When Immunocologie founder Karen Ballou was undergoing treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma, she began looking for natural healing remedies to supplement the professional medical care she was receiving. During her search, she began studying the benefits of clay, which is known for its many healing properties, mainly its detoxifying nature. Through careful, professional research, Karen was able to incorporate a clay water into her diet which she personally attributes to her supporting healing. Karen knew that when she beat cancer, she wanted to bring clay to the masses. Thus, Immunocologie’s French Green Clay-based skincare was born.
But, clay gets a bad rap in the skincare world. Many think it’s too drying or not useful for dry skin. Some think it’s not safe because of toxins and heavy metals. Others feel they can't use clay masks frequently enough to see results. Here are three myths about clay in skincare that simply aren’t true.
Myth: Clay doesn’t work for people with dry skin.
Truth: While clay is known for detoxifying—subsequently drying—the skin and shrinking pores, clay also has many hydrating qualities to it. The first step to using clay in your skincare routine is making sure you’re using the right type of clay for your skin type. Yes, not all clay are created equal. Immunocologie utilizes clay water featuring French Green Clay in each of our products, which provides an added layer of hydration to the skin rather than applying clay minerals directly to the skin, which might be more drying. For example, our Vital Ionic Mist is a refreshing and detoxifying, soothing and hydrating, mineral-rich spray that also features three different types of clay, but because of the delivery system is everything but drying to the skin.
Myth: Clay contains heavy metals and toxins that are unsafe for the skin.
Truth: This myth stems from the fact that clay is an earth mineral that is known to absorb toxins from the ground, the same way it draws impurities from the skin. While this is true, according to Vincent Bourgeteau, Immunocologie's chief botanist and formulator, it's the cationic exchange capacity of clays that makes it possible for Immunocologie to safely feature clay in its product formulations. "Heavy metals are cations," explains Bourgeteau, "so by cationic affinity, the heavy metals are captured by the clays and are not released into the skin." In layman's terms, all heavy metals are removed from the clay before it's added into any formulation process.
Myth: Clay isn’t safe to use frequently.
Truth: As is true for all skincare products, it’s important to read labels and consult with a professional before determining how frequently a product is or isn’t used. All skin is different, and what is suggested by manufacturers may not work for your skin personally. That being said, most clay masks, including Immunocologie’s Vital Clay Mask and Vital Clay Spot Treatment, are gentle enough to be used multiple times per week. Immunocologie’s clay masks should be used 2-3 time weekly to achieve optimum results.