put on your dust mask.
Weigh out the kaolin clay into a small bowl.
Weigh the calcium carbonate, SCI, Epsom salts, and white willow bark into your DIY-only coffee grinder, top with as much clay as you can fit into your grinder, and then scatter the liquid oils overtop of the powders. Gently shake the coffee grinder back and forth to shift some powder on top of the oils (this prevents them from leaping up and sticking to the lid of the coffee grinder, where they never get incorporated).
Pop the lid on your grinder and thoroughly blend the mixture for thirty seconds or so until you can’t hear any distinct bits rattling about. Leave the lid on the grinder for at least three minutes to allow the dust to settle before uncapping the grinder and stirring with a small spoon to ensure the blend is even. If it’s not, turn the mixture over with the spoon and blend again for another thirty seconds. Let the dust settle again and re-check.
Once the mixture is even and uniform, spoon it out into some wee jars for gifting; I used these cute little jars.
To use, measure 5mL/1 tsp of warm water in a small dish. Using a small whisk, blend in enough of the clay mixture to get a creamy paste. After mixing the clay with water, use the mask immediately.
This mask mix should last at least a year if kept cool and dry. Once hydrated, it might last a day in the fridge, but I wouldn’t count on it. This mix should occupy ~180mL of space, though that can depend on how fluffy your clays get with blending, and with how much you tamp the mixture down. I filled four 45mL jars and had enough left over for one mask.
- You can use another light, soft clay (French Green, French yellow, etc.) instead of the white kaolin, but I did choose white for ease of cleanup and to fit the snowflake theme. DO NOT use bentonite or rhassoul.
- The SCI is optional; it helps with rinse-off. Replace it with more clay if you decide to eliminate it.
- You can use table salt or Himalyan sea salt instead of Epsom salts
- You can use a different dried herb instead of white willow bark—chamomile, lavender, and calendula would all be good choices
- You can use a different liquid oil that you face loves instead of argan
- You can use a different coniferous tree essential oil instead of pine; think fir or spruce