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Clay is a truly ancient ingredient, which has existed and been used for centuries. Clay is found and used around the world, from places ranging in culture like Maui to Morocco.
Clay’s longstanding and widespread use is thanks to its numerous benefits. The earthy ingredient is used for just about anything; pottery, construction, and healthcare.
One of clay’s most popular uses is as an ingredient in soap. Clay soap can be easily made at home, or purchased online with a simple click of a mouse.
Clay’s popularity in soaps is no accident. The ingredient is full of minerals, and is often used to extract toxins and impurities from skin. Clay soap is safe to use not only on the face, but any part of the human body (including hair). Clay is also safe for any type of skin, as there are a variety of clays to choose from.
Each different type of clay provides a unique set of skin-improving benefits.
All clay varieties help moisturize skin through adding a silky-like texture to soap. However, skin type impacts what type of clay works best. Read about the different types of clay below to determine which clay soap you should try.
Bentonite clay is a tan-colored clay that comes from volcanic ash. It’s mild on most skin types, and often chosen for face masks and facial soaps.
Bentonite clay is especially good for absorbing toxins. This type of clay is especially beneficial when used on oily and acne-prone skin.
Bentonite clay carries minerals like silica and aluminum.
Green clay gets its color directly from composted plants. It’s found in varieties such as french clay and sea clay.
Like bentonite clay, green clay is also safe to use on most skin types. It’s especially helpful to use for oily skin though, as it absorbs oils and helps skin maintain a natural amount of oil production.
Green clay minerals include copper, iron oxide, and magnesium. It should be noted that green clay may not be best for dry skin, as much of its power comes from drying out skin before being rinsed.
Kaolin clay comes in a variety of colors but is often known for its white variety. It’s known to add a unique exfoliation and smoothness to soaps.
Kaolin clay is safe to use on all skin types. It’s one of the least-drying types of clay, so it’s safe to use on dry or sensitive skin. It’s considered to be the most sensitive of clays because of its smooth texture, which is a gentle exfoliant.
Kaolin clay helps soothe and soften skin. It’s great anywhere on the body, and can be used as a gentle shaving soap.
Pink, or rose-colored clay, is another form of kaolin clay. It offers the same benefits as white kaolin clay. Its popularity stems from it being seen as a combination of white and red clay.
Like white kaolin clay, pink kaolin clay is safe for all skin types, and works as a gentle, exfoliating cleanser. This type of clay is popular for normal/average skin, as it absorbs oil and toxins from skin without causing dryness or irritation.
Red clay is a popular choice for people who want a full-on skin detox. This type of clay is especially helpful for acne-prone, oily, and problematic skin.
Red clay is often used on the face as a toner, cleanser, and facial soap. It effectively extracts skin imperfections and dirt as it makes contact with skin.
Red clay has a high amount of iron.
Rhassoul clay get its brown color from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. This type of clay is especially smooth on skin.
Rhassoul clay is often used not only on skin, but on hair and nails too. When used as a facial soap, rhassoul clay is a successful extractor of blackheads and impurities.
Rhassoul clay’s minerals include silica, magnesium, and potassium.
Oily skin or acne prone skin can benefit from use of clay soap because of its ability to reduce pimples and excess oil production by removing deposits from the skin. Additionally, because clay soaps are naturally Ph Balanced, they don't interfere with the skin's natural moisture.