This Twilight Foaming Clay Scrub looks a bit dark, and it gets darker when it gets wet… so dark that you might be wondering how it could actually make your face cleaner. So dark that you’re probably thinking you should hide your white towels (you aren’t wrong there). But trust me… there’s magic in that charcoaly darkness. Cleansing, detoxifying, lightly exfoliating magic.
Following the popularity of my Gentle Foaming Clay Scrub, I wanted to branch out and continue to play with some powdered surfactants and see what happened. I order a few more from Windy Point—some more SCI (Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate) and some SLSa (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate)—so I could have myself a sudsy party. They both get 1/10 ratings from Skin Deep, meaning they’re considered safe, which is awesome. If you don’t want to use ’em, ground soap will do, but definitely won’t have the same effect.
Safety wise, you’re going to need a dust mask for this project. Inhaling powders is bad for you, and when we whip them up in a coffee grinder they become especially easy to inhale. Wear your dust mask. And don’t get a crappy disposable one that’s basically just a cardboard version of a jock strap. Invest in something proper. These are your lungs! You need ’em!
I decided to roll with a blend of white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada) and rhassoul clay for the base of the scrub. Kaolin is very silky, and I wanted a bit of exfoliation, so that’s where the rhassoul comes in. I used fine rhassoul, though I imagine the coffee grinder would take a coarse rhassoul down to a fine one if that’s all you have.
SCI and SLSa are both gentle surfactants. SCI is the milder of the two, while SLSa offers better bubbly goodness. So, a blend of the two that leans towards the SCI side of things should be very mild with awesome lather.
Up next; some detoxifying activated charcoal (it’s amazing for troublesome skin!) and some healing (and mildly exfoliating) calendula petals. The activated charcoal is what gives this scrub its characteristic colour, and yes, it can stain white things. I don’t recommend combining this scrub with white wash cloths.
Last but not least, some oils to help weigh this powder down and make it smell amazing. I used a few drops of sea buckthorn seed oil that I got from Swanson Vitamins (its surprisingly difficult to find in Canada!). The seed oil is significantly less orange than the fruit oil, which is nice for applications where you don’t want to add that extra oompa-loompa flair to your complexion 😉 Sea buckthorn seed oil is pressed from the seeds of Hippophae rhamnoides, which is a thorny shrub that originated in Nepal but has since spread all over Europe and Asia (and to Canada—it grows on the prairies here!). Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, plus linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid, it’s pretty good stuff for the skin. I’ll use it as post-scrub hydration as well so I can really reap the benefits 🙂
For essential oils I went with a warm blend of citrussy bergamot, warm ginger, and sweet rose geranium. This blend smells mostly of warm citrus, with an undertone of floral sweetness that brightens the blend without being cloying.
In the end you’ll have a lovely, lightweight scrub that foams up nicely, cleans beautifully, and delivers a wee dose of exfoliation to boot. I like this Twilight Foaming Clay Scrub, and I think you will, too!
Twilight Foaming Clay Scrub
2 tablespoons white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
1 tablespoon rhassoul/ghassoul clay
1 teaspoon activated charcoal
1/2 teaspoon calendula petals
1/2 teaspoon Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) (USA / Canada) or 2 teaspoons finely ground soap (see note below for a how-to)
1/4 teaspoon Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate or 2 teaspoons finely ground soap (see note below for a how-to)
If you have either SCI or SLSa, but not both, feel free to just use 3/4 teaspoon of whichever one you do have. A liquid surfactant will not work here.
Start by putting on your dust mask since we’ll be working with fine powders and whirring them around in our DIY coffee grinder—you don’t want to inhale fine powders, it’s bad for your lungs.
Start by combining the clays, charcoal, calendula petals, and surfactants (or soap) in your coffee grinder and blending them together for thirty seconds. Leave the lid on the grinder for at least three minutes to let the dust settle when you’re done grinding, rapping the top and sides of the lid sharply with the back of a spoon to knock the powder down (it has a tendency to climb up the sides of the lid and then fall out when you take the lid off).
Give the powder a bit of a stir with a small spoon to make sure everything has incorporated well and then scatter the drops of jojoba and essential oils over the powder, giving it a gentle stir to cover the drops with some dry powder (this helps them blend in rather than flying up to the top of the lid and sticking there). Blend everything together for another thirty seconds, doing the three minute wait + spoon bashing bit again.
That’s it! Spoon it into a wee jar and you’re done. The one I used is a cute vintage find from a local antique shop (which means no, I cannot tell you where to buy one haha).
To use, spoon a generous half a teaspoon of the scrub into your palm, combine it with a bit of warm water, and work it up between your hands before massaging it into your face and rinsing off. Take care when you’re wetting it to not accidentally “pouf” a bunch of it out of your hands—that’ll make a mess!
I recommend using a spoon to scoop out the scrub so it stays dry, which will prolong the shelf life. Assuming you keep the scrub dry the only kind of spoilage we’re concerned about is the sea buckthorn seed oil going rancid, and that should take at least a year. With such a small batch you should use it all up well before then 🙂
To make your own powdered soap simply place some scraps of dried up soap in your coffee grinder with a small spoonful of clay (this helps lubricate things/dry them out so the soap doesn’t fuse together into a blob) and process until you no longer hear any big bits of soap bashing about—this will probably take a minute or two.
Makes about 4 tablespoons of scrub.