Rub some dirt on it.
What’s up, Sudsers? Welcome back to the blog after a
yearlong brief break! I have been working on getting in the flow of running a brick and mortar and keeping up with the website, and it’s been all too easy to blow off blog updates in favor of 9000 other things on the to-do list. But I’ve realized in doing this that my E-Sudsers (whom I love and adore) are missing out on loads of awesome information that gets passed on rather organically in the shop setting. And that’s not cool – I love breaking down all of the products, answering questions, and basically being a part of this soap thing in a capacity outside of making stuff and posting pictures about the stuff. I have methods to my madness, purpose in my products, and if I’m not telling you any of it, then what’s the point? So I decided to restart the blog! Which is what you’re reading. And today we are talking about a new creation that I am crazy addicted to – mud masks!
So we are all familiar with mud masks. These are clay based masks that are applied to the skin, allowed to dry, and rinsed off to reveal brighter, tighter, smoother skin. They’re great to use during an evening of pampering, or as a skincare routine to keep your complexion balanced and toned. It’s also fun to chase your kiddos around the house playing monster after applying – the Soap & Clay kidlets have decided that the green monster is too scary and prefer the activated charcoal version.
I decided to make the hydrated version of the clay masks after some Sudsers told me that mixing a dry blend of clays and whatnot was a massive pain in the behind. Which I get. My initial hesitation (and the reason behind the dry version of masks) in making a hydrated mask was rooted in my desire to avoid preservatives. See, whenever you make something that contains water, you open the door to bacteria, yeast, or fungus. Nobody wants to open up their mud mask, or toner spritzer, or bottle of lotion and find nasties growing inside. The problem with preservatives is that many contain parabens or are formaldehyde donors, which means they release formaldehyde throughout their shelf life. Neither have been found to be intrinsically dangerous in the quantities found in skincare, but since one of the reasons I started this business was to have skin loving products free of unnecessary ingredients and potential skin irritants, I wanted to avoid this altogether. I’m proud of the fact that my product line is 100% paraben, phthalate and detergent free – adding something with a preservative felt like a huge asterisk on the products that I have carefully developed to remain pure and awesome.
So I avoided all products that require water to make (I mean, soap needs water but does not need a preservative, but that’s for another post), until I found Optiphen. The Optiphen family is a range of preservatives that are paraben and formaldehyde free. They are broad spectrum preservatives, meaning that they protect against bacteria, fungus, and yeast formation. My favorite in the Optiphen family is Optiphen Plus, which is a bit pricier than other preservatives that I could use. But that’s the name of this skincare game – easy is generally cheap and comes with consequences, while the right way tends to cost more but allows you to sleep at night. So I stocked up on OP, tested and tweaked, and finally settled on three mud masks that I love and adore and think you will too!
While I’ve used and loved mud masks since I was a teenager, I always disliked the rather drying nature of clay masks. After removing them, my skin would be bright and glowing but also felt tight and itchy. Not cool. So I really wanted to include an element of moisture in my mud mask line. Which can be complicated; how does a mask dry if it contains oils? Luckily I figured that out, so you don’t have to!
Each of these masks have a moisturizing oil of some sort, as well as botanical extracts to increase the awesome. Cucumber extract, for example, is incredibly hydrating and soothing while green tea extract brightens and tightens. Just a little something extra to amplify the benefits of the clays used! The essential oils I selected for these masks provide scent but also brighten, calm, or soothe the skin.
A Note on pH and Clay Masks
Our skin typically maintains a pH between 4.5 and 5.5, a bit on the acidic side of the spectrum. Clays have a pH of around 7 – more neutral. So it stands to reason, then, that whenever you are applying a product with a pH different than that of your skin, an adjustment period occurs. This is the tingling that you may experience when using certain products. Your acid mantle is basically working hard to balance the skin’s pH while the product in question is doing its thing. Disrupting the acid mantle is a beneficial thing to do now and then, but should never be a daily occurrence. This is one of the reasons cosmetic companies instruct you to use products like masks or exfoliating materials no more than twice a week. Therefore, I’m going to tell you the same thing – a mask is great for the skin once a week. I wouldn’t apply a mask more frequently than that, though. And if you’re experiencing tingling on a daily basis from a product that does not contain a pharmaceutical grade ingredient (Retinol, hyaluronic acid, etc), then you should probably reconsider using that product.
Now that you know a bit about the method and creation of these mud masks, are you dying to try one? I really want you to check them out, so coupon code RUBSOMEDIRTONIT will get you a Mask Pack 3 Pack on me this week.* Add it to your order and let me know how you like it!
*Offer expires 9/8/18