Rhassoul, or ghassoul (Moroccan Arabic: الغاسول, translit. l-ġasul), is a cosmetic made of natural mineral clay mined from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It is combined with water to clean the body and has been used by North African women for centuries to care for their skin and hair. Rhassoul contains silica, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, lithium and trace elements.
The use of rhassoul dates back to the 8th century. Today, rhassoul is mainly used in traditional Moroccan hammams and in Turkish baths. Along with a glove, or "kessa", Rhassoul is used as a facial mask and poultice to the body. It is similar to a Western-style mud wrap. It is intended to soften the skin, reduce sebum secretion, regenerate the skin by removing dead cells and rebalance the skin by tightening the pores.
Rhassoul clay is also used for hair washing. It is a suggested substitution for shampoo. Moreover, rhassoul is useful for dandruff prevention and head skin nurturance. It is recommended to be used with natural oils or use oils after washing your head.
This untreated and naturally dried clay has a silk-like feel and can help even out skin tone and reduce blemishes. It has the unique ability to both nourish skin and reduce breakouts. In fact, clinical studies and testing on Rhassoul found that it can increase skin elasticity, even skin tone, reduce blemishes and blackheads, and reduce skin dryness or flakiness.
Like Bentonite Clay, it has the ability to swell when added to water, but Rhassoul has an even higher silica and magnesium content, making it especially good for skin. In fact, this clay can be used daily instead of soap for a gentle way to cleanse that won’t strip skin of beneficial oils.
Rhassoul clay boasts a high negative charge and it can help draw out blackheads and other impurities from skin. This also makes it beneficial as a make-up remover or all-purpose face wash.