The beauty industry has reached a new frontier — clay.
Clay comes from the ground, usually in areas where streams or rivers once flowed. It is made from minerals, plant life, and animals—all the ingredients of soil. Over time, water pressure breaks up the remains of flora, fauna, and minerals, pulverizing them into fine particles.
Clay for skin-care has long been popular in the cosmetic world. It has been widely used — from the most sensitive to the least sensitive skin-type. It doesn’t matter if they are sticky and sometimes smell funny. What matters is that it is effective.
What Is Clay?
Clay is a naturally occurring mixture of very fine-grained soil, clay minerals and organic matter. It is found in every part of the world with a wide selection of diverse compositions, colors and properties.
Each clay formed over a period of time due to weathering and erosion. Its absorptive and adsorptive powers are the properties that make it useful to many industries particularly the cosmetic world.
It is most admired for its impressive detoxifying capabilities, their mineral content and how it benefits the skin:
- excellent for oily and acne-prone face
- gently exfoliates
- helps retain skin moisture in sensitive, dry and aging skin
- boosts circulation
- regenerates skin cells
Types Of Clay
This is the most popular and abundant healing-type of clay. It is composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash sediments.
It is with high percentage of montmorillonite group of soft minerals. It draws out excess oil and impurities, unclogs pores and heals acne while tightening and toning skin.
It is also used as an acne treatments, bath soaks, and masks – face, foot and body.
Cambrian Blue Clay
This is saline-rich clay from Siberian salty lakes. Its beautiful color is due to zinc, iron and algae.
It is known for its clarifying, detoxifying and skin-balancing effects.It penetrates deeply into the pores to absorb impurities, hence it is recommended for spot treatments, and as face masks.
It is also included in bar soaps and detox bath salts for it promotes circulation and lymphatic drainage.
French green clays – French Green Illite and French Green Montmorillonite clays, are quarried from the northern part of France. These green clays are one of the most effective and commonly used mineral clays around the world.
Both clays have soft texture and beautiful green color due to iron oxides and decomposed plant matter (algae and kelp the most).
- Montmorillonite clay has higher mineral contents such as magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium and silica than Illite. It is darker in color, absorbs more impurities and tightens pores better. And so, it is ideal for oily complexions.
- Illite – sea or marine clay, is lighter in color and with more detoxifying capabilities. It tones your skin, tightens pores and exfoliates dead skin cells.
French pink or rose clay, a combination of red illite and white kaolin, is one of the mildest cleanser, detoxifier and exfoliator clay. It works to increase skin rejuvenation, making your complexion smoother and refreshed.
French red illite clay is rich in iron oxide and minerals. It strongly draws out impurities and stimulates blood circulation. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and damaged capillaries; boosts hydration and promotes healing.
These versatile clays are derived from weathered from weathered rocks in hot and humid climates. Kaolin blends so well with water, reason why it is widely used from cleanser to masks.
White kaolin is the mildest, less absorbent and gentle in most skin types especially the senstive one. It is usually found in dry or powdery cosmetic products.
Yellow kaolin is the major ingredient in brightening masks and gentle for those who are prone to skin-drying and irritations. It is commended of its cleansing, exfoliating and cell regenerating properties.
Pink or rose kaolin is a mild detoxifying and exfoliating clay for normal complexions.
Red kaolin is the most purifying type and best for oily skin type. Usually used once a week for it is a strong cleanser and detoxifying mask.
Moroccan lava clay or rhassoul clay is from Atlas mountains in Morocco. It is a rare, mineral-rich clay (silica and magnesium mostly) which is usually used in most high-end spas around the world.
It is admired for its therapeutic benefits; aside from its abilities to greatly absorb excess oils, exfoliates dead skin, removes toxins and clogged pores. After the treatment, it will improve skin tone, boost skin elasticity and control oil production.