Eight Clays from Around the World for Detoxifying
Clay has been used for centuries in skin care and seems to be ever-rising in popularity for both estheticians and at-home users. Marveled for its detoxifying and oil absorbing properties, clay skin care is a staple in every skin care specialist’s toolkit when treating clients with oily or acne prone skin types. Here are eight popular clays for skin treatment:
1. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is one of the most popular and powerful clay skin care ingredients. In fact, the U.S. is one of the top producers of bentonite clay world wide. Bentonite clay is derived from naturally occurring volcanic ash. It is a highly absorbent clay and has a high percentage of montmorillonite, a soft group of earth minerals. Bentonite clay draw impurities and oil to the surface of the skin and absorbs oil while tightening and toning the skin. When mixed with water, the clay swells, allowing for maximum absorption of sebum and surface debris. This impurity magnet is ideal for oily and congested skins who are acne prone, as well as clients with mild eczema and rosacea. Bentonite clay is also a great addition to foot and body treatments.
2. Umbrian Clay
Umbrian Clay is a naturally occurring earth clay sourced from Umbria, Italy. It is highly absorbent and helps to both soothe and reduce breakouts and irritation. This anti-inflammatory clay has a high mineral content and helps to refine pores. Umbrian clay is popular in purifying masks and spot treatments.
3. French Green Clay
French Green Clay is another popular and widely used clay for skin care. This mineral clay is harvested from naturally occurring deposits in the French landscape and has a soft, fine texture and beautiful green color due to iron oxide and plant matter found natural in the clay.
Did you know there are two types of French Green Clay?
French Green Montmorillonite Clay
Unearthed in the South of France, French green montmorillonite has a much higher mineral content than illite — it’s rich in magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium, silica and and nutrients. Its swelling, absorbing and remineralizing abilities make it ideal for body wraps, compresses, baths and face masks. Particularly, for oily complexions, a weekly mask can regulate skin’s sebum production.
French Green Illite Clay
Excavated from certain regions in the North of France and the Atlantic basin, French green illite is often referred to as sea clay or marine clay, due to the quarries being found in the ancient marine beds. This non-swelling clay has a lighter hue than montmorillonite and is superbly detoxifying. Its high absorptive capacity draws out toxins, and its negative ionic charge helps to attract, bind and eliminate positively charged impurities. In addition to decongesting problem complexions, its toning action stimulates the skin by bringing fresh blood to the surface, tightening pores and exfoliating dead skin cells. It’s commonly used in compresses, poultices, detox baths, face masks and body wraps.
4. French Red Illite Clay
Similar to its green counterpart, French Red Illite clay has a strong negative charge and a high concentration of iron oxide, gifting this clay its rich red coloring and high mineral content. French Red Illite is an effective cleanser, detoxifier and exfoliant. It has the unique ability to simultaneously detoxifying and revive the skin, making it a good choice for aging skins prone to oiliness and congestion. When activated by contact with water, the ionic exchange draws out impurities and stimulates blood circulation by depositing essential nutrients. This process increases oxygen flow to your cells, boosts hydration, aids in healing, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and broken capillaries.
5. Rhassoul Clay or Moroccan Red Clay
Rhassoul Clay is derived from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It has been used for centuries and is a beloved earth material. This clay is rich in ancient minerals and has a high concentration of silica and magnesium. Rhassoul Clay, also called Moroccan Red Clay, is effective at decongesting pores, absorbing excess oil, and drawing out toxins. It also improves elasticity and stimulates circulation. This clay mixes well with water and can be used an effective facial and body cleanser.
6. Fuller’s Earth Clay
(Multani Mitti Clay)
Fuller’s Earth clay is a powerful oil absorbing clay. Also known as Multani Mitt Clay, this sedimentary clay has effective pore purifying and drying properties. It also has mild bleaching properties and is used in some skin-lightening treatments to help fade pigment discolorations on the skin. While this clay is great for reducing dark spots and acne, be careful to only use Fuller’s Earth Clay on clients with true oily skin. Acne clients with dehydrated to surface dry skin will find this clay too drying overall to be beneficial at treating their acne.
7. Cambrian Blue Clay
Derived from Siberian Lakes, this clay is another great choice for clarifying, detoxifying and balancing. It is one of the oldest clays found in nature, and is rich in a variety of earth minerals, giving it strong detoxifying capabilities and absorbing power for oily skin. Cambrian Blue Clay swells when combined with water, allowing the clay to draw out impurities and sink deeply into pores to purify. It is also effective a depuffing and tightening the skin. This strong clay is ideal for spot treating acne breakouts or treating overall oily skin.
8. Kaolin Clay
Kaolin is derived from rock in humid climates. It is one of the most popular and widely used clays. Kaolin is great for gentle exfoliation, cleansing and stimulating.
Types of Kaolin Clay:
White Kaolin Clay
The mildest of all clays, white kaolin is less absorbent than other varieties and is highly moisturizing, making it perfect for those with sensitive, aging and especially dry skin.
Yellow Kaolin Clay
This mild cosmetic clay is suitable for most skin types — particularly normal and sensitive. It helps stimulate circulation and promote cell regeneration, while cleansing to remove impurities (without stripping natural oils) and gently exfoliating skin. It is popular in brightening treatments.
Rose Kaolin Clay
A mix of red and white clays, pink kaolin is mildly detoxifying and exfoliating; it increases circulation, and reduces irritation and inflammation — making it ideal for normal and combination complexions.
Red Kaolin Clay
The most purifying of the cosmetics clays, red kaolin is best for oily skin should not be used on clients with dry, sensitive or mature skin. It purifies, cleanses and removes toxins, dirt, excess oil and surface debris, making it ideal for weekly detoxifying face and body masks.