Picture a face mask. No, not the personal protective equipment kind that gives you maskne. We’re talking about the skin care product that comes in a bottle or a jar. You might picture a paper sheet mask coated in oils and serums that comes wrapped in a plastic pouch, a shimmery jelly-like mask, or if you are a child of the nineties or earlier, the classic clay mask. Those thick, opaque clay masks that made it impossible to move your cheeks and often went hand in hand with cucumbers on the eyelids were all the rage before K-beauty and celebrity skin care came into focus, and they are still popular amongst skin care experts who favor what’s best for their skin over the aesthetics of the product.
There are multiple types of clay used for masks, but one of the most optimal is Kaolin Clay which has a multitude of benefits for your skin.
What is Kaolin Clay?
Kaolin Clay, also known as White Clay or China Clay, is a clay that is made up of the mineral Kaolinite. It was originally mined in China on the Kaoling hill (hence the name), but now it is one of the most commonly mined minerals around the world in the United States, Brazil, France, Germany, amongst others.
The particles of kaolin are very small — ranging from about 0.1 micrometer to 10 micrometers, and, when found in nature, often contains other minerals such as copper, quartz, and muscovite.
It is used in the manufacturing of porcelain, paper, rubber, and paint, but we’re here to talk about our favorite topic, skin care.
Benefits of Kaolin Clay for the Skin
1. Absorbs excess oil - A 2010 study published in the Journal of International Geology Review highlighted that clay minerals possess powerful adsorption properties.Due to its natural absorbency, kaolin clay is able to soak up excess oil and sebum, but not so much that it depletes your skin’s natural oils completely.
Colors of Kaolin Clay
Kaolin clay can be multiple colors dependent upon the mineral deposits around it. Each color has different properties and absorbencies.
- White - Least absorbent, but best for exfoliation.
- Yellow - Good for boosting circulation which brightens the skin.
- Red - Getting its color from large amounts of iron oxide near the deposits, red kaolin clay is the best for softening skin.
- Pink - A mix between red and white clays. Provides a balance between more oil absorption and exfoliation, and has a pH closest to that of skin.
- Green - The most absorbent of the kaolin clays making it the best for oily, acne-prone skin.
Is Kaolin Clay Safe for Sensitive Skin?
In short: yes!
Kaolin clay is typically regarded as the best choice of clay mask for sensitive skin for a couple reasons. White Kaolin Clay (it’s purest form) is the gentlest of clays since it doesn’t absorb too much, has anti inflammatory properties, and is one of the more gentle exfoliant options as far as physical exfoliants go.
How Often to Use a Kaolin Clay Mask
Use your clay mask for about 5-10 minutes once or twice a week. If you have dry and/or sensitive skin, it’s best to stick to once or twice a week, but if you have very oily skin that can handle product well, then you can use it more often.
Now you know the benefits that a Kaolin Clay face mask can bring you. Not to mention, it gives you that at-home spa facial feeling whenever you use it. So put on a fuzzy robe, wrap your hair in a towel, and smooth our Kaolin Clay Facial Mask on your face. Then reap the benefits.