Ingredient Spotlight: Kaolin Clay

Kaolin Clay – Ingredient Spotlight

Kaolin clay is one of those ingredients growing in popularity and awareness, and we love using it in cleansing masks. It’s a light colored powder that forms the main ingredient in porcelain, and it’s water- and impurity-absorbing characteristics make it a great ingredient for cleansing in skin care.

Kaolin has a neutral pH and is rich in silica dioxide. Compared to other clays (such as Bentonite clay), Kaolin clay does not make your skin dry. It is gentle on your skin ergo it is suited for people with dry, sensitive, and mature skin as well as any skin type. It can be used alone as a facial exfoliate cleanser or you can create a paste with a liquid such as water or tea and place it on your face as a mask.


Origins & Types Of Kaolin Clay

Kaolin Clay has many common names including White clay, Kaolinite, China clay, or Porcelain clay, just to name a few. It’s found across the globe from China, to Europe, to the United States. The Clay from LILIBEL is naturally mined in France. Because this natural clay is mined from the earth it contains minerals that give slight color variations from a yellow or green hue to bright white.

Kaolinite is the main mineral found in Kaolin. The variations in color of the clay can bring their own benefits. The white, “purest” clay is the gentlest and somewhat less absorbent than other colors like the yellow, red, and pink variations. In general, all of these clays are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Red kaolin is quite absorbent, working well with oily skin and in detox masks. Pink kaolin is a mixture of red and white, and is great in masks for normal skin.


Kaolin Clay Benefits For Hair And Skin

I am often in awe of how nature provides us with exactly what we need to take spectacular care of our bodies inside and out. Kaolin Clay is one of those nature-provided ingredients that seems to do everything. Here are just a few benefits:

  1. Cleanses Skin: Kaolin is a very gentle cleanser and its completely and naturally surfactant free! You can simply hydrate the clay by itself and use as a cleanser or you can also add other ingredients to address your particular needs. Either way, this mild clay is a fantastic choice for sensitive or troubled skin.
  2. Soothing: Kaolin is the mildest of clays and is very calming for the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of redness and irritation.
  3. Exfoliating: Because Kaolin is an insoluble substance when hydrated it is gently abrasive helping to exfoliant and reveal your best complexion.
  4. Oil Absorbing: Kaolin clings to oils and helps to remove oils and all the dirt and other impurities trapped by oils on the hair and skin. Kaolin is especially beneficial for natural hair cleansing.  Simply hydrate the kaolin with Apple Cider Vinegar and a little water and you have a quick and easy “shampoo” that will leave your hair clean and shiny!

How To Use Kaolin Clay In Skin Care

Obviously there are a wide range of uses for this clay, so let’s summarize:

  • Kaolin clay can be used to help stabilize emulsions at 0.5 to 1%
  • Use at up to 50% for body powders
  • Use at no more than 25% for facial powders–it’s excellent at absorbing fats and sweat but can create streaks in wet weather in higher concentrations
  • In a face mask. Use up to 70% clay and add your desired liquid. If you are selling a wet mask with a water base where you want to have a shelf life longer than a week, the % will depend on your preservative. Parabens preserve a wet clay better than most any other preservative
  • Whenever you use clays in wet products, preservatives become critical. You are basically adding dirt to water and as we know, that’s how things grow!


Check out masks and cleansers with Kaolin from LILIBEL and try out replacing your face wash with this amazing and absorbent clay! We LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! 

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