Make your own hot mud foot treatment mask
If you want beautifully soft and moisturised feet but don’t have the money for an all-in pedi then maybe this will help. This simple make-at-home mud mask can be used all over the body but we just love to warm it up, slap it onto our feet, wrap them in cling wrap and a pre-warmed towel before sitting back for a good half hour of ‘me’ time. After all it is our poor old feet that carry us through our many trials and tribulations of life and after all that walking they need some love too.
This clay mask is based on a very simple gum suspension system. Most clay won’t ‘hold up’ in water on its own and instead tends to settle at the bottom of the container as a yucky sediment so to slow down that process we have added a lovely gum based thickener and suspending agent – acacia and xanthan gum blend. This helps to structure the water just enough to hold the clay for long enough to use it, store it and use it again. We haven’t performed a shelf life test but expect this to be good for at least 3 months.
Other than just simple stability the gum gives this a silky skin feel and makes both applying and removing this easy. It also makes the product more efficient (cost-effective) as the clay is evenly deposited over the skin without leaving too much (or not enough).
Glycerin is something that I tend to add to almost all of my recipes as it helps to prevent the product drying out over time and is also a cost-effective humectant (water-binding moisturiser).
Next I’ve added a little surfactant (or soaping agent) just to help with its removal come time. There is nothing worse than enjoying a mud treatment only to find it stuck like glue and impossible to remove! This is a natural sugar based surfactant derived from corn.
Then we come to the clay.
There are many different types of clay all with slightly different properties. Clay is formed as a result of the weathering of rocks (it can also be formed as a result of volcanic activity) and as such is a rich source of minerals and salts. I’ve chosen to use an Australian Green Clay as my key active because it is a great healing clay suitable for nearly all skin types being not too harsh yet still active. Clays help to draw out dirt particles from the skin while leaving it feeling soft and silky due to their rich balance of minerals. The kaolin is also active and has dirt drawing properties without the additional trace minerals so I find this a perfect base to give that lovely coverage that we have come to expect and enjoy from our clay mask treatments.
The plantaserve E is a preservative blend supplied by New Directions Australia. This is a mix of phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin and helps to prevent the mask from growing bacteria, yeast or mould over its shelf life.
The essential oils boost your enjoyment of the product and can be used for their therapeutic properties also if you know what you are doing – I always stick to pre-blended oils to ensure I have the correct balance!
Mixing it up.
To make the above could not be simpler. Just boil the kettle (use demineralised water if you want this to last longer (shelf life) but for home use tap water may work just fine) and then measure into a bowl the required amount of water. Add the ingredients in phase A and stir gently until the clay has all gone in. If you find this too bubbly you could leave out the coco glucoside until the clay is all wetted then add it – it is up to you and your mixer!
Once the mix has cooled to approx. 45C add phase B ingredients, mix, check the pH and adjust with citric acid if necessary (pH should be between 4.5-7 really as this is a wash-off product, the higher pH may be more drying to the skin but I am not sure anyone would notice. The pH may vary because of the water).
Applying the mud – make sure everything is to hand BEFORE applying the mud as you don’t want to be slipping around the house to fetch a towel!
Now you are ready to go just take out the required amount, pop it into the microwave for a few seconds – taking care to stir and take the temperature BEFORE you apply as gel systems like this can heat up very quickly. Ideally you want it to be around 40-45C max.
Smooth onto freshly washed feet then wrap and place under elevation for 30 minutes to let the magic hot mud do its work. Don’t be tempted to run around during this time for obvious reasons!
When the time is up unwrap and rinse down, pat dry then moisturise using your favourite body butter.
Enjoy this deep cleansing foot treatment as often as possible as it is always great to put your feet up and watch the world go by.