The Benefits of Kaolin Clay for Your Skin
There’s no denying that clays have become a vital part of skin care. One you’ve likely seen time and time again is kaolin clay. But just because it’s plastered on the jars of your favorite face masks doesn’t mean its benefits are entirely clear. To help find out the benefits of kaolin clay for your skin, we tapped one of our consulting dermatologists, Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand (@houshmandmd).
So, What Is Kaolin Clay?
Also known as white clay, kaolin clay is among the mildest of all clays. “Kaolin is a gentle clay that cleanses and pulls impurities from the pores without causing redness and irritation,” Dr. Houshmand says. It can help to draw out oils and impurities off the skin’s surface, making it an ideal pick for oily to combination skin types.
The Skin Care Benefits of Kaolin Clay
Kaolin Clay Benefit #1: Absorbs Excess Oil
Do you have oily skin? That midday oil slick is probably a daily occurrence for you. To help keep excess oil at bay, reach for skin care products formulated with kaolin clay. Why? Because products formulated with the ingredient can help control unwanted excess surface oil for a mattified skin appearance.
Kaolin Clay Benefit #2: Keep Acne Under Control
No, kaolin clay is not an acne-fighting ingredient. However, by helping to reduce excess oil on your skin’s surface, products formulated with kaolin clay can help reduce clogged pores that can cause subsequent breakouts. “Hormonal imbalance and inflammation are among the main causes of acne,” Dr. Houshmand explains. “Hormonal imbalance can stimulate excess production of sebum, which can clog the pores along with dead skin cells.”
The Different Types of Kaolin Clay
Kaolin clay can be found in four main shades: white, yellow, red, and pink. Below, we break down some of the differences you can expect between the colors.
White Kaolin Clay: According to Dr. Houshmand, white kaolin clay is the gentlest form of the clay. It doesn’t absorb as much oil and gives your skin a gentle exfoliation. If your skin skews more dry or sensitive, white kaolin clay may be right for you.
Yellow Kaolin Clay: Yellow kaolin clay is a bit more absorbent than while clay; however, it is still considered gentle. This is a great option for skin that’s both oily and sensitive.
Red Kaolin Clay: Looking for a clay that has high oil-absorbing abilities? Look to red kaolin clay.
Pink Kaolin Clay: Last but not least, there’s pink kaolin clay, which—as you may have guessed—is a mix of white and red kaolin clay. This clay is a good pick for normal to combination skin types looking to control oil and gently exfoliate the skin!
How to Use Kaolin Clay
You can find kaolin clay in a number of different clay masks on the market. Below are two of our favorite kaolin clay masks from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands.
AcneFree Kaolin Clay Detox Mask
AcneFree Kaolin Clay Detox Mask, $7.99 MSRP
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask
SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask, $52 MSRP