Deep Pore Cleansing Mask for oily and acne prone skin

I really enjoy the feel of my skin after a cleansing mask but I get lazy about mixing it up just when I need to use it. After lots of experimentation I found a formula that works for my sometimes combination – sometimes oily skin. The winning recipe is easy to spread, packed with pore cleansing goodness and leaves my face touchably soft when I wash it off. This means I can whip up a batch that I can keep for up to 6 months.

20150423-112832.jpg What’s in it?
Herbal emulsified base (proprietary)
Bentonite clay (of course)
Kaolin clay
Neem leaf powder
Activated charcoal
Blended camwood soap
Tea tree essential oil

If I was making this for someone with dry or sensitive skin, I would take out the bentonite clay and add honey and aloe vera (both great at attracting moisture to the skin) to this recipe. I would also sub out the tea tree for lavender essential oil.

I’m writing this after washing this mask off my face and I know I shouldn’t be touching my face but…

Lavender Camwood Soap

I like coincidences. Just a few days after making my African Black Soap and Camwood paste, I got a call from a lady who specifically wanted Camwood {and lavender essential oil, honey and bentonite clay} in her soap. In her words, she likes ‘all things natural’ so she had done a lot if research.

20150410-231003.jpg I was happy to oblige and this is the result. The dark flecks are Camwood and you can see bits of bentonite and kaolin clays I added.

Of course I tested a piece in the shower. The Camwood gave good exfoliation -a little scratchy but not unpleasant- while the lavender eo was very calming and soothing. I felt like taking a nap afterward 😀

Camwood, sometimes called African sandalwood has been used for centuries to clean baby skin {in fact, it prominently features in a prayer for pregnancy and safe delivery in my culture} and is the ‘osun’ part of the popular ‘Dudu Osun’ brand of African black soap. It is a coveted beauty ingredient now that its been proven {anecdote} to work wonders for a plethora of facial skin problems.

I’m quite happy with how this turned out and hope the lady who ordered it is too. ❤

Soap Additive – Kaolin Clay

Soooo…after many refusals from the men in my life to bring me a kilo of finely ground white powder on their overseas trips {I really wonder why 😀 } I finally shipped in some Kaolin Clay.

Kaolin clay is a gentle white mineral powder with many cosmetic applications but it’s also found in many household and industrial applications. It’s used widely in mineral makeup, as a thickening agent in toothpaste, etc. it exists in nature but it can also be manufactured in a lab.

I use clay in soap for a luxurious glide it brings to the party and for pore cleansing; but I’ve been using bentonite clay {awesome in facial soaps for oily skin} which has been darkening my soaps a little. I also think it’s been a waste in all-over body soap for regular daily use but that’s just my opinion.

Now I have my fluffy white clay, I can also repeat my homemade deodourant as I’ve almost run out of my ‘accidental detox’ one made with bentonite clay. Yay.

Colouring Soap

Earlier on in my soap making journey, a dear friend told me to stop making her green soap because it reminded her of Key Soap {a locally produced soap meant for laundry. This is not a compliment!}. Since then every time I pick up colour I’m reminded of that comment.

For about a week or so I’ve had a colour in mind. It persisted so I decided see what I could do since I didn’t have that particular colour on hand.


This aqua-ish colour was made from 2 parts mint green, one part navy blue and two parts titanium dioxide. I think the unrefined Shea butter also added a shade to this. The little dots are poppy seeds, just because 😀

The picture is a little darker than the real colour, and I really like how it’s turned out and I’m looking forward to trying out more combinations with the colours I have on hand.