INGREDIENT 101: Australian White Clay

Achieve Clear Skin With Australian White Clay

The Use of Clay Goes a Long Way Back

Clay (kaolin) has been used for centuries to heal wounds, soothe irritations and to clean the skin. About 5,000 years ago, clay was listed in the ancient tablets of Nippur (an ancient city in Iraq) as a wound healing remedy. Clay was also used to treat conditions such as diarrhoea, tapeworm and wounds based on the Ebers Papyrus (a medical document from ancient Egypt).

What is Clay?

Clay is a fine-grained natural mineral that has plastic properties with the appropriate water content (think plasticine) and hardens when dried or fired. They form in soils and sediments as a result of the alteration of rocks during weathering.

Clay Science

Clay has negatively charged surfaces that attract positively charged particles such as grime, impurities and dirt. Certain clay minerals absorb these particles between the layers of their crystal structure. This property allows the absorption of impurities and clogged oil from your skin.

However, interestingly, kaolin clay does not have strong absorbing abilities (which is why it's great for sensitive skin!) but strong adsorbent properties. This means that substances such as grime and dirt are attracted to the clay and bind to its outer surface rather than the clay absorbing these substances like a sponge.

Different Types of Clay

Our Rose Masquerade Purifying Clay Mask contains Australian white clay which is a fine and soft powder that is gentle and smooth on the skin. It is the gentlest of all clay making it ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.

different type of clay masks

Here are some of the different kaolin types:

  • Bentonite clay (Montmorillonite): It is a sedimentary clay made from weathered and aged volcanic ash. It is commonly used to modify the viscosity in cosmetics and has various benefits when applied topically or when ingested.
  • White clay: It is rich in silicon and aluminium silicate. It provides mild exfoliation and is not overly drying for the skin hence, suitable for all skin types.
  • Red clay: The presence of iron oxide gives its red appearances and more absorbing properties hence, suitable for oily skin types.
  • Pink clay: It is a mix of white and red clay. Due to its high kaolin content, it is safe for sensitive, dry or oily-combination skin types.
  • Green illite clay (also known as French green clay): The presence of iron oxides and decomposed plant matter contributes to its green colour. It is suitable for oily skin types due to its strong oil-absorbing properties.

Why is Clay Good for Your Skin?

We've broken it down for you. In summary:

  • Exfoliates the skin and helps to stimulate skin circulation
  • Draws out impurities and absorbs any excess oil that may be clogging up your pores
  • Promotes brighter and clearer skin
  • Reduces blackheads, whiteheads and the appearance of your pores

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