What is Kaolin clay? This fast emerging facial clay comes with a number of benefits.
In this article:
- What Is Kaolin Clay?
- Is Kaolin Clay Good for the Skin?
- How Is Kaolin Clay Used in Skincare?
- What Is Kaolin Clay Best at Doing?
- How Is Kaolin Clay Compared to Bentonite Clay?
- What Is the Best Way to Use Kaolin Clay?
- DIY Kaolin Clay Face Mask Recipe
- Are There Kaolin Clay Myths?
- Where Can You Buy Kaolin Clay?
What Is Kaolin Clay and How Can It Benefit Sensitive Skin?
What Is Kaolin Clay?
Also known as white Kaolin clay, white clay, China clay, or kaolinite clay, it’s considered one of the gentlest facial clays. Not only is it suitable for all skin types, but is also ideal for sensitive skin.
It consists of kaolinite, a mineral consisting of layered silicate. While it is available all over the world, it has been mined for centuries in the Kao-ling mountains in China.
While Kaolin clay is known to be white, it can also be greenish or pinkish in color as well, even ranging to dark brown depending on the other minerals present in the clay. But purists insist that the purer or brighter white the clay is in color, the higher its quality.
Before being used in skincare, Kaolin clay was mined primarily for sculpting, porcelain production, and paper glossing.
Is Kaolin Clay Good for the Skin?
Kaolin clay is unique from other popular facial clays like bentonite, in that it doesn’t dry out the skin. Instead, it leaves the skin soft and healthy.
It also has a neutral pH and contains high amounts of silicon dioxide, which is beneficial to skin and hair. Silicon dioxide is a trace mineral present in plant-based foods as well as rocks and is the only form of silica that the body can absorb.
Kaolin clay is ideal for those with sensitive skin, dry skin, and more mature skin.
How Is Kaolin Clay Used in Skincare?
Kaolin clay is fantastic used as a standalone ingredient, but its benefits are better boosted with other skin-healing products, like in our purple tea facial mask. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and delivers even better results with prolonged use.
Besides its use as a clay face mask, Kaolin clay has a broad range of other functions. It can be used as mineral makeup, hair mask, bath supplement, facial cleanser, and even spot treatment for acne.
What Is Kaolin Clay Best at Doing?
1. Gently Exfoliates
Despite Kaolin clay’s gentle nature, it can still remove dirt and other impurities from the skin. Its exfoliating properties are effective but remain gentle enough to not cause irritation or inflammation.
2. Strengthens Hair
Its effectiveness at removing impurities makes Kaolin clay a great hair and scalp cleanser as well. It cleans away the dirt without removing the important natural oils while promoting circulation in the scalp.
3. Helps Reduce Oily Skin
Since Kaolin clay does not have the excessive drying powers of bentonite clay, it doesn’t suck out as much oil. But this is good news since it’s recommended for people who don’t overproduce oil anyway, so Kaolin clay will only ever draw out enough oil to maintain a healthy balance in the skin.
4. Relieves Irritated Skin
Kaolin clay has mild cooling and healing properties. This makes it a soothing solution to skin irritations such as rashes, bug bites, and minor scrapes.
5. Whitens Teeth
Kaolin clay’s impurity-drawing abilities also make it a good alternative for commercial toothpaste. It helps clean the teeth by pulling out toxins and gunk and even breaks down tartar.
How Is Kaolin Clay Compared to Bentonite Clay?
When you think about clay masks, bentonite clay easily comes to mind. But despite its popularity, it has only a specific audience, which are people with oily skin.
Bentonite clay is also sourced from volcanic ash, making it a powerful healing clay with numerous benefits for the skin. But again, it only works well for those with oily and acne-prone skin.
Kaolin clay, on the other hand, is more ideal for people with dry and/or sensitive skin. It tones and exfoliates without stripping away natural oils in the skin.
What Is the Best Way to Use Kaolin Clay?
When using Kaolin clay, avoid it coming into contact with metal bowls, spoons, or any metal mixing and application implements. This is because contact with metal will reduce their healing properties.
It’s better to use a wooden, plastic, or ceramic implements when mixing or applying your Kaolin clay.
Thanks to its gentler, more subtle composition, Kaolin clay does not offer short-term solutions for skin problems. To see reap all of its healing benefits, Kaolin clay must be used over the long term, like as a regular face mask.
DIY Kaolin Clay Face Mask Recipe
No self-care routine is complete without a homemade face mask. This recipe includes Kaolin clay for its gentle purifying benefits and relaxing lavender oil.
- 1 tablespoon Kaolin clay
- 2 teaspoons cooled purple/green tea
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
Step 1: Mix Clay and Tea
Put the Kaolin clay into a small bowl, then pour in cooled tea. Mix lightly until the ingredients form a paste.
Step 2: Add Other Ingredients
Add aloe vera and lavender oil gradually until ingredients are well-combined and smooth.
Step 4: Apply Carefully On Face
Apply the paste all over your face. Take care to avoid your mouth, nostrils, eyes, and eyebrows.
Step 5: Let Dry
Leave the clay mask on your face for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water or a wet washcloth.
Step 6: Moisturize After Removing
Pat your face dry before applying a good moisturizer. This mask is best when used at least once or twice a week.
Are There Kaolin Clay Myths?
Many say that Kaolin clay also offers many benefits when ingested. After all, if you can already put it in your mouth as a toothpaste substitute, why not bring it further down?
Rumor has it that Kaolin clay has many digestive benefits. It is said to reduce inflammation, as well as help relieve sores and ulcers. It’s also rumored to be able to help treat leaky gut and diarrhea because it creates a protective coating on the digestive tract.
Keep in mind that there is no scientific evidence supporting the use of ingestible Kaolin clay!
Where Can You Buy Kaolin Clay?
Kaolin clay has been enjoying a bit of time in the skincare spotlight, so it’s getting easier and easier to spot in stores. You’d be able to find and buy Kaolin clay in many online stores and health stores.
Kaolin clay is also present in many high-quality face masks as an ingredient, so don’t forget to look at the ingredients list behind every packaging. But if you’re looking for only pure Kaolin clay, always check labels and make sure it’s the sole ingredient on the list, and free of any additives like fragrance and colorings.
Premade masks are usually more expensive, but pure Kaolin clay should be relatively cheaper. A pound of pure, white Kaolin clay powder should set you off about $10, which is not bad considering you won’t be slathering on a clay mask nightly.
Kaolin clay and its more subtle effects may sound promising but always remember to consult with your dermatologist first before trying out anything new for your skincare routine. Also, it helps to perform a patch test to see if you have any surprise allergies.
Have you ever tried Kaolin clay for your skin before? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!