Clay. What is it? In lamens terms, we could describe it as mere mud, but its root sources are much more than that. Produced by thousands of years of weathered volcanic ash and decomposed plant material, this powder is chock full of electrically charged minerals that have the ability to absorb and adsorb (a term we learned from our previous journal post 5 Awesome Skin Benefits of Activated Charcoal meaning to attract like a magnet) impurities, bacteria, organic substances, metals, and environmental free radicals. Each clay type comes from its own unique source, with its own unique mineral composition, all with the ability to absorb large amounts of water, causing it to expand greatly when wet. These characteristics of clay make it a wonderful cosmetic addition to facial and body uses. There will be 4 main types of clays we will be talking about today, listed below by lowest to highest absorption quality, and why a few of them are used in Flynn&King formulations.
Kaolin clay is the most versatile and least absorbent clay, making it a great ingredient for practically all skin types especially those who are sensitive and ultra-dry. It comes in a variety of colors: white, yellow, red, and pink.
White kaolin is the gentlest and mildest of the bunch. Because it doesn't have a tendency to over-dry skin, it's a great detoxifier, gentle exfoliator, and skin balancer for sensitive and dry skin types. A gentle refreshed feeling is what you'd feel after using white kaolin.
Yellow kaolin is slightly more absorbent than white kaolin with gentle exfoliating and stimulating circulation properties. Its yellow color leaves skin fresh and bright.
Red kaolin has the strongest absorbing powers of all the kaolin types. While white and yellow kaolin is more for sensitive and dry types, red kaolin is best for suited for oily skin types. Its ability to draw oils from the skin proves best for people who are acne-prone.
Pink kaolin is a mixture of white and red kaolin, making this an ideal clay for sensitive, but oily skin types. Its gentle exfoliation and oil-drawing ability keep skin from being irritated while balancing out the skin.
We use a mixture of white and pink clay in our Buff Exfoliant & Mask and pink clay in Driftwood Soap with Babassu Oil and Pink Clay for its cleansing, circulation-boosting, and mild oil-drawing powers.
FRENCH GREEN CLAY
This green clay hails from France of course, with its high concentrations of plant material and volcanic matter. Because this clay is still fairly mild, it is great for dry and mature types. This clay is also a great anti-inflammatory so those with irritations from chemical peels, problem skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis, and just overall dry and itchy, will find this clay to be soothing without overdrying.
This clay is used in our Dope Soap with Hemp Oil and Matcha Green Tea for dry and mature skin types.
Rhassoul clay is a beautiful red-brown clay generally sourced from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, also known as Moroccan Clay. Although it's a gentle clay, its ability to absorb is far greater than kaolin or french green clay. Blackheads, oil, and other impurities don't stand a chance with this clay making it ideal for normal to mature skin-types that with problems like oil and acne. Rich in magnesium, silica, potassium, and calcium, this clay will nourish your skin and give it that soft and supple feel.
This clay is used in our Buff Exfoliant & Mask and also our Woodsman Soap with Cedarwood and Vetiver.
Bentonite clay, also known as Montmorillonite, is the most absorbent of all the clays. It has a strong ability to draw oils, bacteria, and impurities from the skin making it a superb choice for acneic and overly-active skin types. Cystic acne, bacteria-filled acne, and skin with large oily pores will find it's tightening effects and oil-drawing capabilities desirable. This clay should generally be used in spot treatments than an overall mask or body-wrap as its powerful charge and drawing properties can be very irritating and drying on the skin if improperly used.
No matter your skin type, there is a clay out there for you! From mild and sensitive to oily and mature, there are many types of clay that are beneficial to the skin. Which ones have you tried and what uses have you used them for? Comment below and share with our readers the wonderful experience you've had with clay.
** For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. **