9 Things to Mix Into Clay Face Masks (Besides Water)

My clay face masks may say "just add water," but you can use so many more ingredients with them. I like to switch it up depending on the season and what my skin needs. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Aloe Vera Juice — Best known for its sunburn-soothing effects, Aloe Vera is also a mild astringent, heals acne, and balances pH levels, so it's a great addition to facial care products (which is why it's in my Rose + Tea Facial Toner). Make sure your Aloe is in liquid form, not gel. The gel stuff is usually full of all kinds of toxins, so get it from a trusted supplier. I get mine here.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar — It may not smell pretty, but ACV works wonders on the skin and hair. The malic acid in it makes apple cider vinegar a great nonabrasive exfoliant and astringent. It also restores pH and soothes itchy, dry skin. Be sure to dilute ACV with water in a 1:2 solution (1 part ACV to 2 parts water).

3. Green Tea — The natural catechins (antioxidants with free radical-fighting superpowers) found in green tea provide anti-aging benefits by preventing and repairing cell damage and promoting healthy cell turnover. It also tightens pores, moisturizes, and soothes inflammation and puffiness. It's also a key ingredient in my Rose & Tea Facial Toner. Use certified organic teas — you don't want pesticides on your face!

4. Honey — Raw honey is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and other minerals and vitamins, and is one of the best natural humectants (keeps moisture in the skin). It's also antibacterial and anti fungal, so it fights off acne-causing bacteria. Local, organic honey is best. Avoid if you have pollen allergies.

5. Lemon Juice — The juice and rind of lemons are rich in antibacterial phytochemicals and circulation-boosting citric acid. As a possible skin irritant, lemon juice should be used diluted. It evens skin tone, brightens and lightens skin and hair, reduces blotchiness, and is a non-abrasive exfoliant. Citrus aromas are also wonderful mood lifters! Do not use if you have very dry, sun- or wind-burned, or sensitive skin.

6. Milk — The lactic acid in milk is a mild, non-abrasive exfoliant, great for cleansing, renewing, and softening dry, irritated, and sensitive skin. Whole milk contains extra fats and proteins as additional skin-soothers. Be sure to use hormone-free whole milk. Almond, goat, and soy milks can be used as substitutes, thought none of these will have as much fat or lactic acid as cow's milk.

7. Oil — There are so many oils to choose from, each with their own benefits: Almond Oil (Sweet Almond Oil) is rich in fatty acids and great for all skin types; Apricot Kernel Oil is great for sensitive and mature skin; Grapeseed Oil is hypoallergenic and great for those with sensitive skin; Jojoba Oil is my go-to because it most closely matches our skin's own natural oils and is also safe for those with nut or tree fruit allergies; Olive Oil is very heavy and moisturizing, and high in vitamins and minerals; Sunflower Oil is a great alternative to Jojoba Oil (which can be pretty pricey.)

8. Rosewater — Also known as rose hydrosol or rose distillate, Rosewater is a byproduct of rose essential oil production, made from distilling fresh flower petals with water. Rosewater balances all skin types, retains moisture, soothes redness, and is a mild astringent and antibacterial. It can be used on even the most sensitive or dry skin. Uplifting and anxiety-erasing, rosewater is emotionally beneficial too!

9. Yogurt — Because it's made with milk, yogurt also contains the non-abrasive exfoliant, lactic acid. It gently dissolves dead skin cells, softens skin and hair and evens out skin tone.

You can mix any of these ingredients into my clay face masks — just add your desired ingredient and blend well until you have a nice paste. Apply your mask to freshly cleansed skin and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse well. Enjoy!