This is one of my favorite all natural beauty secrets - a simple clay mask. This clay is a powerhouse pore cleanser, and it works wonders on pesky blackheads. This is the simplest form of the mask, but you can change up the recipe a bit to better suit your skin type.
100% natural cosmetic grade clay
(For this mask I used this calcium bentonite clay. You can find it in most health food stores, or online for about $4 per pound. You basically can get a zillion facials out of this one container, so skip the expensive spa treatment and do it yourself! I also like using this moroccan red clay, and this french green clay, however these are a bit more expensive.)
(However, you can switch this ingredient to suit your skin type. I like using rosewater - I buy mine at ethnic groceries for around $3 a bottle. You could also try diluted apple cider vinegar, tea, or milk.)
Mix equal parts clay and liquid, adding the liquid slowly. I never measure exactly, I just eyeball, because it's really up to the maker how they want their mask to be. If you want a thicker mask (which will take longer to dry), add less liquid, and vice versa. I prefer a thicker mask (see photo below of my mixture).
Apply to face (you can also apply it to your neck and decolletage if you like) with hands or a brush. Do this standing over a sink or bathtub. I find that I really only need to use the mask on my T zone, where I am most prone to the occasional breakout. Sometimes I'll use it on my cheeks, too, but not always.
Relax and let the mask work its magic. Try not to move your face while the mask is drying. Towards the end, you will start to feel your face pulsate. I like to leave my mask on until it looks and feels completely dry - around twenty to thirty minutes.
Wash the mask off using cool water. This will take a few minutes. I find that the clay also provides a nice exfoliating action when I'm rinsing off.
Apply an all natural moisturizer (I like using jojoba oil.)
This clay mask will make your face (and any other areas you applied it) very red. I don't recommend this facial right before going out in public for that reason. The redness will subside in ten to thirty minutes.
Lots of things can be added to this mask to boost the impact, however I wanted to share the most basic form of the recipe because I hate seeing "simple DIY's" that need all these crazy expensive or hard to find ingredients!
Try adding your favorite (all natural, please) moisturizing oils, essential oils (lavender and tea tree are two of the best all natural acne fighters, plus they're fairly inexpensive), ground herbs, oatmeal, honey, or aloe vera. There are a ton of recipes out there for clay masks, so look around and have fun!
If you'd like to read more about all natural skin care, I shared a foot scrub recipe here, and a simple sugar scrub here. All other related posts can be found under the tag "skin care."