When searching for effective skincare ingredients, the underground may not be the first place that comes to mind. But, clays are well known for their amazing detoxifying and purifying properties. Natural clays have been used on the skin for centuries, and continue to be a popular ingredient in skincare products today.

You may have never thought that clay (which are essentially dirt), have such a positive clearing effect on skin, but when paired with the right ingredients, natural clays can bring incredible results for the skin.

There are as many as 10 different types of clay, but let us drill down on the 3 most commonly used clay for the skin.

  1. Bentonite Clay

Origin: Also known as Montmorillonite clay, Bentonite clay is composed from ash made from volcanoes. The largest known source of bentonite clay is found in Fort Benton, Wyoming.

Used in many acne treatments, Bentonite clay has the ability to absorb excess sebum and sodium makes it a great option for oily skin types. What Bentonite can do for is is mainly drawing out impurities, thanks to its detoxifying properties that helps to reduce swelling, eliminates toxins and clarify the skin surface.

What’s unique about Bentonite clay is its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when it comes into contact with water. Upon contact, its electrical components change, carrying a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins like a magnet. During this process, the toxins are lifted out of the pores, making it a great detoxifying ingredient for oily skin.

  1. Rhassoul Clay

Origin: Hailing from the ancient Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Rhassoul clay is formed when natural volcanic activity and geothermal changes push rocky and soap-like clay deposits to the surface. Because of its natural formation by the volcanic ashes, Rhassoul is rich in minerals and magnesium content, which makes an excellent nourisher for the skin.

Similar to Bentonite, it uses negatively charged ions to draw out impurities without making the skin feeling dry. Its texture is extremely creamy and it leaves the skin with a soft, smooth finish after use. Regardless of your skin type, Rhassoul clay is one that is suitable for all.

  1. Kaolin Clay

Origin: Kaolin clay was originally discovered in a hill in south-eastern China. Although the Chinese were the first to use and make Kaolin clay, today, Kaolin clay can be mined from other areas all over the world.

Kaolin clay is predominantly white in colour and used primarily for chinaware and porcelain, it can also be used in skincare, in this case, as face masks. Kaolin clay can also be in other forms of colours, with Yellow clay being a better exfoliant and red or pink clay being more absorbent than white clay.

Kaolin is extremely gentle to use with mild exfoliating properties, but its absorbency is not as strong as other types of clay. For those with dry or sensitive skin, Kaolin clay is a better option.