Kaolin clay in cosmetics, why it is so outstanding

Kaolin clay in cosmetics use is very popular. Kaolin clay is white powder that is produced in limestone mines.  It is also sold as white clay because of its white color.  Kaolin is a common mineral all over the globe but it is more common in tropical countries. The origin of the name of kaolin comes from Chinese language, “Gaoling” and is a name of a village in Jiangxing province, southeast China.  Gaoling means a high ridge in English. Kaolin clay is the raw material for top quality Chinese porcelain.

Kaolin clay contains mainly natural kaolin, silicon and aluminum.  In addition, it is rich of zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The color is light, more white than grey.  In case the kaolin has red or yellow tincture, it contains also iron oxide. Kaolin clay contains some aluminum as well but it is not dangerous for your health. Skin does not absorb the clay but vice versa; the clay absorbs pollutants from the skin.

Kaolin clay in cosmetics is a very useful clay product because of various reasons.

Kaolin clay in cosmetics is the gentlest clay.  Kaolin clay does not make your skin dry and it does not absorb moisture or skin’s natural grease comparing to bentonite clay or illite clay. You can feel the difference easily. After kaolin clay treatment the skin will not become red. After bentonite or illite clay treatment this is usually what happens.  This effect is because of blood starts to circulate quicker on your skin and it is not dangerous.  You can prepare a kaolin clay mask on weekly basis and your skin will not get too dry.  Kaolin clay is so gentle that you can prepare even products for children like talc.

1. Kaolin clay in cosmetics is a multi-purpose material.

You can use kaolin clay in many products. White, soft kaolin clay suits well to

  • masks, the best way to use it
  • peels, gives a light peeling
  • cleansing milks, very carefully
  • toothpaste
  • deodorants, kaolin clay hides body odor and prevents perspiration
  • liquid hand soaps, makes the soap mildly peeling without drying the skin
  • baby- and body talc, very natural choice
  • face powders as a basic ingredient
  • + many other cosmetic products, you can create your own

Kaolin clay makes thickens liquid products. You can use it as a thickener together with emulsifier if you need thicker emulsions.  In thinner emulsions the clay would naturally sink to bottom.

2. Kaolin clay is antiseptic

In case you suffer from acne or your skin is unclean, try a facial mask made of kaolin.  It prevents the growth of bacteria naturally.  The clay makes too sour skin more alkalic. That means harmful bacteria will not grow anymore. Greasy skin is very sour and that is why it is best to treat it using alkaline products. The best option for greasy skin is red kaolin because it absorbs better grease than white kaolin.  You can also add kaolin clay to your cleansing emulsifier.  There is a simple formula for homemade skin cleaning product in “recipes” -page.

3. Kaolin clay is the most efficient and affordable cleansing mask you can get.

Most popular material for cleansing masks is probably the French green clay but it cannot beat kaolin in efficiency.  Kaolin clay’s quality-price ratio is outstanding.  Kaolin is very common mineral all over the world and that is why it is so affordable.  For example, kaolin is very popular in beauty care in Western Africa.  Kaolin is sold as a stone over there. Users break small pieces out of the stone and then grind them to powder.  Kaolin clay absorbs the skin’s impurities like a magnet. Pollution particles originated from air and remains of cosmetics are easy to clean from the skin using kaolin clay mask. Usually one treatment in a week is enough to keep your skin in good condition.

4. Kaolin clay gives necessary minerals to your skin and makes it natural way. 

Long time ago humans’ skin was covered by natural mineral layer.  Ancient people were much closer to nature and mother earth. Modern people must think how to get enough vital minerals. After some work in garden forces us to wash our hands immediately, we don’t feel anymore comfortable working with the nature. Using clay in cosmetics will replace at least some missed part of the lost natural life. Our skin gets necessary minerals like magnesia, zinc and calcium. These micronutrients will feed our skin making it shinier.

5. Kaolin clay mask is very efficient detox-treatment to your skin. 

Even though the air we breath is quite clean in some countries the fact is that majority of industrialized countries are suffering from polluted air.  There is no way we can protect our skin 100% from air pollution. In addition, many cosmetic products contain harmful chemicals. That is why the regular skin cleansing is very important.  Kaolin clay is very suitable product for this purpose because a person suffering too dry skin can use it frequently.  You can also give your sculp a deep-cleansing treatment.

How can I use kaolin clay when preparing home cosmetics?

Kaolin clay’s most important feature is cleaning.  Therefore, the best products you can make out of kaolin are cleaning products like peeling cream and masks. This rule is valid to all clays, they absorb impurities out of skin. This is why clays are widely used as a basic material for skin cleaning products. There is no idea to use kaolin in any remedy product. In case you want to prepare a product to moisturize your skin or want your skin to absorb some oil the kaolin clay may spoil the whole product.  You can add some vegetable oil or other grease to kaolin clay in case you want to prepare more gentle peeling cream. If you want to prepare a deep cleansing mask using kaolin clay there is no idea to add any antioxidants or oils, they just make kaolin’ work more difficult.

Materials you can unite with kaolin clay are:

  • all other cosmetic clays, you can make your own combination
  • honey (antibacterial properties, acne skin)
  • Aloe Vera gel, moisturizes dry skin and helps to remove impurities from skin
  • colloidal oat flour or rice flour, makes the clay softer
  • sugar, for peeling

I have prepared more liquid clay mask than mushy, “porridge-like” one. Lighter mask works better than a heavy clay shell on the skin. You just need a spoonful, even less, of kaolin clay for preparing a mask.  Blend the mask using a glass, wooden or ceramic bowl. Do not use a metallic tool, clays will react with metals.  Metals can even disturb the detox-effect of clay. Use only a brush to spread the mask on your face. Leave enough security area around your eyes.

You can also use kaolin as it is, as a powder or talc

You can also try to dry-wash your hair using kaolin. However, it does not remove grease as efficiently like bentonite clay but, on the other hand, kaolin prevents the excretion of sebum.

When preparing masks or any other cosmetic product please keep in mind following basic rule:  each and every component of the product should have a purpose.  It does not make any sense adding some ingredients just because you happen to have them in your closet. This was in my mind when I started to write my book “Handbook of DIY-cosmetics”.  Everything what we add to our products must have a function. We have to get rid of so called “this-and-that” -ideology and start to think what we and our skin really need. It is better to leave some ingredients away than just add them without a reason.  The length of INCI-list does not tell anything about the efficiency of a product no matter how organic the ingredients are.

I wish you found this article useful!

Have you ever tried kaolin clay for anything? It is easy to replace chemical products by kaolin clay. Please share your experience !

4 answers

    1. Thank you very much for the comment!
      I’m so glad you’re reading my site!

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