Not all clay masks are the same. There are many different clays used in clay masks and each has its own unique benefits that can be more suitable to you, depending on your skin type. You may have heard of Kaolin, Bentonite, Montmorillonite, Hectorite and other types of clay, but what are they? What do they do? And which one is best for your skin type? No matter which clay you choose, our researcher, Doug Miller B.Sc., highly recommends only purchasing clay masks that commit to using the best clay materials and are effective and with little to no contaminants.
Kaolin clay for all skin types: sensitive, combination, oily, dry, and normal!
First off, what is Kaolin Clay? Kaolin is a naturally occurring material that is found in many places around the world. It often occurs as a white material but can come in various colours when contaminated or synthetically coloured.
Kaolin is one of the best materials known to man for adsorbing (different to absorbing, this is where molecules instead lift and gather on top of the surface, not into the surface) oils, microbes, heavy metals, and other undesired contaminants from the skin. It is highly effective without drying out or adversely affecting the skin. If you have oily, dry, combination or even sensitive skin, Kaolin clay is gentle yet effective. At Kiika Skin, we use Kaolin Clay in our products and highly recommend our range to those with acne-prone skin. Good Australian Kaolin clay is a great alternative to scrubs and cleansers for those who want the same results without the harsh abrasive formula. For those with enlarged pores, Kaolin Clay can also create a tightening effect, helping to reduce your pore size and create a more even skin tone. If you’ve been looking for a gentle yet effective clay mask, or if you have skin conditions like eczema try our White Australian Clay today. Alternatively, if you’d like an exfoliant that uses this beautiful ingredient, try our Brightening Exfoliant Powder.
Bentonite clay for normal skin
Bentonite is another group of naturally occurring minerals often used in clay masks. It is fairly effective (although not as powerful as Kaolin) at adsorbing oils and contaminants from the skin. It is often used to thicken products and make them "feel richer" as it gives the product significant structural properties.
Bentonite is used in many other industries including mining, as a water barrier in dams and as a binder in foundries.
A more cost-effective option, Bentonite clay has a higher PH level compared to Kaolin Clay PH level which almost mirrors the PH of your skin. This means Bentonite may be more irritating, as it opens the pores further and can tend to strip more natural oils from the surface. If you have normal skin, it should be safe to use this type of clay.
Hectorite clay for allergy-prone skin
According to Wiki, "Hectorite is a rare soft, greasy, white clay mineral...". This is sometimes used in clay masks as an alternative to bentonite clay. Hectorite is also often modified (eg Stearalkonium Hectorite) to alter its properties.
Hectorite is not as widely used as other clays as it is not as easily sourced and is also not as effective in some products. Hectorite is said to be mined from areas of Morocco and Nevada, and whilst good for balancing sebum production, like Kaolin clay it is also known to be good for allergy-prone skin. A popular texture enhancer, Hectorite is particularly helpful for its smoothing properties however is still not comparable to the quality of White Australian Kaolin Clay.
Montmorillonite clay for oily skin
Montmorillonite is another clay that is used in the cosmetic industry because it is relatively inexpensive. Like Kaolin clay, it is helpful for balancing oily skin, however, due to its cheaper properties it is also used in other industries including Oil Drilling and as a desiccant to remove moisture.
Beware of the term: Fullers Earth
Have you seen the term ‘Fullers Earth’ listed on your beauty products? This describes several clay ingredients, often chosen for the cheapest price, which adsorbs oils. Cosmetic products will not normally use the expression Fullers Earth as it is not specific enough to cover the regulatory requirements of most countries, however, some unregulated products still slip through at times. We advise anyone with skin conditions, allergies, or sensitive skin to avoid any products using this term due to the lack of transparency of ingredients used inside. Instead, a safe clay alternative with all the full benefits like Australian Kaolin Clay will always be a suitable option.
Pink and Green Clay
We have all heard of pink clay, green clay, and the list goes on. The colour actually has little to no effect on the product and is normally added for its aesthetics either naturally or synthetically or is a contaminant within the product. If the colour is added with a natural ingredient like Matcha, there may be additional benefits according to that ingredient. For example, a green clay mask using Matcha may be formulated for its inflammation-reducing properties or ability to help protect the skin from sun damage. A pink clay mask may use red clay that is naturally derived from parts of Australia, or it could be synthetically coloured for the look. You can read more on the differences between these colours in our blog Types of clay for your skin. For those with sensitive, dry or acne-prone skin, we suggest using a safer alternative like Kaolin clay and a mask that is formulated with all added ingredients safely tested for all skin types. Our White Australian Clay meets this standard.
Have you been searching for the right clay mask for your skin? The good news is that at Kiika Skin, we’ve found a way to give you a skincare range with the highest concentration of quality ingredients like Kaolin, without the price tag. By producing a waterless range that allows you to simply add water yourself, you don’t get stuck paying for a product made mostly with water. This means you also don’t need to opt for a cheaper clay alternative that could be harmful or less effective on your skin. You can shop our waterless range of Kaolin skincare products here today.