Everybody is talking about this miraculous natural detox facial. Is it really that innovative or miraculous at all?
Okay, what the hell is this thing that’s making the Internet so crazy? You’ve probably seen this, because I literally come across at least one post every day on my timeline. I'm talking, of course, about the miraculous Aztec clay that is said to be “world’s most powerful facial,” and quite a lot of people support this. Does it work as wonderfully as people claim? What is it? And, is it really an ancient beauty treatment the Aztecs resorted to? Well, we’ll have to go step by step, and to be honest with you, I’d wish to start by taking a look at the name of the product and its "miraculous" properties, because that's what has been bugging me since I first saw it.
If you take a look at the jar (which by the way looks like a joke compared to the packaging of other beauty products), the complete name is "Health and Beauty Aztec Secret," accompanied by a very basic illustration of what appears to be the pyramid of Chichén Itzá, which was built by the Mayans and not the Aztecs, in case you wanted to know. Then you have in smaller red letters the legend “Indian Healing Clay.” Now, I’m mentioning all this because for me it just sounded like a gimmick created to lure unwary naive customers to a product, based on the image of Aztecs as an exotic and millenary civilization. This naturally still makes me feel a bit skeptical about this, but I was determined to give it a try anyway.
Determined to give it the benefit of the doubt, I went immediately to their website, and honestly I wasn’t that suprised by its design, based on how the actual product looks like. Similar to those first websites in the Internet, and honestly looking as if a teenager had made it on their tech classes at school, it welcomes you with a little history lesson that actually doesn’t mention the Aztecs at all. So, they explain how clays have been used for centuries as a key element of beauty routines. Egyptians used clay from the Nile river millions of years ago. Greeks and Romans made their favorite spa products with clay and knew the benefits of it to treat blemishes and tighten their skin. Finally, they end up this historical journey of the use of clays with the story of a French priest in the sixteenth century called Kneipp, who supposedly used clay mixed with apple cider vinegar to create his natural treatments. By the way, I spent about an hour researching who this priest was and realized that most likely they’re referring to Father Sebastian Kneipp, a German Priest who lived during the nineteenth century and is known for his studies in hygiene and natural medicine.
Now, let’s start talking about the product. According to the website and many of the articles, this is natural calcium bentonite clay extracted from the Death Valley in California and dried out for months at extreme temperatures. Calcium bentonite has many applications in different areas, from engineering, medicine, art, and beauty. This is because it’s a natural absorbent, not only of water, but also of fats and oils. It’s can absorb up to 180 times its own weight, which is why people love it to remove pimples and other blemishes. Another of its listed benefits, which is actually advertised in red lettering directly on the jar, is that it literally makes your skin pulsate. This is because it also increases the blood circulation, and by soaking all the oils and fats, your skin starts to tighten.
It’s advised to mix it with apple cider vinegar to boost its benefits, and if you go on the internet, there are packs including both in different platforms. Since it’s some sort of dust, you can create a mask using basically anything in a liquid form to create it, like essential oils if you want even more benefits for your skin. Besides that, it can actually be used on all the body, and even as a hair detox treatment to give it more moisture and a soft sensation.
So, should you try it? I’d say yes. Clay has always been great for the skin. I mean, at first its kind of secretive advertisement made me doubt a little bit, but at the end of the day, it’s a natural product that's been proven to work. What really got my attention was the fact that we’re so used to being wowed with new products created technologically over something so simple that’s been around literally for thousands of years ends up causing such a stir. Well, I think that’s just how we millennials are. Who knows? Probably in some months we’re going to be talking about how Tibetan monks used mountain snow and soil to prevent aging (actually I just invented this, so don't try it, please), and we’ll be buying frozen water mixed with soil in a package that shows a lame stereotype.
Here are other alternatives you can use to take care of your skin:
Photos by @thomkerr