≡ Menu

Homemade Clay Aromatherapy Facials

Winter is hard on the skin. The dry air of the heat can turn normal skin to alligator skin. And even when elements are not tough on skin, to have perfect skin is rare. I certainly don’t have perfect skin, nor do I always find the time to take great care of my skin. But skin care is an important part of health. Skin is said to be our body’s largest organ, totaling about 15% of our body weight. We eliminate toxins through our skin, it is a protective cover for our internal selves, and it regulates body temperature.

There are many ways people tend this massive organ. Most of us focus on the face. We wash it, peel it, tone it and moisturize it. We need products to do all these things. Our products come in fancy packages, make promises that aren’t always realized and cost lots of money. And than there is the issue of how many different products it takes to find the right ones for us. Why do we do all of this? Because we want our skin to look healthy, and lets face it, we want it to look near perfect.

What if you could make skin care products in your own kitchen? It is possible. And a good place to begin is the aromatherapy clay facial. After much research and the help of many willing test subjects, I have come up with clay facial recipes for the five major skin types: sensitive, dry, oily, mature/aging, and normal. Not only do these recipes have qualities to save and cleanse your skin naturally, they can save you lots of money, and generate far less waste of resources.


Clay, carrier oils, essential oils, water, whole milk yogurt

(Or, if vegan, vegan mayo. Note that some say this wasn’t as effective.)


Though a small amount of essential oil is used in this formula, essential oils are a main ingredient. People don’t always realize that one drop can represent an ounce to many pounds of plant material. Therefore, it is important to follow the rules of using essential oils in full facial recipes.

1. You will use 2-4 drops per facial as allotted in the recipe. It is important to stick to this dilution. You don’t want to irritate the skin and cause a reaction. Itchy and burning are not how the facial should feel. If this does occur, apply straight olive oil to the area. That should calm things down a bit.

2. There are some oils that would never be used in a facial. They are as follows: clove, oregano, savory, cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, basil, and red thyme.

3. It is important not to get too close to the eyes.

4. Stick to the essential oils recommended for your skin type. If you have dry skin and you use an oil that is drying from the oily skin recipe, for example, you may be in for some serious irritation.

5. Lastly, always test a new product on a small part of the face to make sure there is no reaction.

The citrus oils bergamont, grapefruit and lemon are excellent astringents. Avoid these oils if you are allergic to citrus, have mature, dry, or sensitive skin.

Oils that are quite effective at drying up excess oil are cypress and juniper. This goes for oily skin, but also for eczema or psoriasis that tend to be wet and weepy. It is a good idea when working for balance in skin care that we don’t throw our skin to the other extreme. That can cause breakouts and irritation. I always recommend when drying the skin or toning the skin that an oil be used for balance as well. An effective oil for this is lavender.

For the people with irritation, rashes, dry red and inflamed skin, geranium, rose, Roman & German chamomile, sandalwood, carrot, lavender, spikenard, or yarrow can help. Many of these oils are soothing and anti-inflammatory. In some cases, minor irritation and inflammation can disappear overnight with rose or German chamomile. Use as a carrier oil infused oil of calendula, or St. Johns Wort. In one ounce of carrier oil add about 7 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Apply this directly to the area. Know that there can be many complications when it comes to irritation. I have seen folks with eczema also develop a fungal infection in the area due to long-term irritation and imbalance. If this occurs, the treatment is a bit more complicated. But you may find some symptom relief.


What is a carrier oil? A carrier oil is used to dilute the essential oil making it less caustic to the skin, helping it absorb into the skin and to assist with an even distribution of the essential oil over the area. Carrier oils might be sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, or grape seed oil. These oils lend themselves well for two reasons. They are not heavy or thick. And they don’t carry much of their own scent, like olive oil. Therefore they do not interfere with the scent of the essential oil formula.

Those with oily skin have reason to be concerned with putting carrier oil on their faces, or anywhere else on their body for that matter. I once had a client who was a male model. He loved a massage oil formula of sandalwood and atlas cedar wood with a hint of lavender. He had very oily skin, and had previously broken out from too much oil his massage therapist had used. When mixing his formula, I used jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is specifically recommended for oily skin conditions. It is not an oil, but has the consistency of an oil. Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is distilled from a bean. It is similar in molecular structure to sebum produced by the skin, and cleans out clogged pores. It can also act as a natural preservative, for it does not go rancid.

Herb infused oils may also be used as carrier oils. They have their own scent and are often made with olive oil. We would employ them for specific therapeutic reasons. One example is above, the use of calendula or St. John’s Wort infused oil for irritated skin.


Clay is stimulating and draws impurities and oils from the skin. For this reason, it must be balanced with things that are hydrating and nourishing. In the past, I have enjoyed working with the French clays for facials. White, red and pink are very mild. They are great for all skin types. Green is strong and best reserved for oily skin. But even oily skin can be thrown to an extreme with green clay. So I recommend that green clay be used in combination with another clay, like pink or white.

Another fun clay to experiment with is black clay from the Dead Sea. It is high in minerals and excellent for all skin types. In the past this clay has been difficult to come by. Times may have changed by now. Give it a try.


We all know oil and water don’t mix. The addition of yogurt or mayonnaise is the emulsifying agent needed to make this happen. If you don’t add it, your facial will be gloppy instead of smooth and creamy and it will not cover the skin well. This makes for an ineffective facial.






1 tbsp. pink & 1 tbsp. of white clay

1 tsp. jojoba or sweet almond oil

Cedarwood, geranium, jasmine, lavender, neroli, rosewood, vetiver, bergamont, lemon


1 tbsp. green clay & 1 tbsp. of white or pink clay

1 tsp. jojoba oil

Juniper, cypress, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary, lavender


2 tbsp. of pink or white clay

1 tsp. of avocado oil; also see infused oil recommendations

Clary sage, lavender, geranium, jasmine, rosewood, rose, sandalwood


2 tbsp. of pink or white clay

1 tsp. avocado or aloe vera oil

Frankincense, myrrh, vetiver, lavender, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood


2 tbsp. of pink or white clay

1 tsp. avocado oil or see infused oil recommendations

Lavender, rose, roman or german chamomile, spikenard, neroli, frankincense, sandalwood, carrot, yarrow

Put clay in a container to mix together the facial recipe. It does not have to be too large, but it is convenient if it is one that you can also store the extra in.

Add the teaspoon of carrier oil.

Add 1 tsp. of plain whole milk yogurt or vegan mayo.

Add just enough water to make smooth and creamy consistency. Oddly enough, this can be different each time. I recommend adding small amounts of water until the correct consistency is aquired.

Add 2-4 drops of essential oil(s) of choice.

Mix essential oils in.

Apply to face and neck…shoulders and back of neck if desired. Let sit for about 7 minuets.

Wash with warm water to remove facial, and rinse with cold water to close pores.

Finish with a little ½ teaspoon of jojoba oil with a drop of lavender oil for balance, and a spritz of witch hazel with lavender and citrus as a toner(in a 1 oz. spray bottle of witch hazel add 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of citrus oil of choice; spray it on your hand than apply it to your face.)


Store any extra clay mix in the fridge. Allow it to warm to room temperature before using it again. The process of cleansing skin is one of un-layering grime. The first time a facial is done, it might bring a bunch of stuff up. You may have breakouts as a result. Do another one a few days later, and I recommend waiting 2-3 weeks after that before doing another. This should help detoxify deeper layers.

If you suffer from periodic or chronic breakouts, looking at what you put inside your body is just as important as taking care of the outside of things. Breakouts can be caused by hormonal imbalances, food intolerances, digestive, liver or kidney deficiency. Consult with a trained alternative practitioner to figure out what course of internal action is right for you.

These facials have no unnatural ingredients. They have been found to be quite effective for folks with sensitivity issues. And if you don’t have sensitive skin, but you are sensitive about the environment and your pocket book, you too can find a reason to enjoy this homemade product.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WendellCartwright

    Longing to get essentialoil! It’s useful for alleviating symptoms of anxiety and
    depression. It can help to boost your mood and relieve feelings of sadness aswell as enhance mental performance and feelings of happiness.