How many of us read the INCI, that is the list of ingredients, of a shampoo, a soap or a face mask? In many cases it is a long label, with a lot of terms often not easily understandable by non-experts. The point is that, especially when we are dealing with cleaning products for skin and hair, it is important to understand the used substances. In fact, aggressive surfactants are often inserted, which remove all traces of sebum and attack the skin barrier, but we can find also perfumes, silicones and preservatives that, as a result, worsen the acne that is bothering you, make the skin red and itchy, increase the greasiness of skin and hair and cause dandruff. Slow cosmetique is instead a movement born in Belgium that aims to help use only simple ingredients that are truly beneficial for the skin. Inspired by these principles, today we see a way to cleanse and purify skin and scalp with clay, rhassoul clay.
Rhassoul, what it is
Rhassoul, or ghassoul, is a natural clay extracted from the Atlas mountains in Morocco. This clay, mixed with water, allows to obtain a cosmetic used for centuries for the care and cleaning of the skin and hair, in fact, its name derives from the Arabic word rhassala which means to wash (Gubitosa et al, Cosmetics, 2019). Rhassoul contains mineral salts such as silicon, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
Rhassoul for the skin
Rhassoul, applied on the skin as a mask, helps regulate sebum production and regenerates the skin (Drobikova et al, J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2019). In fact, thanks to its absorbent effect, this clay acts by removing dead cells, bacteria and toxins, in addition it helps in case of enlarged pores (Serji et al, Br Jurs, 2018 - Williams et al, Environ Sci Technol, 2011). Therefore, thanks to these characteristics, rhassoul can be used in case of acne, blackheads and oily skin. Mix in a glass bowl 1 tablespoon of clay and a floral water, such as rose or lavender water, to obtain a cream. Stir with a wooden spoon or you can use another material but not metal. Finally add 1 tablespoon of yogurt. The use of yogurt and floral water is very important because it is needed to rebalance the pH of the cosmetic. The rhassul, in fact, has a basic pH (Gubitosa et al, Cosmetics, 2019) and the addition of floral water and yogurt, characterized by an acid pH, make the product more similar to the skin. Apply the mask on clean face, leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse and continue with your usual face cream.
Rhassoul for the hair
Rhassoul is also used as a shampoo or as an ingredient in shampoos resulting useful in case of dandruff and oily hair. To prepare a do-it-yourself hair mask, add the water to the rhassoul, a little at a time and stir until it forms a cream. Then, apply to the scalp and cover with a plastic wrap, it is important that the clay does not dry out. Then rinse well by removing any residue. As explained in the previous paragraph, the rhassoul has a basic pH and therefore, to restore the pH of the skin, you can do a final rinse with water and vinegar. Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon of yogurt to the mask.