The Importance of Clay and Blemish Help

Pelotherapy: is the therapeutic use of mud and/or earth, especially in the treatment of skin diseases. We offer different varieties of clay minerals, each distinguishable by their colors, but also by their modes of action and particular activity.

Clay has been used by Man since the beginning of time.
According to Hippocrates, Theophrastes, Dioscorides and Galen, the Greeks made use of clays extensively. The Romans used clay to clean their togas (detergents weren’t readily available in those times) and according to Plines, they used it in poultices to heal wounds. Avicennes favors it in his famous writings, Cleopatra used it for beauty masks. Up to the beginning of the twentieth century, the French and the Russian army used it to disinfect contaminated waters and to prevent dysentery. The fact of the matter is, clay has been used by man far longer than modern drugs, it never required any experimentation on animals, and it is 100% natural.

Research also indicated that animals visit clay grounds to ingest and cover their wounds.

Because clay as the power of drawing out impurities from the skin, it is an ideal ally against blemishes.

The skin is constantly supplied with oil and water by the glands of the body. The sweat glands supply the water (and water soluble elements such as mineral salts etc.) whereas the sebaceous glands supply the sebum (oil and oil soluble substances). Both glands open into the follicles where they reach the surface of the skin. The sebaceous glands are under hormonal control whereas the sweat glands are under nervous control. This is another area where the neuro-endocrine system prevails. These secretions (oil and water) emulsify together with phospholipids to form the outer protective layer or mantle of the skin responsible for its protection and moisture. The skin must stay moist to be efficiently active.

The origin of blemishes starts with an excess oil production (sebum) by the skin sebaceous glands. This excess production is linked to hormonal activity (hence the prevalence of this condition during puberty) and/or stress, psychological factors and whenever the skin must respond to external aggressions (all under hormonal responses).

Whenever there is an imbalance between the amount of water (sweat) and oil (sebum) i.e. when the sebum is secreted in excess, the outcome produces an over oily substance that can eventually lead to clog the follicles of the skin as it normally flows out to reach surface of the skin. A comedo may develop, it is a blackhead if it is open to the outside (where the sebum oxidizes and appears black) or whitehead if it remains closed. This is the common or juvenile blemish.

If this imbalance continues, the walls of the follicle may rupture and inflammation may develop causing a papule. This is inflammatory acne. If the imbalance still continues, the conditions worsen and local infection of the follicle may occur causing a pustule leading to bacteria growth, that will further irritate the skin, increase the blemishes, resulting in acute acne.

Clay has an important effect on blemishes because it acts as a “vacuum cleaner”, absorbing the oil/water combo, unclogging the follicles and giving a smooth less oily skin. The only downside is that it will attract the contents of the follicles hereby increasing the quantity of visible substances on the skin. At first, the result will seem to worsen the situation. This is because the clay is actively removing the substances causing the acne. Depending on the onset and the severity of the condition, it may take longer to stabilize the epidermal system achieving a healthy looking skin.

Because it is natural, safe and gentle to the skin, clay can be used daily.

Its natural detoxifying properties allow it to reduce blemishes without damaging the skin.

There are different types of clay, which can be identified by their structure. The color vary depending on which type of minerals are contained within the clay.

Powdered Clays
Medicinal powdered clay may be used both in and on the body. Externally, it can reduce swellings, cool inflammation, drain infections and contamination, cleanse and protect the skin. Applications include facial masks, poultices, body wraps and baths. Internally, it cleanses and drains, while balancing the pH and the intestinal flora. It is not absorbed by the body but assists in detoxification and removal of environmental poisons and the accumulations of pharmaceutical drugs.

Here is a list of the most widely used French clays (easily distinguished by their colors), their properties, and what they are used for:

Blue Montmorillonite:
This is the most potent of all of the 3-layer clay minerals, presenting the highest activity in terms of detoxification. It may be used topically in facial masks and baths or it may be integrated into creams and lotions. Internally, it may be used for detoxification, enemas, douches and as a mouth wash.

Green Clay: being prized by its users to exhibit great healing properties, to absorb toxins and clean the body, it is rich in minerals and gets its color from ferrous oxide (Fe++).it is the most widely used for all skin types.

Green Illite:
The most popular clay in France. Arising from the micas minerals of igneous rocks, it has a three layer structure accounting for its high absorption and adsorption properties making this variety the most efficient in natural health care both externally and internally. It has a high diversified mineral content.

Green Illite is a 3-layer clay mineral, indicating highly purifying activity than 2-layer clays. With a very broad range of attributes, not surprisingly, it is the most popular clay used worldwide today. Externally, it is unrivaled for skin care, wound healing and many other skin afflictions  it’s an antibacterial cleanser and anti microbial cleanser, cleans acne prone skin, purify skin by removing dirt. Internally, it is also highly effective for regulating rancidity, has been used for decades as an aid in detoxification.

Green Montmorillonite:
Arising from the chlorite minerals of metamorphic rocks, just like the Illite, it has a three layer structure accounting for its similar properties regarding absorption and adsorption. The diversified mineral content is high. The color is of a lesser green than the Illite, due to a lesser concentration in ferrous oxide. This clay may be used internally as well as externally as well. Green Montmorillonite may be regularly ingested (1 teaspoon in a glass of spring water) to quickly cut hyperacidity and heartburn, but also in the case of diarrhea and food poisoning. This is a powerful ally for rapid detoxification. It may be used topically in facial masks and baths or it may be integrated into creams and lotions.

Red Kaolin:
Can be found next to yellow clay and gets its color from red hematite containing ferric oxide and copper. It is a two layer structure and has one of the highest contents of Silica. There is an absence of aluminum, zing, manganese, chlorine and sodium. Due to its rich content in iron this type of clay is to be used by people deficient in iron. It is also widely used in skin care and cosmetics.
Red Kaolin is a 2-layer clay mineral with therapeutic activity lying somewhere between the white and yellow Kaolin clays. Due to its’ high concentration of iron, this clay is particularly suited for pale, mature or tired skin and for iron deficiency conditions.

Yellow Kaolin:
Found nearby red clay, yellow clay gets its color from a yellow-orange iron oxide and can be found on hilltops where it has been drained by rain (hence Aluminum, zinc, manganese, sodium and chlorine have been washed out). With a pH 5, a very high concentration in iron but practically less aluminum, this type of clay is recommended for bone problems and tiredness (it should be used in conjunction with green clay).
Yellow Kaolin is a 2-layer clay mineral with a high concentration of sideric ferric oxide. This clay is best used on moist or oily skin and is an especially good choice for those with acne, iron deficiency or in bone conditions.

Rose Kaolin:
Not a clay that exists in nature, Rose Kaolin is a combination of white and red Kaolin clay minerals. This is the ideal clay for cosmetic application when a simple clay facial is desired.The combined properties of both clays make the rose clay ideal for beauty preparations. Rose clay is soft, it is recommended for sensitive skins, dehydrated skins, baby skins and facial creams. This clay is mainly used in external applications.

White Kaolin:
White clay, known as Kaolin, is the mildest of the 2-layer clay minerals and is best known for speeding wound healing and reducing scar formation. Known from its highly absorbent properties, this clay is particularly beneficial in removing impurities and tightening the pores, toning the skin and reducing scars and inflammation from acne. It is very effective with sensitive skins and is suitable for both children and adults. It is also known for its healing properties with its high concentration in Aluminum and is devoid of phosphorous and chlorine. This clay may be taken internally for loose stool and the gentlest detoxification. It is smooth and chalky in texture and is specifically recommended for sensitive persons, infants, the elderly and even pets.

You can also use clay masks.
A clay mask will benefit the skin because it has the property to absorb substances on and beneath the skin surfaces. It absorbs water, bacteria, toxins etc.

The exfoliating and astringent properties of clay address the root causes of blemishes.

Dr. Paul Petit, a French family care physician focusing on natural health, founded Naprodis over 20 years ago. Naprodis Inc. is distributing natural materials including the most popular French clays and brand products he has been formulating since 1985 - a line of organic personal care products under the brand name: Oblige By Nature as well as natural medicinal remedies under the brand name of: Phybiosis.


Paul-Francois Petit