What , why and how clays are good for your skin

Let’s get talking about cosmetic clays and their differences to help you to choose the right one for you. The great thing about clays apart from being amanzingly good for your skin. They are very active and provide a lot of goodness to your skin AND they are very affordable too !!

White Kaolin Clay

White Kaolin Clay is also known as China Clay or White Cosmetic Clay. It owes its colour to the high concentration of aluminium. It is the most used clay in cosmetics. Due to its natural adsorbent properties, it is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of cosmetics – soaps, scrubs, poultices, body and face powders, and masks. It is the mildest of all the cosmetic clays and is also used as a fixative in the perfume industry. Its action on the skin is very gentle, so it can be used on most sensitive skins. It adsorbs impurities from the skin without removing any natural oils. It helps stimulate circulation in the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. Its adsorption effect is minimal, so it does not draw oils from the skin and can therefore be used on dry and sensitive skin types.


Pink/Rose Kaolin Clay

Pink/Rose Kaolin Clay is a mix of red and white kaolin clays, so the best properties of both clays can be experienced at once. It has a mild, soothing, cleansing and exfoliating action, and can be used on dry to normal skins. It is an excellent choice for face masks, baths, creams lotions body products. It is often used as a colourant in cosmetics.

Pink Kaolin Clay is generally for normal skin although is can be extremely beneficial for dry and sensitive skin. Pink clay is soothing, cleansing, hydrating and detoxifying.

Pink kaolin is a gentle clay, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. Pink kaolin clay does not draw oils from the skin (since kaolin clays do not absorb, only adsorb), and can therefore be used on dry skin types. It can be used in body powders to keep skin dry.

Uses: Cosmetic/Medicinal. Suitable for dry, sensitive or normal skin types

French green Illite clay

The most well known of the illite group is Green Illite clay. It is efficient at drawing oils and toxins from the skin and is also often referred to as French Green (Illite) Clay.

Unlike French Green Montmorillonite, French Green Illite is a non-swelling clay. Green Illite clay is a superb detoxification product. Its detoxifying properties are explained by 2 main factors:

  • Its sorptive capacity is very high, so it draws toxins out of the body very effectively.
  • Its negative cumulative ionic charge which helps to attract and bind positively charged toxic waste and eliminate it out of the body.

French Green Illite clay is like a sponge, attracting water and toxins not only to its negatively charged surface, but also inside the numerous canals in its crystalline structure.

Red Kaolin Clay

Red Kaolin Clay – also known as Moroccan red clay or Marroc clay – is rich in iron oxide (this gives it the red colour), it is highly adsorbent and draws oils and toxins from the skin. This is the clay to use for moist, oily skin types. It can be used in the treatment of acne, spots, rashes, etc.

Moroccan red clay is extracted from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It is a strong cleansing clay which will draw excess oils from the skin, stimulate circulation to the skin and act as a powerful astringent for oily skin and hair. It is very popular in spas around the world. Good for use in in face masks and body wraps. Most suitable for normal and oily skin/hair types. Not to be used for dry/sensitive skin.

Yellow Kaolin Clay

Yellow Kaolin Clay is also a relatively rare type of clay. It is mild and is traditionally used on sensitive skin types. It stimulates blood circulation while gently exfoliating and cleansing the skin. It also draws impurities out of the skin. Being mild by nature, it will not remove natural oils, and can therefore be used on most skin types. Like all coloured clays, it can be used as a colourant in cosmetic products. Suitable for dry, sensitive and normal skin.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay . It was formed by the alteration of volcanic glass to clay minerals which are less than .005mm in size. It can absorb 40 – 50 times its weight and swell to form  gel-like  .

This clay is often used for drawing poultices and for treating sprains, bruises, insect bites, rashes, in perspiration absorbing foot powders, and in exfoliating and detoxifying face masks, as well as in body wraps. Most types of clay are drying because of their absorbent qualities so are recommended for normal to oily skin only.

Calcium bentonite type clay is non swelling and is also called Fuller’s earth. It is widely used in cosmetics for face masks for oily/blemished skin for its drying effect.

Bentonite clay is a combination of montmorillonite and volcanic ash. It is a highly absorbent clay that pulls oils and toxins from the skin and is one of the best clays for making clay poultices. It is best suited for oily skin. Bentonite is also a good clay for use as an oily hair and scalp treatment.

Medicinally, it is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying natural substances available, and therefore it is one of the most popular clays for this purpose.

Fullers Earth – 

Calcium Montmorillonite or Fullers Earth, is a natural, mineral clay type substance with the property of absorbing basic colors and removing them from oils. It is composed mainly of aluminium, silica, iron oxides, lime, magnesium, and water, in extremely variable proportions, and is generally classified as a sedimentary clay. In color it may be whitish, buff, brown, green, olive, or blue. Fullers earth was originally used in the fulling of wool to remove oil and grease but is now used in refining edible oils. It is also a useful base ingredient for facial clay recipes and adds a nice finishing touch to clay products promising to aid its user with their battle against oily skin.

Soapmaking : Add a tablespoon of fullers earth to your favourite cold process soap recipe for a bar of soap that eliminates hard to remove dirt and grease.

Information extracted from http://www.saltsclaysminerals.com/natural/clays/other_clays.html

Do you remember my old post about getting cosmetic making ingredients locally and talked about where to get Fullers Earth ? If you missed the post HERE it is

My recommendation is that you do not use clay as an only ingredient on a face mask. Apart from mixing with water add other ingredients like plant beauty oils, glycerine, floral waters .

As clay is an ingredient very hard preserve even for cosmetic scientist still a challenge. This is why many clays skincare products in the market contain parabens . Parabens is one of the strongest broad spectrum preservative. I work with many other preservatives but never use parabens.

If you have added water to the clay I suggest you make a “fresh” face mask for only one use and then you can keep in the fridge for only few days.

Or you could keep dry ingredients and water ingredients in different containers for long shelf life and then mix it in the moment you want to create a face mask.

Basic fresh face mask with clay recipe would be:

40% clay of your choice (or 2 clays )

40% distilled water or floral waters of your choice

10% Glycerine

1-2% essential oils ( be cautions and follow safety guidelines when use essential oils)

6% different powdered herbs or some raw honey

You will end up with something so yummy and so GOOD  as this:

Please comment below if you like using clays and which ones

Thanks for reading !

La Mayca x