Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

September 29 is National Mud Pack Day. When I penciled this unique holiday into my posting schedule, I realized I’d never tried a mud pack. I’ve created simple DIY masks at home, using natural ingredients. However I decided to celebrate this day properly with a store bought mask.

At Ulta, I found a variety of facial masks ranging from press on sheets to fun and fruity goop in a tube to jars of clay. In honor of mud pack day, I chose L’OREAL’s Detox & Brighten Pure Clay Mask, with added charcoal.

And rather than just try a clay and charcoal mask, I made it a pampering self care experience.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask title meme

National Mud Pack Day

This day gives us all permission to play in the mud…mud packs that is. Mud packs are mixtures of therapeutic clays that when applied to the skin, increase circulation, ease muscle tension, release toxins and boost immunity. They work well on oily and combination skin types.

Although most commonly used on the face, mud packs benefit the skin all over the body. For a full body mud pack, that relieves pain and swelling due to arthritis and eases stress, check out salons that offer this service.

 

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask tea
Try a clay and charcoal mask – tea time

L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask

The L’OREAL product I purchased contains three pure clays plus charcoal. This blend of moroccan lava, kaolin and montmorillonite clays and charcoal draws out impurities from the skin, evens out skin tone, increases luminosity and allows the skin to breathe.

The creamy formula glides on easily, does not dry out the skin and is suitable for all skin types. To use, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, avoiding eyes and lips. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. For best results, use three times a week.

Immediate results include clean, smooth skin with a beautiful, healthy glow.

Over time skin breathes better, detoxifies and appears healthier.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask drying
Try a clay and charcoal mask – allowing it to dry

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask

Late in the afternoon, as the sun sank toward the western horizon, I set up my self care experience.

In my backyard garden meditation spot, I placed a tray with a cup of peppermint tea, a lit candle and the L’OREAL Clay and Charcoal Mask. Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed lay nearby. The water fountain gurgled just outside the meditation area while the drone of insects filled the garden. I set up my light stand with its remote clicker and the sturdy clip that holds my iPhone, for photos. That handy gadget is the best investment I made this year!

I felt ready to try the mask and relax in the garden while it dried.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask garden
As I try a clay and charcoal mask, I appreciate the beauty of the garden…
Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask fountain
…and the soothing sound of water.

Allowing the Mask to Dry

I applied an even coat of the clay mask to my face, avoiding the eyelids and under eye area and my lips. The texture is smooth, without any grit, and goes on easily. It has a light, pleasant fragrance. I made sure I completely covered my skin. The mask goes on dark gray and turns light gray as it dries.

After snapping a few photos, I settled back to enjoy the experience. Sipping my peppermint tea, I read in Untamed, a book that carries significance for me as I enter next year. My cat Shy Boy joined me in the meditation corner, curling up on a chair. It felt amazing to relax and unwind outdoors on this gorgeous fall day.

As the mask dried, my skin tightened beneath it. That tightening felt pleasant as I did feel tension, which often settles in the facial muscles, melt away.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask cat
Shy Boy keeps me company, while I try a clay and charcoal mask.
Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask LOREAL
L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask with Charcoal.

The Results

After 15 minutes, most of the mask appeared dry, turning a light gray color. I could easily see the pores on my skin. As the sun set, I decided to wash off the mask instead of waiting for it to dry completely.

I confess that I thought the mask might not come off as simply as it went on. Using an older wash cloth and warm water from the bathroom sink, I cautiously dabbed at the mask. No worries. The mask dissolved quickly. I found using my hands to rinse my face with the warm running water worked best.

In moments, mask gone, I patted my skin dry and looked at my face in the mirror. My skin looked radiant and dewy. And the texture amazed me. My skin felt deep cleaned, soft and so incredibly smooth. And the pores appeared diminished.

I captured the results with a click of my iPhone camera. Afterward I applied Smartr Skin Vitamin C Serum and their rich moisturizer. (Use my discount code CINDYM20OFF to save 20% off your order! And check out the rest of my skin care routine.)

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask pores
Look how evident the pores are with the mask on.

Continued Use

I’m grateful for National Mud Pack Day. Thanks to this special day, I tried a clay mask for the first time and I love it. I’m adding the L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask with Charcoal to my weekly skin care routine. I look forward to seeing what results continued use bring.

Want to create your own self care experience? Check out my Amazon links below! And let me know…have you tried a clay and charcoal mask?

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask soft skin
No make up, just silky smooth, radiant skin.

Try These Products to Create Your Own Self Care Experience

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Smartr Skin and with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. I may earn a commission when you purchase products through my links, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

For this Try This Tuesday post, I’m sharing about a product I’ve used for just over a year now. Have you heard of dryer balls? They replace fabric softener sheets in the dryer. I’ve used a synthetic set for several years. However, my daughter and son-in-law gifted me with a set of alpaca wool dryer balls, and that, my friends, upped my laundry game in such a positive way.

Do these wool dryer balls really work? And what are the benefits of using them?

Read on…

Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls title meme

The Problem with Fabric Softener Sheets

An amazing thing happened, on my healing journey. As I eliminated unhealthy foods from my diet, and my body recovered, my awareness shifted. I recognized the effects of chemicals on my body and health. What I allowed on my skin became as important as what I put in my body.

As a result of this heightened awareness, I moved away from chemical laden beauty and bath products and household cleaners, including laundry detergent and softeners. Switching to plant based products in all areas of my life is not only better for me, it is better for the environment.

It was simple enough to switch to a chemical and dye free laundry detergent. What about fabric softener sheets though? Those little scented sheets are a laundry staple in most households. They remove static, soften clothes, reduce wrinkles and make our clothe smell good. Are they healthy for us though?

The Negative Effects of Fabric Softener Sheets

It turns out those dryer sheets can cause more harm than good. They contain a chemical called quaternary ammonia compounds (QACS). The chemical is known to cause or worsen asthma and skin irritations. It’s also linked to more serious conditions such as nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, dizziness, cancer and reproductive problems.

Additionally, the coating on dryer sheets that softens laundry makes towels less absorbent. Plus it wears away the wicking abilities of socks and activewear and it lessens the effectiveness of fire-resistant clothing.

And finally, those sheets are designed for one time use. With every load of laundry we toss a dryer sheet in and then throw it away.  The average family does 416 loads of laundry a year. Think of the cost of those dryer sheets!

Consider this alternative to fabric softener sheets…alpaca wool!

Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls
Alpaca wool makes an excellent dryer ball. And isn’t he adorable?

The Benefits of Using Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls

My dryer balls are made from alpaca wool. The wool fibers have hollow cores that absorb water, making them an ideal material for drying clothes…and the animals are not harmed when they are shorn . The dryer balls, which are approximately three inches across in size, are felted from alpaca wool yarn.

The benefits of using alpaca wool dryer balls over fabric softener sheets include:

Hypoallergenic

Alpaca wool is naturally hypoallergenic. Unlike sheep, alpaca do not produce lanolin, which can irritate sensitive skin. The alpaca wool is untreated and free from chemicals and dyes. It contains anti-bacterial properties as well.

Cost Effective

Unlike the one use dryer sheets, alpaca wool balls last for years. When they look worn, they can be refelted, making them even more economical.

Softens Clothes and Prevents Wrinkles

Alpaca wool dryer balls are designed to soften clothes, reduce static and prevent wrinkles, without coating the inside of the dryer or clothes with chemicals. The balls work by bouncing around in the dryer, separating and fluffing clothes as the tumble. Air moves more freely through the clothes as the balls separate them, reducing wrinkles and speeding up drying time.

Decreases Drying Time by as Much as 25%

Because alpaca wool absorbs water as they bounce among wet clothes, drying time is decreased. Studies show that drying time is reduced by as much as 25%, which cuts energy costs.

Ecological

Alpaca wool dryer balls save time, money, energy and resources. A set of wool dryer balls lasts through hundreds of loads of laundry. And they can be refelted and made like new again. When they finally do wear out, add them to the compost pile, where they break down naturally.

Chemical Free

Wool dryer balls are chemical free. That means they are naturally unscented as well. While many people love the fragrance of their dryer sheets, that scent is chemically produced. And those chemicals contribute to illnesses and allergies and the increased risk of diseases such as cancer. Plus clothes wear out faster, due to the chemical residue that dryer sheets leave behind.

If scent is important to you, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to alpaca wool dryer balls. Clothes smell fresh rather than perfumed and the scent remains on the wool dryer balls through several cycles.

Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls Review

Using Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls

To use these laundry aids, simply toss them into the dryer with a load of clothes. I recommend using at least two wool balls, and preferably three. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil to one of the wool balls before throwing it into the dryer.

That’s it. Turn on the dryer and either use the automatic setting that senses when clothes are dry or check the dryer before the end of the cycle. I’ve found that clothes really do dry faster using the wool balls. After noting results, you can set the timer for a shorter amount of time for future loads.

Wood Dryer Balls in the Dryer
I leave my alpaca wool balls in the dryer between uses.

Where to Purchase Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls

My daughter and son-in-law bought my alpaca wool dryer balls from a local provider at Joplin’s Empire Market. Doug and Penny Moore reside at the family owned Wellspring Acres in Sarcoxie, Missouri, and make their dryer balls from wool from their own alpacas.

Purchase alpaca wool dryer balls in health conscious grocery stores, farmer’s markets and through Amazon. Check out the links below.

I appreciate these amazing laundry aids. The environment benefits. My clothes and towels are fresh, soft and wrinkle free. They dry more quickly. And my clothes and skin remain chemical free. For that, I am most grateful. I don’t miss the fabric softener dryer sheets at all.

An alternative to fabric softener sheets

Purchase alpaca wool dryer balls below:

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.