It’s your guide to cosmetic clay types and their beauty benefits.

Cosmetologists use as many as 7 types of clay: they differ not only in color, but also in properties. Each type of clay has unique properties, mineral compositions, and benefits for the skin. Which one is good for you? Here is your guide to cosmetic clay types and their beauty benefits.

Over time, as knowledge was shared and passed down from generation to generation, the use of clay for skincare became a part of cultural and traditional practices.

While ancient civilizations and indigenous communities observed the benefits of clay for skincare, they may not have understood the scientific reasons behind its effectiveness. Today, modern research has shed light on the mineral composition and properties of different types of cosmetic clay, confirming their efficacy for various skin concerns.


7 Cosmetic clay types


7 Cosmetic clay types

Cosmetic clay is a type of clay that is used in various skincare and beauty products due to its beauty beneficial properties. It is a natural substance sourced from the earth, primarily composed of minerals, and comes in different colors such as white, green, red, pink, yellow, and more. Each type of clay has unique properties and benefits, making them suitable for various skin types and conditions. Some common types of cosmetic clays and their properties include:


White clay (kaolin clay)


7 Cosmetic clay types


Perhaps, white clay is the most common cosmetic clay. White clay is made up of a mineral kaolinite and can be found anywhere in the world. It also contains zinc, silicon, magnesium and mineral salts. Due to the high content of iron and potassium, it removes toxins, enriches the skin with oxygen, and improves complexion. White clay is very gentle and is great for sensitive and dry skin types. The pH of kaolin clay is close to the skin’s natural pH of 5.5. It has mild exfoliating properties and helps to cleanse and soothe the skin. It reduces oily sheen, tightens and even slightly whitens the skin. In addition, white clay is used in hair products: it dries oily scalp and fights dandruff.

Originally, kaolin clay or china clay was harvested from a hill in China, Kao-ling. This soft clay has been used in China for centuries to create porcelain products. This clay is a perfect solution for the problematic, tired, and aging skin.


Bentonite clay


7 Cosmetic clay types


Bentonite clay comes from volcanic ash and its main absorbent is aluminium phyllosilicate. The clay got its name from Fort Benton, Montana, the US, where its largest sources are found. Its other name, Montmorillonite clay, stems from the region of France called Montmorillon, where it was first found.

Bentonite clay is cost-effective, although it is far more intense for the skin than kaolin clay. However, bentonite clay has a much higher pH (8.5) level than kaolin clay (5.5).

Known for its absorbent properties, bentonite clay helps draw out toxins and impurities from the skin. It is often used in facial masks and cleansers for oily and acne-prone skin.


French green clay


7 Cosmetic clay types


It is called “French green clay” because of the large mineral-rich deposits of green clay have been found off the southern coast of France. Green clay is ideal for oily and problematic skin. In its composition, among other useful elements, there is silver, which, as you know, has powerful bactericidal properties. If the task is to dry out inflammation, relieve redness, restore water balance and improve blood circulation, green clay is in a hurry to help. It is a natural exfoliant and stimulant, and also works as a pore-tightening toner. Rich in minerals, this clay is effective in removing impurities and excess oil from the skin. It is especially useful for oily and acne-prone skin.


Moroccan rhassoul clay (or ghassoul clay)


7 Cosmetic clay types


Since time immemorial, rhassoul clay has been used as an inseparable part of beauty treatments in Moroccan hammam. Ghassoul clay is mined in Morocco where the only known deposit in the world is located in Moulouya Valley.

Rhassoul clay contains almost 60% silicon and 25% magnesium. The remaining minerals are aluminum (about 2.5%), calcium (2.3%), sodium (table salt), and iron. It also contains additional minerals such as sepiolite, quartz, dolomite, gypsum, celestine.

This clay has excellent cleansing properties and is often used in hair and face masks. Rhassoul clay has very high absorption capacity, cleansing properties, and is suitable for all skin types. It can be used for many purposes: for hair, for skin, for face mask, for face scrub, for body mask, for soap, and DIY recipes.


Pink clay


7 Cosmetic clay types


Pink clay is the most versatile of all cosmetic clays. It makes the skin velvety, nourishing it, and also reduces fine wrinkles. The clay is known for its balancing and brightening effects on the skin, making it suitable for all skin types. With regular use, the skin becomes firmer and smoother. Pink clay is a combination of red and white clays with the unique composition of kaolinite, iron, illite, Montmorillonite, and calcite. Other minerals and crystals are: feldspar, quartz, silica, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Pink clay is a firm favorite amongst those with dry or sensitive skin. It has a relatively neutral pH level of around 4.5, which is close to the skin’s natural pH of 5.5.


Black Brazilian clay


7 Cosmetic clay types


Like the name says, black Brazilian clay comes from Brazil. It is actually a type of kaolin clay. The clay is rich in titanium, silica, calcium, iron, and aluminum. The unique composition of black clay makes it a perfect rejuvenating solution for all skin types. However, it is especially popular with oily or mature skin as it helps nourish and detoxify. It eliminates impurities, excessive skin oils and dead skin cells so that your skin can look healthy and refreshed. Black clay is 100% natural and highly stable, making it perfect for applications including soap, shampoo, hair masks, facial products, body wraps and other beauty treatments. But be careful: while black clay facial masks are the most effective of all clay masks, they also often cause irritation, allergic reactions, and can over dry the skin.


Cambrian blue clay


7 Cosmetic clay types


Cambrian blue clay is one of the lesser-known cosmetic clays of the world. It comes from the purest areas of Serbia, where it is widely used in health resorts and spas. The high content of silver ions is the blue clay’s unique feature. Compare to the other types of cosmetic clays, blue clay has the largest amount of potassium, radium, magnesium, iron, phosphate, and nitrogen. If you use it more than once a month, it is generally a superhero: it can reduce fine wrinkles, improve complexion and prevent breakouts. Blue clay accelerates the healing process of small wounds and pimples, and also has a beneficial effect on scars and post-acne. In addition to face masks, it is often used as a component for anti-cellulite body wraps. It enhances blood circulation and visibly tightens the skin.

Each type of clay has unique properties, mineral compositions, and benefits for the skin.

What cosmetic clay does to your skin?


Cosmetic clay is beneficial for skin health due to its unique properties and composition, making it an excellent natural ingredient for skincare. Here are some of the key reasons why cosmetic clay is favored for its skin benefits:


Absorbs Excess Oil

Cosmetic clay has high absorbent properties, which means it can effectively draw out excess oil and sebum from the skin’s surface. This makes it particularly useful for people with oily and acne-prone skin, as it helps reduce shine and the appearance of pores.


Unclogs Pores

The clay has a fine texture and is rich in negatively charged ions. When applied to the skin, it binds to positively charged impurities and toxins, such as dirt, bacteria, and pollutants, helping to unclog pores and remove impurities from the skin.

Cleanses and Detoxifies

Cosmetic clay acts as a natural detoxifier, pulling out toxins and impurities from the skin. This cleansing action can promote a clearer and healthier complexion.

Soothes Irritated Skin

The clay has soothing properties that can help calm and reduce inflammation in the skin. It can be beneficial for people with sensitive or irritated skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis.

Exfoliates Gently

Cosmetic clay has mild exfoliating properties, helping to slough off dead skin cells and promote a smoother skin texture.

Improves Circulation

When applied to the skin, the clay can increase blood flow to the surface, enhancing circulation and promoting a healthy glow.

Supports Wound Healing

Due to its ability to draw out impurities and promote a clean environment, cosmetic clay can aid in the healing process of minor wounds and blemishes.


Natural and safe


7 Cosmetic clay types


Cosmetic clay is a natural substance with no harmful chemicals or additives, making it suitable for various skin types, including sensitive skin.

To use cosmetic clay for skincare, it is typically mixed with water or other suitable liquids to form a paste that is applied as a facial mask or spot treatment. However, it’s essential to avoid using metal utensils when mixing the clay, as it can react with metal and lose some of its beneficial properties. Additionally, it’s a good idea to perform a patch test before using cosmetic clay on a larger area of your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin or any skin conditions.


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