Kaolin clay has long been used in sculpturing, as a gloss for paper, and for porcelain making in Chinese culture. Today, its coveted texture and absorbency has made its way into almost every cosmetic and personal hygiene product such as make-up, soaps, scrubs, deodorants, and of course, facial masks.
Kaolin clay (also known as China Clay or White Clay) is a hydrated aluminum crystalline mineral known as kaolinite, formed over millennia by the hydrothermal decomposition of granite rocks. It is the gentlest of the various facial clays available on the market, making it perfect for even the most sensitive skin types.
Kaolin clay’s gentle absorptive properties do not over-dry or pucker the skin during use (like bentonite clay) yet is still quite effective for pulling impurities to the surface and gently stimulating circulation to the area of application. Kaolin clay can also be used to gently exfoliate your skin as you rinse it off with warm water.
After use, you will notice that your skin feels clean and refreshed yet doesn’t feel stripped of its natural oils. This is what makes kaolin clay perfect for dry sensitive skin.
The Properties of Kaolin Clay
Skin type – Dry, sensitive, acne prone skin, inflamed, in need of exfoliation
The Benefits of Kaolin Clay
• Calming to the skin
• Doesn’t over dry but still effective against acne
• Removes dead skin cells
• Has disinfectant properties which help heal existing blemishes and prevent new ones from forming
• Removes impurities from the pores
• Stimulates circulation which improves healing and provides nourishment for the skin
How to Use Koalin Clay For Acne Prone Skin
Kaolin Clay Mask Recipe
This is a wonderfully gentle mask that’s perfect for healing acne and clarifying the pores without irritation or dryness.
• Steep some fresh thyme in a clean mug or bowl (a few fresh sprigs should be fine or 1 tsp or more of the dried herb). Read about why thyme is excellent for treating acne HERE.
• Be sure to steep the thyme covered otherwise the essential oils within the thyme will evaporate!
• Mix small amounts of thyme infusion with the kaolin clay until you reach the desired consistency; spreadable but not too runny
• Apply to acne prone areas and leave it on to dry for 25 minutes
• Rinse thoroughly with warm water while gently exfoliating the skin with the wet kaolin clay
• Repeat 2-3 times per week to banish the breakouts!
Calming Kaolin Face Mask Recipe
This mask smells relaxing and is very calming for dry sensitive skin types.
• 1 tsp each of your favorite calming herbs (powdered) such as chamomile, lavender, rose, mint…etc. (you can use a coffee grinder to do this)
• 3 tbs kaolin clay
• 1-2 tsp ground oatmeal (use a coffee grinder or food processor to create a fine flour)
• Store this dry mixture of powdered herbs and clay in a jar for future use
• When you’re ready to use the mask mixture, simply add enough water for oily skin types, honey for sensitive skin, or yogurt for dry skin types to 1/2 tsp of mask mixture and stir well to combine
• Apply the mask and let dry for 25 min or longer
• Rinse with warm water
Remember that you can also add one drop of your favorite essential oils for a bit of aromatherapy (not to mention getting all those good medicinal qualities from them!)
Using peppermint essential oil will give your mask a nice refreshing scent and cool irritated skin. There are many to choose from, just pick out the ones you like best for the result you’re looking for (like anti-aging, acne fighting, hyper pigmentation reducing, scar healing etc.) and use it in your mask recipe.
Keep in mind to avoid any citrus essential oils as they are phototoxic and will cause your skin to burn in direct sunlight. You can read more about phototoxic essential oils on my other blog HERE.
Also, be sure that you don’t have any open blemishes since essential oils will sting open wounds like the dickens!
Fruit Kaolin Clay Mask Recipe
This mask works well for brightening the skin and for removing dead skin cells.
• 1 tsp kaolin clay
• 1 tsp ground oatmeal (use a coffee grinder or food processor)
• 1 well mashed strawberry (mash it with a fork till it becomes a jam consistency). You can also try papaya, banana, or pineapple too for different effects! (read more about fruit masks here and here)
• Add a small amount of yogurt or raw honey
• Apply to the face and let sit 25 minutes
• Rinse with warm water while exfoliating with the little strawberry seeds!
The oatmeal will sooth and exfoliate the skin while the strawberry works as a gentle acid peel to help unclog pores and even out skin tone.
Kaolin clay is one of the best clays to use if you’re just starting out with clay masks, or just have sensitive dry skin and want to freshen your complexion.
You can usually find kaolin clay at your local health food store. Check out the ingredients of some of your personal hygiene products, chances are you’ll see kaolin listed as one of the ingredients!
You may also enjoy reading:
Clay and Honey Face Wash for Sensitive Skin
Clay Baths are Powerful Medicine
Quick Tip on the Best way to Mix Facial Clay
Moroccan Red Clay- Blackheads Be Gone!
French Clay – The Green Standard
Is Bentonite Clay Right for Your Skin Type?
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