Can’t say no to a pampering mud masque? You’re more than likely using an earth-sourced product that contains clay as the hero ingredient, with the natural minerals infused with purifying and deep-cleansing properties. However, not only are there different variations of clay used in skincare formulas, but the benefits differ according to the clay type and may interact with your skin differently. Choose the best option to suit your complexion, and reap the rewards from this all-natural beauty ingredient.
Brazilian kimberlite clay
This naturally red clay contains more than 100 different minerals, contributing to a unique mineralogical composition. Brazilian skincare brand, Kion, exclusively uses this clay across their face and body product line, from the expected purifying masks, to extracts suspended in serums and moisturisers. Kion says that the crystalline clay minerals found in Brazilian kimberlite clay and used in its Face and Body Clay and Seed Scrub stimulates blood circulation and helps oxygenate the skin. Suitable for all skin types, but particularly for those looking to reduce signs of aging.
French green clay
Highly absorbent, French green clay is both green as well as French, and known for its ability to soak up oil. Best for oily or acne-prone skin types, it’s a hero ingredient in traditional purifying face masks. The Whind Atlas Pure Purifying Whipped Mask combines green clay off-set with the more gentle kaolin clay for a non-drying but deep cleansing treatment.
With a very finely milled texture, kaolin clay is ideal for drier and more sensitive skin types, being rich in silica and with a neutral pH. This category of clay is also known as china clay, and is usually a shade of off-white, but can also come in other colors, like rose clay, a striking shade of pink. Tata Harper’s Radiance Mask, part of the Superkind range, includes kaolin to gently soothe stressed skin.
Made from volcanic ash, bentonite is capable of absorbing much more than its mass in liquid, making it the perfect option for extremely oily skin types. Cult favorite, Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, contains pure, sun dried bentonite, and is mixed in a paste using a few drops of water. Its ability to suck out toxins, dirt, debris from skin does mean that it can be overly drying, so make sure to rehydrate with a moisture-rich serum or cream after using.