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7 Benefits of Adding Kaolin Clay to Your Skin Care Routine

7 Benefits of Adding Kaolin Clay to Your Skin Care Routine

Considering adding a kaolin clay product to your skin care routine?

Learning what kaolin clay benefits apply to your unique skin type can help you find your holy grail product. 

If you want to learn more about the different types of clay or are just interested in knowing more about what you’ll be putting on your skin, we have everything you need to know.

What is kaolin clay? 

Kaolin clay is a type of clay commonly used in the cosmetic and skin care industry. The clay is named for the hill in which it was initially discovered, Kao-ling in China. Kaolin clay is also rich in a mineral known as kaolinite and feldspar, quartz and silica dioxide (among others). 

Most kaolin clay is white, but it can be found in other hues — although the more white it is, the purer it is. Interestingly enough, the clay is also used to make pottery and certain medications. 

Consistency-wise, kaolin clay tends to be on the finer, softer side. It also has a relatively low pH of 4.5, which puts it on the more basic side of the pH scale. Under normal conditions, the pH of our skin sits at around 5.5. Because kaolin clay’s pH is so close to our natural pH, it tends to be more readily accepted and causes less irritation. 

How does all of that translate to kaolin clay benefits for the skin? Here are seven reasons the pros at Skin Pharm believe you should add the clay into your skin care routine.

1. Kaolin clay is great for cleansing the skin

The kaolin clay benefits list starts with how incredible it is at cleansing the skin. Kaolin clay’s mild nature and pH level are relatively close to the skin’s natural pH, making it very effective at removing dirt from the skin’s surface. 

When you use a kaolin clay cleanser, it’s important to note that it will not foam the way that more traditional cleansers do. 

However, that doesn’t mean that it is any less effective. In fact, due to its absorbent properties, it not only helps to remove debris from the surface of the skin but also helps to absorb it out of the pores. 

While the clay is more effective as a mask, so it can sit on the skin for a more extended period of time, using it as a cleanser can help you gauge how your skin will react before committing. 

2. Kaolin clay can detoxify your skin

Skin detox has recently become a hot topic in skin care, and for a good reason. The more we learn about the impact the external environment can have on our skin, especially toxins we can’t see with the naked eye, the more important we realize it is to get rid of them. 

Kaolin clay offers you a way to detoxify your skin in a safe, gentle way. While the idea of detox gets a bad rep, this form doesn’t require that you fast or drink smoothies for a week. All you need to do to use the kaolin clay benefits of detoxification for your skin is to use it as a mask at least once a week. 

Try it after you’ve spent the weekend outdoors or if your skin just doesn’t look or feel as healthy and radiant as it used to. Another side effect of detoxing your skin is that your pores will naturally appear smaller and far less noticeable with less build-up and toxins inside. 

When you struggle with large, visible pores, it can be hard to camouflage them, as even makeup doesn’t seem to sit smoothly on your skin. Kaolin clay may be just the skin care ingredient you didn’t know you were missing to help you manage the issue.

3. Kaolin clay can help absorb excess oil

A crucial component of keeping the skin supple and healthy is sebum, the skin’s natural oil. 

Although oil is often thought of as a “bad” thing, it helps form the protective coating on the skin’s surface (the moisture barrier) that keeps us safe. Many products claim to be good at removing oil from the face but can also go too far. 

Without at least some sebum, the skin can’t protect itself and is far more at risk for dehydration.

Kaolin clay is excellent in this regard. It works to remove excess oil from the skin without removing all of it so that your skin continues to be able to protect itself. Other clays commonly used in skin care products (especially masks) tend to be overly absorbent, leaving your face more susceptible to tightness, discomfort and even early development of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Kaolin clay benefits allow you to enjoy the advantages of removing excess oil without creating other issues.

4. Kaolin clay can soothe irritated skin 

Skin redness and irritation can happen for many reasons, sometimes with no apparent reason whatsoever. As our face is the part of our body people usually see first (and pay attention to the most), visible irritation can significantly negatively impact how we feel about ourselves.

Luckily, kaolin clay can help here, too. The clay is said to have natural soothing properties and can help calm the skin when it is showing signs of irritation. Some people even use it in the bath as an all-over skin soother, especially if they have been outside and gotten bug bites. 

Try a kaolin clay mask a day or two before a big occasion if you’ve noticed your skin has been more red than usual. Remember, if you experience any new skin irritation (especially rashes), make sure to follow up with your provider.

5. Kaolin clay can help fight breakouts 

No matter how old you are, breakouts can still happen. When the three common factors leading to breakouts are present (clogged pores, excess oil and bacteria), blemishes can pop up at any time. These factors can fluctuate due to age, medical issues, the environment you’re in and even how well you take care of your skin.

In most cases, when a blemish does happen, kaolin clay can help. Because it’s made up of tiny particles, it can get deep into the pores when applied as a mask. As it dries, it also soaks up any impurities around it so that you can simply wash them from your face. 

And the best part is, it does all this without causing additional irritation or overly drying out your skin. That way, you can maintain a healthy moisture barrier while still experiencing fewer breakouts. 

6. Kaolin clay is an excellent exfoliator

Exfoliating the face is key to achieving a beautiful, even, youthful skin tone and texture. When you exfoliate the skin, you're manually removing the build-up of dead skin cells that can occur on the skin's surface. 

Typically, over time, the skin is reasonably effective at being able to shed those cells independently without your help. However, the older we get, the longer this natural process takes, and it can always use a little extra assistance.

Kaolin clay has its own exfoliative properties. While it isn't as well known as hydroxy acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid or other holy grail products like retinol, it’s still effective in a far more gentle way. 

7. Kaolin clay helps balance the skin 

When you combine all of the kaolin clay benefits, the result is balanced skin. Imagine what your skin would look like if it showed more consistency — fewer visible blemishes, less red, more hydrated, less oily, etc. 

Kaolin clay can help you achieve all of those goals, leaving you with skin that both looks and feels as beautiful as you deserve. This is incredibly impressive for a product that is also great for sensitive skin.

Invest in kaolin clay skin care products 

Although you can find kaolin clay in many skin care products, we think the ingredient’s best use is mask form. We included kaolin clay in our Clay Time charcoal mask, pairing it with salicylic acid, lavender and charcoal. 

You can use it up to three times a week to help cleanse, exfoliate, soften and purify the skin. Make sure that you cleanse your skin thoroughly before use, and don’t leave the mask on longer than the recommended amount of time listed on the jar. 

Purchase the mask as part of our At-Home Spa Set (which comes with our signature scented candle), and have your own DIY spa day! It’s a great reminder that you deserve some time to kick back, relax and take care of yourself.  

To sum things up... 

Although the kaolin clay benefits are numerous, they all work together to provide you with clearer, more hydrated and less oily skin. 

At Skin Pharm, We believe this makes it a holy grail product that even those with sensitive skin can use. If you’re ready to add a kaolin clay skin care product into your routine, try a face mask.

Even just a few minutes once a week will start you on the path to the results you’re hoping to achieve! 


Kaolin | Al2H4O9Si2 | PubChem (nih.gov)

Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents | NIH (nih.gov)

Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare | PubMed 


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