Rhassoul’s mild, surfactant-free cleansing properties make it especially suitable for sensitive skin. Complicated formulas and intense active ingredients can overwhelm the self-regulation of sensitive skin – and the skin reacts by becoming red and irritated. When washing with rhassoul, neither the natural protective layer (acid mantle) of the skin nor the sebaceous glands are irritated. That means rhassoul is suitable for both irritable and sensitive skin as well as blemish-prone and oily skin. The powder made from natural clay minerals can also be used well with fine hair and dandruff-prone or oily scalps.
The special cleansing properties of rhassoul come from a purely physical action: Combined with water, rhassoul swells and develops a gel-like consistency. Its fine particles have a particularly high capacity for exchange. That means they are able to absorb and remove particles and excess oils like blotter paper. Because of this especially mild way of cleansing, rhassoul never completely removes oil from the skin and hair, as sometimes occurs for example with especially aggressive surfactant products.
A common name for the traditional product is “rhassoul” or “ghassoul” from the Arabic verb “ghassala”. But it is also known commonly by the misleading name “lava earth”. However, it actually has nothing to do with lava. The term “lava” here actually comes from the Italian word “lavare”, which means “to wash”. In the Middle Ages, rhassoul was transported throughout the Middle East with camel caravans and was often part of a bride’s dowry. Today the Moroccan royal family Page 2 of 3 still claims many passages of the “Djebel Fhassoul” in the Atlas Mountains for its own rhassoul supplies.
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