Because I epilate, I'm practically an expert at dealing with ingrowns.
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 tsp honey
- 1 capsule evening primrose oil (roughly ¼ tsp)
- ⅛ tsp zinc oxide powder
- 1 capsule activated charcoal
- 1 ½ tbs clay
- 2 tbs ACV
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?