Kaolin Clay, also called China clay, is a naturally occurring soft clay discovered at the Kao-Ling Mountain in South-East China.
Kaolin is one of the mildest and purest of all of the natural clays. It can be used on even the most sensitive skin. Since it does not draw a lot of oil from the skin, it can be used on dry skin and is often used in fine face powders. The very fine, naturally absorbent texture gently cleans, exfoliates, and eliminates clogged pores, while improving circulation. Kaolin is soothing, cleansing, and hydrating. When used in soap provides a smooth creamy lather.
The colors of Kaolin clays can vary from white to dark brown due to the mineral content in the areas from which they are mined. For example, the pink, orange, and red kaolins are due to iron oxide deposits in the rock. The most popular colors are white, yellow, red, and pink. Although the basic properties are the same for all kaolins, there are a few differences.
White kaolin or China White Kaolin clay helps soften skin and provides gentle exfoliation. It helps combat skin irritation and dryness.
French Pink Kaolin or Rose Kaolin can be a naturally occurring pink-colored clay or a mixture of white and red kaolin clays. The two clays together provide a great balance for sensitive skin that needs a bit of oil absorption and gentle exfoliation.
Yellow kaolin clay is slightly more absorbent and exfoliating but still remains gentle enough for sensitive skin. This can be more circulation-boosting, so you’ll probably find it in a lot of brightening masks.
Red Kaolin clay has the most absorbing powers of all kaolin clays and is the best type of kaolin for oily or acne-prone skin. This is a great addition to acne/detoxifying masks for the face or body.
Orange Kaolin: This clay is similar to Pink Kaolin but has a bit more drawing power.
In hair care, kaolin helps exfoliate, cleanse, and mop up excess oil scalp oil. It also helps remove residue left behind by hair care products. Gentle kaolin soothes the scalp, calms irritation, and leaves hair feeling soft and bouncy.
Buyer Beware: Clays also have many industrial uses. Cheaper industrial-grade clays are not necessarily pure. Knowing your clay, and how its sourced, processed, and handled is very important. The clays we use are monitored by our organic certification agency!
For more information please read our blog, "Cosmetic Clays in Skin Care."