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Multani mitti for face

The Skin Benefits of Multani Mitti Clay, Plus 6 DIY Recipes

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Every morning, I always found a small cup on my grandmother’s kitchen counter with a smooth mixture of brownish clay, milk, and turmeric. After the morning hustle and bustle subsided, she’d apply it to her face, wait for 10 minutes, and rinse it off.

It was a ritual she followed religiously, claiming it was the secret to her smooth and glowing skin.

I often wondered what the clay was, and it was only much later that I realized that it was Multani mitti.

Also called fuller’s earth or mud of Multan, this ingredient has been used by homemakers like my grandmother and mother as well as skin experts for decades.

It’s also a staple ingredient in herbal formulations, Ayurvedic beauty treatments, and ubtans — Ayurvedic treatments to cleanse and detox the body often used before traditional Indian weddings.

Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re curious about, beauty is personal.

That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.

We only recommend something we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched by our team.

What is Multani mitti?

Multani mitti is a mineral-rich clay-like substance that gets its name from its city of origin, Multan in modern day Pakistan. With a texture that’s much finer than clay and with a higher water content, Multani mitti is known for decolorizing oil and other liquids without harsh adverse reactions.

It’s composed of hydrated aluminum silicates and is rich in magnesium chloride and calcium bentonite, a composition similar to bentonite clay. It’s found in a large range of natural colors like brown, green, and white.

Multani mitti is known as fuller’s earth in English for its historic use by textile workers known as “fullers.”

Fuller’s earth was popularly mined in the state of Multan and exported to other regions of the Indian subcontinent. Thus, it came to be known as Multani Mitti,” says Jatin Gujrati, founder of Ayurvedic lifestyle brand Vedix. “Princesses and affluent women in Indian history always had a stash of Multani mitti along with sandalwood paste and gram flour, which they used for beauty treatments.”

A prime destination on the silk route, traders brought home Multan’s clay-like soil, and women used it extensively on their skin and hair at that time.

During World War II, fuller’s earth was mixed with water and applied to feet to reduce inflammation.

Multani mitti benefits

Multani mitti or fuller’s earth is used as a natural cleanser and astringent, offering a host of benefits for the skin, including:

  • reducing oil
  • fighting acne
  • balancing and brightening skin tone
  • reducing pigmentation

Oily skin

According to Rinky Kapoor, cosmetic dermatologist and surgeon at The Esthetic Clinic, Multani mitti contains mattifying properties that balance skin oils and remove impurities.

It’s especially beneficial for oily skin, as it helps open up clogged pores and absorbs excess sebum from the skin.

According to one study, Multani mitti removes dirt and absorbs excess oil.


According toVaishali Sawant, assistant medical director of Vedicure Healthcare and Wellness, Multani mitti is effective at treating acne. It does this by:

  • removing sweat, impurities, and dead skin cells
  • eliminating blackheads and whiteheads
  • controlling excessive oil production
  • shrinking the appearance of pores
  • cooling the skin
  • soothing irritation caused by inflammation

“The magnesium chloride in fuller’s earth is a magic anti-acne worker,” says Kapoor.

Skin tone and brightening

According to research, Multani mitti increases the cleanliness of the skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface, which results in:

  • increased retention of nutrients and moisture
  • improved circulation
  • a tightening effect
  • an exfoliating effect

These benefits provide a rejuvenated, glowing look.


Multani mitti helps fight dark circles and sun damage due to its cooling effect on the skin.

“It gives you an even skin tone, tackles tanning and pigmentation, and is effective against sunburn, skin rashes, and infections,” adds Sawant.

Skin whitening or lightening

Given that Multani mitti is effective against removing excess oil, impurities, and dead cells, it gives the skin a natural glow.

“The ions in Multani mitti lighten the skin and heal the damage done by sun exposure,” says Kapoor.

How to use Multani Mitti

Multani mitti can be used in multiple ways as a beauty treatment, including:

  • face pack
  • face mask
  • spot treatment
  • exfoliant

Face pack

In India, tightening face masks are often referred to as face packs. Multani mitti makes a great face pack and can be combined with other ingredients to suit different skin types.

It has both a cooling and tightening effect, helps reduce lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation while cleansing the skin.

You can try products like Reshma Beauty Fuller’s Earth Face Mask.

Spot treatment

Because of its oil-absorbing properties, Multani mitti makes a great spot treatment.

You can use a bit of a face mask or mix Multani mitti powder with water and dab it on pimples to dry them up and reduce redness.

In India, it’s popularly mixed with neem when used as a spot treatment.

Face mask

Multani mitti can be mixed with other ingredients to create a moisturizing and brightening face mask. Common ingredients include:

  • papaya
  • turmeric
  • aloe vera
  • egg whites
  • tomato pulp
  • yogurt
  • honey
  • avocado
  • lemon

These ingredients can help add moisture or brightness to the skin.


Multani mitti is very effective in removing dead cells from the surface of the skin.

Use it as a gentle scrub by mixing it with orange peel powder or powdered oats.


DIY recipes

Want to give Multani mitti a try? The recipes below have you covered.

Simple face pack

For this face pack, you can use your favorite high fat milk if you have combination skin. Rose water works best for dehydrated skin.


  • 1/4 cup high fat milk of choice or rose water
  • 1 tbsp. multani mitti powder


  1. Mix one tbsp. of Multani mitti with 1/4 cup milk or rose water
  2. Apply to a clean, dry face.
  3. Leave on for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Recipe courtesy of Manasi Shirolikar, head dermatologist at Remedico.

Spot treatment

This quick and easy spot treatment helps dry up acne fast.


  • 1 tsp. food-grade sandalwood powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. Multanni mitti powder
  • 2 tbsp. water


  1. Mix sandalwood, turmeric, and Multani mitti powder with water until you get a thick paste.
  2. Apply directly to acne pimples and let dry. You can also leave it on overnight.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Recipe courtesy Jatin Gujrati of Vedix.

Cooling face mask

This simple face mask is moisturizing, brightening, and cleansing.


  • 1 tsp. sandalwood powder
  • 1 tbsp. Multani mitti powder
  • 2 tsp. coconut water
  • 2 tsp. high fat milk of choice


  1. Mix the powders and liquids together.
  2. Spread paste on clean, dry skin.
  3. Leave on for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Recipe courtesy Jeeshant Khan, formulations scientist at I am Love.

Exfoliating papaya mask

This exfoliating mask features the skin benefits of antioxidant-rich papaya.


  • 1 tbsp. Multani mitti powder
  • 1 tbsp. papaya pulp


  1. Mix ingredients to create a paste.
  2. Apply to a clean, dry face.
  3. Allow to dry completely.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Recipe courtesy Sushant Shetty of Kaya Limited.

Moisturizing mask

For skin types that need extra moisture, mix your Multani mitti with equal parts aloe vera gel. Make sure it’s food-grade and has no additives.


  • 1 tbsp. Multani mitti
  • 1 tbsp. aloe vera gel


  1. Mix ingredients.
  2. Apply to clean, dry face.
  3. Leave for 10 minutes.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Lemon exfoliant

This simple exfoliant blend can help slough off dead skin cells and brighten with lemon.


  • 1 tbsp. Multani mitti
  • 1 tsp. glycerine
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. rose water


  1. Mix ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Gently massage onto clean, dry skin in a circular motion.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Lemon and other citrus fruits may cause skin irritation for some people. You shouldn’t use lemon if you know you’re going to be out in the sun, as doing so can increase your risk of sunburn and other side effects. Always do a patch test before you use lemon in your skin care routine.

When not to use Multani Mitti

People with highly sensitive or dry skin should avoid using Multani mitti. Because it absorbs oil, Multani mitti can leave your skin feeling thirsty.

If you have sensitive skin, it may lead to redness or irritation.

Always do a patch test to rule out sensitivity and allergy before using any new product.

Multani mitti offers plenty of benefits for the skin, including cleansing, brightening, and toning properties.

To reap the benefits, you can use it in simple DIY recipes, like face masks, exfoliants, and spot treatments.

While it’s generally considered safe, it may irritate sensitive skin. Make sure you do a patch test before you give it a try.

FAQs and How to Use Multani Mitti for Hair

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We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Multani mitti, also commonly known as Fuller’s Earth, is a clay that has many benefits for skin and hair.

Its absorbent properties allow it to sop up oil naturally while it also conditions your scalp. Its abrasive properties exfoliate, which may help remove dead skin and flakes.

The clay is rich in minerals — including magnesium, silica, and iron — although the exact mineral content will differ.

One of the earliest uses of Multani mitti was as a wool cleaner because of its ability to condition and fluff.

If you’re interested in using Multani mitti for your hair and scalp, there are several things to know. Here are answers to frequently asked questions.

What can Multani mitti do for hair and scalp?

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Multani mitti may:

  • help eliminate dandruff
  • promote hair growth
  • help straighten hair
  • improve the look of split ends

It’s a very absorbent material that can be used to soak up excess oil and sebum, which is why it works well as a hair cleanser and is sometimes used as a face cleanser to mattify skin.

Can Multani mitti be used for hair?

Yes, Multani mitti can be used on hair, though it will likely need to be mixed into another product or made into a clay mask with water and coconut oil, as it often comes packaged in powdered form.


Frequently asked questions

Can I use Multani mitti as shampoo?

Its absorbent and exfoliating qualities mean Multani mitti can be used to wash your hair.

It helps to make a paste using water, coconut oil, and any other hair-healthy ingredient you’d like to incorporate, like apple cider vinegar or rosemary or geranium essential oils.

You can use it as an ingredient in homemade shampoo.

You can try skipping out on a separate conditioner, if you’d like. Just be sure to completely rinse the clay from your hair.

Can I use Multani mitti every day?

Yes, you can use Multani mitti daily — but if you have a very dry scalp to begin with, you may notice that regular use makes it too dry.

Does Multani mitti help straighten hair?

Multani mitti adds weight to your hair, which can stretch out curls. It won’t totally straighten hair on its own, but it can make straightening with a flat iron easier.

Does Multani mitti remove hair?

Anecdotally, some people say you can remove hair by making a paste from Multani mitti and honey, then rubbing it on your face in a clockwise direction, allowing it to dry before wiping it off.

This may remove hair in a style similar to sugaring, though it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or aesthetician before trying this at home.

How can you use Multani mitti for hair?

People use Multani mitti a few different ways for hair, from cleansing and conditioning to smoothing and taking away excess oil or sebum.

You can buy Multani mitti in powder form online or in certain health stores.

To use it on your hair, you can try the following hair mask recipe.

Multani mitti hair pack

  • 4 tbsp. Multani mitti
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (optional)

Mix ingredients, then apply to damp hair and massage onto your scalp. Let sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Hair pack tip

Keep it under wraps. Wear a shower cap or wrap your hair during your 30-minute wait.

What to look out for

  • May be too drying. Multani mitti is extremely absorbent, which is a good thing if you have very oily hair; however, if your hair and scalp are dry or if you see excessive flakes in your hair, Multani mitti may actually be too drying for you to use regularly.
  • Use sparingly. Used sparingly, it can exfoliate your scalp, which may improve the look of dandruff.
  • May dull hair’s shine. The clay has a pH higher than your hair (hair is usually around a 5 or 6 on the scale). So, if your hair feels dull after cleansing with Multani mitti, you may want to follow it up with an apple cider vinegar rinse, which adds shine.


Other options

If you’re having trouble finding Multani mitti or you’re interested in similar products, here are some other clays and natural ingredients that are used in a similar way:

  • bentonite clay
  • charcoal
  • green clay
  • rhassoul clay


The takeaway

Multani mitti, also known as Fuller’s Earth, is a clay that has cleansing benefits for the skin and hair.

Its naturally absorbent properties allow it to cleanse your hair of oil while remaining gentle on your skin.

It can be made into a hair mask to clean and condition your hair. Because it’s so absorbent, however, you should avoid it if you have a very dry, itchy scalp — in that case, it can be too drying.





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Dr Debraj Shome- Best Plastic, Cosmetic & Oculoplastic Surgeon in Mumbai, India

Dr. Debraj Shome

Best Plastic, Cosmetic & Oculoplastic Surgery in Mumbai, India

Dr. Debraj Shome is Director and Co founder of The Esthetic Clinics. He has been rated amongst the top surgeons in India by multiple agencies. The Esthetic Clinics patients include many international and national celebrities who prefer to opt for facial cosmetic surgery and facial plastic surgery in Mumbai because The Esthetic Clinics has its headquarters there.

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Dr Debraj Shome- Best Plastic, Cosmetic & Oculoplastic Surgeon in Mumbai, India
Dr Debraj Shome- Best Plastic, Cosmetic & Oculoplastic Surgeon in Mumbai, India
Dr Debraj Shome- Best Plastic, Cosmetic & Oculoplastic Surgeon in Mumbai, India
Dr Rinky Kapoor - Best Dermatologist, Skin Specialist Doctor in Mumbai, India
Dr Rinky Kapoor - Best Dermatologist, Skin Specialist Doctor in Mumbai, India
Dr Rinky Kapoor - Best Dermatologist, Skin Specialist Doctor in Mumbai, India

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