Kaolin clay has been very popular in the natural skincare regimen. Unlike bentonite and French green clay, kaolin has been considered to be one of the gentlest types of cosmetic clays available.
Facial mask lovers claim that kaolin has all the benefits of a clay without any of the negatives. What’s more, kaolin can even be used by people with sensitive skin! But is that really the case?
Let’s have a more detailed look at white kaolin clay and its benefits for the skin. Can it really do wonders or is it another severely overhyped natural ingredient?
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WE'LL TALK ABOUT...
- What is white kaolin clay?
- Is kaolin clay good for skin?
- Kaolin clay skin benefits
- What is the best kaolin clay mask?
- Soothing White Kaolin Clay Mask Recipe
- What is kaolin clay used for in skin care?
- Kaolin clay VS bentonite clay
- Kaolin clay vs Multani mitti
- Where to buy kaolin clay?
- Tips on white kaolin clay use
- Is white kaolin clay edible?
- What is kaolin clay: a recap
What is white kaolin clay?
Kaolin clay or kaolinite is one of the gentlest cosmetic clays used in skincare. This type of clas is also known as China clay, White clay, and Kaolinite clay.
The main component of kaolin clay is the mineral kaolinite, which is a layered silicate mineral. Kaolin clay is found all over the world, but the name comes from Gaoling, the Kao-ling mountains in China, where it was mined for centuries.
Kaolin clay is normally white in color, but not necessarily. It may come in different colors as well. It can be pinkish or greenish, depending on other minerals present. The general rule is the brighter white the clay, the better its quality and purity, even though Lush says the color can vary from white to dark brown.
While kaolin clay has been used for porcelain making, sculpting, and even as a gloss for paper but its most popular use nowadays is in skincare and personal hygiene care.
Is kaolin clay good for skin?
White kaolin clay has a neutral pH, an incredible mineral composition, and a high consistency of silica dioxide.
Unlike some other clays, such as bentonite, white kaolin clay doesn’t leave your skin dry after use. It softens the skin, leaving it toned and healthy. It’s very gentle to the skin and it can be used by all.
SKIN TYPE: white kaolin clay is best for sensitive skin, dry skin, and mature skin
And now, let’s have a look at what and how is white clay for skin good for!
Kaolin clay skin benefits
One of the most important kaolin clay benefits is the fact that this type of clay has the ability to detoxify the skin but it doesn’t dry it out at the same time. Some claim that kaolin for skin whitening is supposedly also effective. Not sure if that’s true, but you can give it a try and let me know how it works!
It promotes skin cell regeneration, bringing a healthy and glowing look to dull and tired skin.
Have a look at the list of kaolin clay benefits for skin benefits:
Natural gentle cleanser and exfoliator
Kaolin clay isn’t antibacterial but it helps to remove impurities from the skin, such as dead skin cells, excess oil, toxins, and dirt.
Since kaolin is also a gentle yet effective exfoliator, it helps to remove the impurities without drying the skin or causing any redness or irritation. The aluminium silicate doesn’t get completely absorbed by water. That way, you get a cleanser and an exfoliator in one product! Rinse kaolin mask from your skin with slow and circular movements to gently scrub it.
It’s a great alternative to commercial products that contain harsh ingredients that not only dry but may also irritate and damage the skin.
Reduces oily skin and acne
Even though white kaolin clay is not as powerful as bentonite, it is still absorbent and it clears the pores. It pulls the excess oils from the skin and helps to balance the oil production in the long run. By removing excess oils from the skin, kaolin also helps to reduce excess shine on your skin.
What’s more, by clearing pores and removing impurities from the skin, kaolin helps to minimize acne. It removes all that may cause acne.
Heals insect bites, cuts, and injuries
Whether you’re dealing with irritated skin from bug bites or red rashes, kaolin clay can soothe the problematic area. It has mild healing properties but it has been effective in treating sore muscles, minor cuts, and bruises.
Tones the skin
Since kaolin clay is stimulating to the skin, it can tone it and tighten it at the same time. It also boosts blood circulation, promoting skin regeneration as well as healthy and glowing skin. For the best results, you need to use it long term.
Kaolin for hair
Since it’s excellent in removing impurities, you can also use kaolin clay on your hair and scalp. It won’t remove its natural oils; it cleanses it gently, boosting the circulation at the same time and strengthen the roots naturally.
Some claim it even prevents hair breaking, but I haven’t tried it myself, so I’m not sure how true that is. If you do give it a try, leave us a comment below and tell us if it worked!
Healthy white teeth
Kaolin clay is a common ingredient not only in deodorants but toothpaste as well. It cleanses the teeth, pulls out toxins, and tartar. You can also make your own toothpaste, which is an alternative to store-bought toothpaste or another addition to your toothcare.
If you want to reap the beauty benefits of kaolin clay, making your own kaolin clay mask at home is very easy. You can try making one of these clay face masks or refer to the recipe below, which I love to make now and again because of this kaolin clay mask benefits: it’s soothing and gentle yet cleansing.
I also use face masks with white clay powder on a more regular basis than those with bentonite clay since it’s not as drying.
Let’s go over the white kaolin clay face mask benefits quickly before you dive into the recipe:
- it’s gently exfoliating; it removes dirt, dead skin cells, and impurities without drying out the skin too much
- naturally cleanses the skin (especially if you make your own without any nasty ingredients)
- improved circulation of the skin (which means rejuvenated and healthy appearance)
- regenerated skin and boost skin’s healing process
- toned and tightened the skin
- glowing and healthy skin
What is the best kaolin clay mask?
While there are dozens of clay facial masks online ready to be sold and shipped, in my personal experience I’d say that the best kaolin mask is the one you make at home.
By making masks yourself, you get a complete control over the ingredients. You have the option to include only what’s best for your skin. The best part about DIY face masks is that you can use any ingredients that you want. What’s more, many commercially prepared masks don’t cleanse the skin properly.
Below, you can see an example of a kaolin mask recipe, which is very easy to make and very budget-friendly. You’ll notice that you don’t need many ingredients to make it work and you can tweak and test recipes any way you’d like!
Soothing White Kaolin Clay Mask Recipe
- Combine all the ingredients in a ceramic bowl.
- Apply the mask to your face and leave for 15 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Optionally, you can substitute chamomile hydrosol with distilled water, but I don’t recommend it as the point of this hydrosol is soothing for irritated skin and has calming properties with moisturizing effects
What is kaolin clay used for in skin care?
Kaolin clay is incredibly versatile when it comes to DIY skincare. We can use white kaolin clay as an ingredient in many homemade skin care recipes or individually as a face mask.
Some of the kaolin clay uses include
- Homemade deodorants (like this one)
- Mineral makeup (gives mat look and lasts much longer)
- White clay mask (see recipe below or try one of these clay masks)
- Kaolin clay body mask (for either your cleavage or thighs)
- White clay hair mask (instead of Aztec hair mask)
- White clay bath (add it to your bath with essential oils for smooth and soft skin)
- Clay cleansing bars
- In soaps and cleansing balms
- Clay facial cleansers (instead of bentonite clay in this fizzy cleanser)
Kaolin clay VS bentonite clay
I’ve already written extensively about bentonite clay. You can have a look at the benefits of bentonite clay for acne (and oily skin).
In general, when it comes to the question of kaolin vs bentonite, this is how they differ:
Bentonite clay is made from volcanic ash. It is one of the most powerful healing clays that we know. It has incredible health and skin benefits. It is a natural aid in acne, oily skin. It can heal wounds, cuts, bruises, and insect bites. It also helps with migraines and the list goes on and on. You can apply it both topically or take it internally.
It’s best recommended for oily, problematic skin. I wouldn’t advise you to use bentonite clay for sensitive skin. it’s very very drying! You can add bentonite to foot baths, face masks (this is my fave), deodorants, and many other skincare recipes.
In short: bentonite clay stands for powerful healing, detoxification, and cleansing (yet drying) qualities.
On the other hand, kaolin clay is rich in mineral kaolinite. Best for sensitive skin, this is one of the gentlest clays we know. It doesn’t dry your skin completely; instead, it boosts circulation, giving your skin a healthy appearance.
In short: white kaolin clay stands for toning, exfoliating, and gentle cleansing with disinfecting qualities.
Kaolin clay vs Multani mitti
Now, we covered that kaolin clay is an extremely gentle type of clay that can be used by pretty much anyone. It does the job of cleansing well without drying out the skin.
Multani mitti is also known as Fuller’s Earth. It’s made up of volcanic ash (mostly) and it’s much more powerful than kaolin clay. If you have oily skin, or anywhere within that range, this is the clay you may want to try. It absorbs oil well, leaving the skin cleansed and dry so avoid it if you have sensitive skin.
It’s closer to bentonite clay than kaolin in its properties (supposedly it’s also used in cat toilets and automotive spills). It’s great for many skin types, and the claim has it, it helps to whiten the skin. Whether that’s true or not, you tell me!
Where to buy kaolin clay?
Ever since clay has stepped into the limelight, it has become easier to buy it. You can get it from online retail stores, local health stores. Whichever one you choose, make sure to trust the supplier. Kaolin clay has to be the only ingredient in the package, without any additives, artificial coloring, and absolutely zero fragrances!
This one is my favorite, but you can get any you like!
Oh, and kaolin clay price? Well, it depends, but it’s overall quite affordable and it lasts a long time. From my experience, a pound of white kaolin clay powder should cost somewhere around $10, depending on the retailer/shop. The premade clay masks are normally more expensive.
Tips on white kaolin clay use
Can I use kaolin clay every day?
While kaolin clay is gentle, but it all depends on your skin type. If you’re struggling with oily skin, you could use it on a daily basis. If your skin is on the sensitive/dry side, once a week is enough.
Overall, I tend to use any clay masks once or twice a week tops. Observe your skin and see how it likes what you’re doing!
How do you make a kaolin clay face mask?
Don’t worry about making a DIY face mask with white kaolin clay even if you’re a complete beginner. They’re very easy to make and can be very versatile.
The easiest way to make a white kaolin powder face mask is to combine clay with equal part water. Mix well and let it sit on your face up to 15 minutes (or less). Rinse with water and you’re done!
If you want to play around a bit, you can add different liquids (hydrosols, freshly brewed tea, aloe vera juice). Also, feel free to add different powders; combine different types of clay or add spirulina powder, turmeric powder, or activated charcoal.
Mix your ingredients well (to avoid any lumps) and apply to your face. Avoid the eye, eyebrow, and mouth area.
Leave the mask on up to 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat dry gently and apply a spritz of hydrosol, a facial mist, or a moisturizer.
Should I moisturize after a clay mask?
Probably you should. You’ll notice how your skin feels after you rinse the mask off. Sometimes it can be dry and tightening, sometimes it’s just happily glowing around.
What I like to do it apply a hydrosol; just a spritz or two of whatever I have on hand. Sometimes, that’s enough, but it all depends on the mask. After bentonite masks, I always apply a moisturizer after the hydrosol. This one has been my to-go facial cream for a while now, but you can use anything you’d like.
What is the pH of kaolin clay?
Your skin is a pH 5.5, which means you’re looking for products that fall within the range of 5 and 7. More than that is alkaline, less is acidic. Luckily for us, kaolin clay falls within the range of 4 -5 pH!
How do you use kaolin clay for acne?
There are a few ways you can use kaolin clay for acne:
- Kaolin clay as a facial cleanser
- Make kaolin facial scrub with a bit of oil (here’s a detailed list of non-comedogenic oils)
- Kaolin clay mask (with a suitable hydrosol, beneficial for acne (which are an excellent alternative to powerful essential oils if your skin is sensitive), and essential oils – think lavender, peppermint, and tea tree, although these are very potent and can further irritate your skin)
Overall, while white kaolin is good for acne, bentonite clay is much more powerful and can be just that much effective.
Does kaolin clay have an odor?
No, white clay is odorless; if you buy kaolin clay and it has an odor, there’s something wrong with the product and it’s possibly filled with additives.
What color is kaolin clay?
Generally, the clay should be white. Still, the color depends on where the clay is mined. The color and mineral composition can differ from one another. That’s how we know pink kaolin clay or yellow kaolin clay.
Is white kaolin clay edible?
There isn’t any scientific research to support this fact. While it may be the same as with bentonite, which you can drink, I can’t say I know. Apart from bentonite, I’ve never taken any clay internally.
The word has it that white kaolin clay is very beneficial for the digestive system. It helps to reduce inflammation, helps with ulcers and sores. Apparently, it can soothe and eliminate problems with diarrhea and leaky gut because it coats the digestive tract, enabling it to heal on its own.
Again, all these come from the Internet and I’ve never met anyone who could confirm it. The only source I found claiming clays are beneficial for us is this one; it even says that
Kaolinite has many medically beneficial attributes primarily related to its ability to adsorb lipids, proteins, bacteria, and viruses
If you have some experience, let us know in the comments below!
What is kaolin clay: a recap
Kaolin clay has many beauty benefits: you can use it for hair, teeth, and skin. It’s gentle and not as drying as bentonite, so it’s appropriate for all skin types.
In any case, kaolin clay makes a great addition to your DIY skincare recipes: it’s versatile and you can start adding it to your face masks instead of buying expensive pre-made masks, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Even if you’re not a seasoned DIYer, the recipes can be very simple and still effective!
What’s your fave kaolin clay face mask? Have you experienced any kaolin clay benefits for skin when using it?