If you want natural products for your beauty arsenal, clay is really versatile and can replace many chemical-laden and toxic commercial products (shampoo, hair mask, skin cleanser, face mask, mineralizing toothpaste etc.) without breaking the bank. Whatever you’re looking for, I’m almost certain you can find it with clay. Born of the earth, clays are natural, potent, and mineral-rich options for cleansing, detoxifying, and conditioning the hair, skin and teeth! They are affordable, widely available, and highly customizable. Learn about the three of my favorite clays, and how to use them!
NEVER mix, store, or otherwise let clays come into contact with anything metal. There is potential for reactivity, and reduced effectiveness.
Other Common Names Sodium Bentonite, Sodium Montmorillonite, Wyoming Bentonite, Calcium Betonite
Color- Green, light gray, to off-white
pH – 8.3 – 9.1
Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite/ Montmorillonite clay is sedimentary clay composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining. Bentonite/Montmorillonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an “electrical charge”. To state it another way… Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge.
It’s ideal for cleansing, detoxifying skin and hair and mineralizing teeth. It has the ability to remove build up on the hair and scalp and is also said to have the ability to absorb toxins, chemicals, impurities, heavy metals and other internal contaminants. It has a high mineral content with the ability to mineralize the teeth and heal decay. It helps cleanse and lift impurities from the hair, aiding in conditioning, shine, softness, and definition.
For best results, use Aloe Vera Juice and/or Apple Cider Vinegar instead of water. These will make your mix more acidic, and closer to the pH of your hair. For teeth cleaning and mineralising mix with coconut oil and essential oil, see my recipe here.
Other Common Names- White Cosmetic Clay, China Clay, Ceramic Clay and Kaolin Clay
Kaolin Clay is also available in green, pink, and yellow variations, based upon mineral content.
Typical Mineral Content
Total Kaolinite- 97%
Silicon Oxide- 46%
Aluminum Oxide- 37%
Iron Oxide- 0.79%
Titanium Oxide- 0.37%
pH – 6.0
White Kaolin Clay is found in virtually all powdered and dry cosmetics and most wet cosmetics. Its natural absorbent properties makes it essential in hygiene products and is often found in soaps, scrubs, poultices, deodorants, facial powders and masks. It is the mildest of all clays and is suitable to add to products created for people with sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliation and cleansing it. It does not draw oils from the skin, so it can also be used on dry skin types without negative results.
It helps to whiten and polish teeth, even those with very sensitive teeth can use this 2x a day without sensitivity issues. It has great absorbent properties, and is able to gently exfoliate while stimulating circulation and cleansing – making it ideal for use on the scalp. It does not do a great job of drawing out oils, so it is not recommended for use on hair with large amounts of buildup. However, if you have chronically dry hair, Kaolin Clay is an ideal cleanser that won’t rob your hair of moisture. It absorbs toxins on the hair and scalp, increases strength and elasticity, and can help slow the aging process of hair.
Kaolin Clay recipes mix the powdery clay with hot water. You can also steep some of your favorite herbs and teas to add soothing or stimulating properties to the mix or add some honey and essential oil of choice.
Common Names- Red Clay, Red Moroccan Clay, Ghassoul Clay, Oxide Clay.
Color- Light Gray with a hue of oxidized pink
From Morocco, comes this remarkable natural source, reddish-brown cosmetic clay known as Rhassoul.
It has been used for over 1400 years as a soap, shampoo, and skin conditioner, and the finest spas across the globe currently utilize it for therapeutic benefits.
It can be used as soap, skin conditioner, shampoo, facial and body mask.
Rhassoul clay is great for reducing dryness in hair, improving elasticity, removing toxins, and leaving hair with body and bounce. It is also great for exfoliating and removing buildup from the scalp. Rhassoul Clay usually make hair more moisturized, softer, less brittle, smoother, and stronger overall. Rhassoul Clay can also be used to help soothe scalp issues such as dandruff and psoriasis.
For best results, use Aloe Vera Juice and/or Apple Cider Vinegar instead of water. These will make your mix more acidic, and closer to the pH of your hair.
My current hair washing recipe(I need to wash my hair twice or trice a week Max.)
Mix 1 spoonful of rhassoul clay, 1 1/2 spoonfuls of ACV, 1 1/2 spoonfuls of raw honey, and 5 spoonfuls of filtered water. it will bubble a bit from the acv, but that’s okay! Feel free to dilute the mix into more than 5 spoonfuls of water, too, but don’t go below 5. Add few drops of rosemary essential oil to stimulate hair growth
Of course, there are tons of variations, mixes, and types of clay out there. These three are my favorite ones as I use them in my toothpaste, shampoo and face mask.