Clay was one of the earliest substances to be used as a beauty mask - probably something to do with the fact that we all have lolled about in mud as children and loved it. In fact, it's quite safe to dust a baby's tender bottom with fine multani mitti, gopi chandan or Fuller's earth.
Multani mitti is at once homey and high-tech. It was used as far back as ancient Rome but the name Fuller's earth comes from this clay's use in the early English wool industry. It was considered so valuable that English law forbade its export until the early 18th century.
Fuller's earth can clean our bodies, as well. It is often used in facial masks to draw oils from the skin. You can sprinkle it your bath, or make a paste that can be applied to your face. Around the house, Fuller's earth can be used to clean up oil spills from your car or to remove wine stains from non-washable materials.
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