Information about sensitive skin
Many skin conditions improve with the use of clay both externally and internally. A simple explaination for this is that as furless mammals we are best evolved to using clay.
External use of Rhassoul Clay for Trouble-Prone Skins
Rhassoul clay, also known as montmorillonite is used in traditional Moroccan body care for helping improve the appearance of skin troubled by eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. Make sure that you start with a clear medical diagnosis because certain skin conditions can be symptom of life-threatening conditions.
- Each product, whether chemical or natural, placed on the skin is detected by the immune system. Many people use a multitude of products on their skin each day, more often than not chemically based which may give rise to chemical reactions. Switch to rhassoul clay for all washing, bathing, and showering, using no chemical products on the body or clothing at all. Soap nuts are a good alternative for washing clothes and bed linen and they will soon be available at Natural Spa Supplies.
- Minimize the time spent in the bath or shower, because the chlorine in the water is thought to be one of the causes of skin troubles, especially dry itchy conditions. Exposure to chlorine, the poison gas of the First World War, or bleach is very high while showering because you are breathing in the vapour and the hot skin is very receptive to chemicals. Laying in a bath on a daily basis may also cause problems. Some of the water in the UK is also fluoridated. Fluoride was given to prison in the Second World War concentration camps to pacify them). I have spoken to many psoriasis suffers who regularly spend 30 minutes or more in the shower. It is a good idea to try strip washing through most of the week, restricting yourself to one shower of bath week. Reduce the temperature of the water, to reduce absorption of the chemicals present in water. By strip washing i.e. just washing the parts of the body which need washing on daily basis, or thorough the course of the week getting around the whole body is the best way to reduce chlorine and fluoride exposure. Please visit the Strip Washing Challenge to get inspiration!
- Even if continuing with showering, to shorten the exposure to chlorine and fluoride as well as the other chemicals present in water, wet the skin with a short burst of water, apply liquid clay over the body and in the hair, massaging to assure thorough cleansing, keeping the clay moist by dipping the hand in a bowl of water. Do not let the clay dry on the skin. Use the shower to quickly rinse the clay from the body and from the hair.
- For more stubborn conditions and for dry and itchy skin conditions as well as acne, massage the area with hydrated Rhassoul for 10-20 minutes. This may be followed with poulticing. Apply partial body wraps/poultices covering the affected part with a clay wrap (perhaps including olive oil, or another carrier oil) for two hours or overnight. Make sure the clay application extends 3cm around the affected skin. Do not let the clay wrap dry out – it may be necessary to cover the clay in a wet cloth such as muslin, or cling film. Adults may prefer to sleep in the poultice and to wash it away in the morning. Once the appearance has improved continue with the applications for a further month, or at least as long as it took to improve the condition in the first place. After the massaging is finished or the poultice has been removed, nourish the area with an application of Argan Oil.
- I have also had good results on my own occasional psoriasis patches, by rubbing a dab of hydrated clay on and around the affected area, then, quickly smearing on a coat of argan oil on top of the clay. The mixture, actually an ointment seems to vanish. Rhassoul clay and argan oil have been used together for thousands of years, and they represent one of the longest tested cosmetic systems. I did this night and morning and sometimes through the day for about 3-4 weeks on a single psoriasis patch and it has just gone. I will continue with the applications for a few more weeks to keep it away.
- Make sure that you use a natural non-allergenic deodorant. Bear in mind that many deodorants sold in health food shops could be made using industrial waste and contain pollutants! Ammonium Alum is one example of a synthetic deodorant for which there is no natural source. If your underarms feel sore or if you develop a rash, this may be the reason. Many people also use to much deodorant. Some people prefer to wash the deodorant off before going to sleep at night. If you cannot establish the traceability of every ingredient, then the ingredient may be suspect. Use volcanically formed alum crystal (natural potassium alum). At Natural Spa Supplies, the alum is totally natural, unprocessed and fully traceable. Even then people should only use deodorants as needed, i.e. when you are working over people and not every day.
- Replace paraffin or petroleum based moisturizers with vegetable oil. The skin can absorb vegetable oil. Moisturizers containing mineral oils may form an unnatural barrier, both on the surface of the skin, and petroleum or paraffin ingredients may migrate just underneath the skin layer, where they remain. The body uses the skin to eliminate 25% of its waste! The wastes include water, salt, fat soluble toxins, and other chemicals which the body can not break down or remove through the other organs of elimination. If the skin has two petroleum layers, how do they waste products get eliminated? I use argan oil on my face, neck, nail and any troublesome skin areas. I use a mix of olive oil and argan oil on my legs and tummy. The rest of my skin does not need moisturizer because I have found that since using rhassoul clay I have a reduced the need to moisturize.
Internal Use of Edible Clay for Detoxifying the Body
Green clay from France, a sun-dried illite is the clay of choice for internal consumption. Systemic skin conditions, as well as a multitude of other complaints respond particularly well to the detoxifying, nourishing (minerals and trace elements), and other beneficial features of clay. While the links between good nutrition and health are widely known, elimination also plays a vital role in in maintaining good health.
A green clay detox is easy to do just make up your clay drink with a teaspoon of clay and water at night, then drink the clear water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Clay can be taken additionally last thing in the evenings. For more specific advice visit Natural Spa Supplies’ Forum, and if your question is not already answered then post a new topic.
Attention must also be paid to the complete lifestyle. I have just had to give up red wine, cider and several other foods as I found that the sulphites were provoking a furious itch on my tummy! After stopping ingesting sulphites, the itch stopped in a few days. Perhaps it was this sensitivity which made the psoriasis patch appear on my back?
If you intend to use Rhassoul for non-cosmetic purposes (i.e. for medical treatments) it is important that you first consult your doctor obtain a diagnosis. If you intend to use clay, discuss it with your doctor. Some doctors have been amenable to their patients replacing steiroid and hydrocortizone creams with clay applications, but do ask first.
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More Info? If you are interested in how clays are used both internally and externally, the following sources are fascinating and will help to open up the huge and rapidly expanding world of clay use.
Bosshardt, N, 2003, We Eat Clay (and Wear it, Too), http://suretysupply.com/We%20Eat%20Clay.pdf
Dextreit, R. & Abehsera, M., 1993, Our Earth Our Cure: The Macrobiotic Approach to Life-Long Health, A Handbook of Natural Medicine for Today, Citadel, New York.
Musafir, A. & Chazot, P., 2006, Clay Cures: Natures Miracle for the New Age, Mapin Publishing/Grantha Corporation.
Eytons Earth – This is an American website dedicated to clay research. It is very informative http://www.eytonsearth.org/