All about cosmetic clay: Types, uses & benefits


Clay is such a versatile tool in skin care, since it has valuable properties making it suitable for a large number of purposes. While there are multiple types of clay, they all have the ability to detoxify and draw excess oils, dirt and impurities from the skin. Cosmetic clays are rich in minerals which do penetrate and feed our skin to some extent (for high-quality clays the efficiency is greater).

Types of clay and their benefits

No matter the color and mineral composition of the clay, the quality products are dried in the sun naturally. If you want to start using clay-based cosmetic products (even home-made ones are very effective!) you should know that different kinds of clay are recommended for different types of skin.

White ClayWhite Clay (Kaolin)

Kaolin is a delicate clay that gently cleanses and smoothens the skin. It’s rich in minerals but it’s one of the least absorbent clay, making it suitable for sensitive, irritated, dry and aged types of skin.

The high silica levels it contains make it very effective for detoxifying the skin. White Clay can also replace baby powder and can be used as a hair mask.

Green ClayGreen Clay (Montmorillonite)

Green Clay is the most absorbent type of clay and is very rich in minerals. Since it absorbs impurities and oil so well, it’s recommended for oily skin and it’s a great treatment for acne, black spots and white spots.

If you have oily skin, applying green clay masks on a regular basis can regulate your skin’s sebum production.

Yellow clayYellow Clay

Yellow clay is rich in minerals such as copper, zinc and potassium and has powerful detoxifying properties, refreshing the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, but highly recommended for oily sensitive skin.

It’s also widely used for body wraps thanks to its detoxifying effect.

Red clayRed Clay

Red clay gets its color from the high amount of iron oxide it contains. It has medium absorbency and improves the blood circulation, but also helps reduce skin irritations.

Red clay is suitable for normal, dry and dull skin types, having a refreshing and deeply cleansing effect.

Pink ClayPink Clay

Pink clay is a mix of different clay types that produce balanced levels of iron oxide, mineral salts and silica. Like red clay, it also has medium absorbency and cleanses the skin very well. Pink clay is recommended for sensitive skin, although it is suitable for all skin types.

Applying clay maskHow to prepare facial clay masks

Clay is used in many cosmetic products such as make-up, body wraps, scrubs and hair masks, but the most common use is for facial masks. It’s very easy to prepare a clay-based mask at home.

In a non-metallic bowl mix 10 grams of clay powder with 10-15 ml of liquid ingredients until it forms a paste of cream consistency. The liquid ingredient can be plain water or you can choose it according to your skin. You can either use floral water (Chamomile, Melissa, Neroli…etc.) or some of the most accessible ingredients that are usually found at the grocery store.

For oily skin you can use natural juices that have astringent effect such as tomato, lemon, cucumber and orange juice. For dry and normal skin you can use moisturizing liquids like milk, honey, olive oil and egg yolks. Apply the mask on the clean skin and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and apply a moisturizer if the mask didn’t include an oily ingredient.