Clay Clay Clay!

Clays are known to remove toxins, impurities, and bacteria from the body. But did you know that it also helps to tone, tighten, and exfoliate the skin? In addition, some coloured clays are perfect colorants for face powder or as ‘filler’ to thicken creams. They are easily available at low cost too! That is why clays are in many of my recipes introduced in Beauty Confidential book – Daily Gentle Cleanser, Face Mask, Moisturising Cream and even Cleansing Milk.

So exactly what are clays and the difference between all those different types? Listed here are five common clays that you will likely be able to source easily online:


Made of volcanic ash, it has exceptionally strong properties for removing oils, toxins, and impurities from the skin. It may leave the skin dry if used too frequently, hence it is advisable to use no more than once weekly, depending on the condition of the skin. Useful for shaving soaps, it also helps emulsify as well as thicken the product. However, it is not suitable for sensitive skin.

French green

French green

It has exceptional detoxifying properties and is packed with nourishing minerals such as calcium and potassium. It is the most commonly used clay in cosmetics and in spas. It is also a green colorant. It is not suitable for sensitive skin and is recommended to use no more than once a week.

French red

Rich in iron oxide, it aids in strengthening and firming the skin. It is also a red colorant.


This soft, fine, white clay is used often in cosmetics as filler, particularly in colour cosmetics and mineral make-up foundations. It gently exfoliates and cleanses—the best choice for sensitive skin.

White Clay suitable for sensitive skin

White clay

High in healing properties, in ancient times it was used to treat varicose veins and osteochondrosis. Because of its ability to control pathogens and eliminate toxins and harmful microorganisms, some users prefer to replace antibiotics with white clay as an alternative. It also helps make collagen and thus improves toning. It is safe to use on children and sensitive skin, including atopic application.

For your home spa, simply mix your choice of clay with liquid (water, milk, rice water etc) to make paste. Apply on clean skin until it dries and rinse.

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