Discovering the benefits of clay mask

Discovering the benefits of clay mask

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Photos Peter Sutherland

Words Matthieu Morge-Zucconi

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Straight from the earth to your skin: discover the joys of clay.

One of the ingredients in our Purifying Face Mask is a clay called kaolin. Clay has been used in skincare for centuries, maybe even millennia. So it's a safe bet.

What is clay?

Easy: Clay is a sedimentary rock. When it comes into contact with water, it transforms into a kind of mud, and contains many trace elements and minerals. There are several types: the main ones are green clay, pink clay and white clay. Once it’s extracted from the ground, it’s then graded to produce cosmetic products, such as masks.

How long has clay been used?

Although the virtues of clay seem to have been discovered as far back as prehistoric times, it wasn't until Ancient Greece that there was written evidence of its use. Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman naturalist (not to be confused with the American rapper Plies), highlighted its virtues in his “Natural History”. The Greek physician Dioscorides attributed "extraordinary strength" to it, while the ‘Prince of Physicians’, Avicenna (not to be confused with DJ Avicii), was also a particular fan.

Later, the school of German naturopaths, including Curé Kneipp, who pioneered thermal water cures in the 19th century, promoted its virtues as a treatment for many problems.

Animals were also said to be fans. In forests and grasslands, injured wild boar and deer have often been observed rolling around in the mud to heal themselves.

It also seems that certain edible clays are particularly useful for healing: legend has it that Gandhi used to eat them. This - obviously - must be the key to his famous wisdom.

What are its virtues for the skin?

Kaolin is particularly renowned for purifying the skin, absorbing impurities and reducing the size of pores.

How do we use it in Horace products?

In our mask, we've used kaolin, everlasting blue flowers and a blend of healthy, active ingredients to deep-cleanse your skin and leave it clean, purified and brighter. That’s it!

Purifying Face Mask

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