How Does My DIY Body Mask Compare to The Body Shop's New Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay?

My recipe is easy to mix and can be customized, but The Body Shop's formula has undeniable perks.
Publish date:
September 13, 2015
DIY, clay, the body shop, Body Masks

I’ve got face masking down pat, y’all. If I go a week without doing a clay mask, there is usually hell to pay.

Generally, I mix up a face’s worth in a shot glass; the excess gets smeared on my décolleté and armpits. Clay is relatively cheap, but if you want to do a full body mask, costs can rack up quickly. And then there’s the many of you that are DIY-averse—I hear y’all loud and clear.

Trying The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay was an easy opportunity to see how a store-bought version holds up to my own and how they compare in price.

First of all, forget about this if your roommates are home! The logistics behind doing a body mask can be slightly complicated. You need a place to park your clay-covered behind, time to wait to allow it to dry, and a wide-open shower or tub. Getting your muddy baby elephant on is tricky, but worth it! You suck out garbage and excess oils, and I know from my fights against bacne that clay can stop a nasty in its tracks if you are diligent. Ingrown hairs, excess sweat, mosquito bites, and even aches are things that can be improved by a mask.

My DIY recipe is easy to mix and can be customized. Seriously, click on this refresher course if you need inspiration; there are so many ways to turn plain clay into an luxury dupe, and often costs less than a dollar per application.

Here’s my current formula for a whole face and decollete; simply add in order and mix well once bubbling has ceased.

  • 1 capsule evening primrose oil (roughly ¼ tsp)
  • ⅛ tsp zinc oxide powder
  • 1 ½ tbs clay

I whip mine gently with my silicone whisk and scoop out the excess with a spatula—way less waste here as you can get the leftovers off the equipment far easier.

For body, I recommend tripling up the recipe and mist with toner or rosewater first so it glides on easily. I leave this mask on as long as humanly possible—usually around an hour when I use on my face to get the "pulsating" going—but on the body I couldn’t go more than a half-hour before retreating to the tub to let it soak off slowly.

The Body Shop has been kicking ass lately, and I also got to try the amazing Spa of the World stuff that Wendy showed you this week. The Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay is similar in structure to mine, though a bit less creative. The basics of moisture, exfoliating acids, clay, and charcoal are in both formulas in different forms.

Where I used apple cider vinegar to renew with its acetic acid, an AHA, The Body Shop's version uses willow bark extract, a BHA. Mine uses honey as the humectant agent; glycerin is used in The Body Shop’s.

Mine was decidedly harder to spread and took quite a bit more product to apply fully. I did enjoy how easy it was to slather the Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay on with the provided brush. In regard to scent, mine smells straight-up like a day-old gin and tonic—not so good—whereas The Body Shop comes through with a bit more of pleasant aroma: hints of citrus and lavender. The Body Shop mask dries faster, too, so this is much better if you're in a rush.

Overall, I like my DIY mask better for the extreme clean feeling, but The Body Shop is much more moisturizing. For me, that step usually comes later when I oil up. Really, you can choose your preference; I think a tube of the store-bought clay would last a dozen or more applications, so it's truly anyone's game. Personally, I'll be using the Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay and then using my own DIY formula when it runs out.

  • Anyone ever get a spa treatment with a full body mask?
  • Where do you hang out when you do a body mask at home?