In Ayurveda there’s a notion that like increases like and opposites create balance. What exactly does that mean? It means if you’re high anxiety and always moving from one thing to the next, it’s best to balance that out with something slow and sedentary. Alternately, if you’ve been feeling stagnant and depressed, a bit of movement will probably do you good. It’s always about striving for balance rather than doing more of what is throwing you out of whack.
Often this delineation is not that simple. When you get tied up in the hustle of your day to day, it’s easy to be completely unaware of what you actually need. We all do it. We don’t realize we need something until the body is literally screaming at us in the form of sickness or extreme fatigue or an achy back. And at that point, we’re usually forced to take a break to recover. And that break is typically never at a convenient time.
So how do we become preemptive? How do we work towards balance? One of the best ways is to practice self care. Self care is doing anything for yourself that helps to restore a sense of balance or well-being. It might look like taking time to read a book or indulging in a warm bath. Or it could look like a brightly colored smoothie or a walk outside. Or yoga, or meditation, or taking a nap. The list is endless.
I try to build in moments of self care throughout the entire week, though I know many people that like to have a single day during the week dedicated to it. Try it out and see what works best for you. Since alliterations are always catchy, we’ll consider today Self Care Sunday. I’m sharing my super simple mask routine with you. The benefit is two-fold: not only do I get the detoxification benefits of the mask, but the process of gathering and mixing the ingredients is rather meditative. The inclement weather we had last week gave me the time to photograph the process and share it with you here.
Homemade Bentonite Clay Mask
notes: Bentonite is a type of healing clay composed of aged volcanic ash. When hydrated, the clay produces a type of electrical charge that allows it to absorb and bind itself to toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. In order to keep the clay as effective as possible, don’t let it come in contact with anything metallic. I typically use a ceramic dish and wooden spoon to mix up my mask. When used as a mask, the clay removes dirt and impurities from the pores. I use this clay. It’s incredibly affordable and will last you a really long time. I’ve been doing a weekly mask for about 6 or 7 months and I’ve used only about half of the container. I rarely ever measure the ingredients but rather do approximately 1 part clay to 1 part apple cider vinegar. I’ve included measurements below as it’s the amount you’ll need for one face mask.
2 tsp bentonite clay
2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar or filtered water
1 drop lavender or rose essential oil (optional)
a non metallic spoon and container to mix the mask in
Add the clay to your container. Add the apple cider vinegar and the essential oil. It will fizz and bubble! Stir with a non-metallic spoon or other implement to mix well. If it seems too thin, add a pinch more clay. Alternately, if it seems too thick, add a touch more vinegar. Spread the mask in an even layer over your face (and neck if you like), making sure not to get it too close to your eyes or nostrils. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes (sensitive skin) or up to 20 minutes (less sensitive skin). You will feel your face tighten as the mask dries.
When you are ready to remove it, moisten the mask with warm water. Using a damp washcloth, gently remove it from your face. I time my mask to be able to do this step in the shower as it tends to be easier. Your face will most likely be red after you remove the mask but this is completely normal. It will fade after about 30 minutes.
My specific mask routine: I always start with an un-washed face. After I remove the mask, I spritz my face with a hydrosol, specifically this one here. Once the hydrosol dries, I generously apply my facial moisturizer, then I’m done! At the moment I do this mask once a week, typically on Monday or Tuesday.