How to use clays in cosmetics and natural health?

Green, red, white, rhassoul... It is not always easy to know which clay will be the most adapted to our type of skin, hair or to our problem. Thanks to its absorbing and adsorbing properties, clay is a very effective natural remedy to relieve many daily ailments. Rheumatism, acne, digestive problems, to each affection its solution. It is also widely used in cosmetic care, body care, face and hair care, to take care of yourself naturally.

The 8 most used clays

Oily skin and hair - Mature skin - Wrinkles

Green Clay

The origin

Green Clay is one of the most well-known and used. Its green color is explained by the reduction of ferric acids thus impacting its composition. There are different types of Green Clay. The most widespread are Illite and Montmorillonnite, implying somewhat different compositions and properties. Illite Green Clay is composed of silica (40%) but also about 9% iron. It has a strong absorbing power but its adsorption power is weak. Montmorillonite Green Clay is generally richer in silica (58 to 62%) but also rich in magnesium (10%). It has a better adsorbing power than absorbing.

Benefits of Green Clay


Green Clay, the best clay in case of...

Normal to oily skin
Skin path: make a clay paste to apply directly to the skin, once a week.

Skin path: make a clay paste preferably using Montmorillonite Green Clay. This limits inflammation and infection as well as excess sebum. Make thick cataplasms on targeted areas each day for 5 minutes and then once a week a full mask for 30 minutes.

Cutaneous pathway: apply a cold cataplasm on a small 1st or 2nd degree burn. To be renewed several times a day.

Skin path: on incipient pressure sores, apply poultices to the affected area previously bathed. Renew the poultice 2 to 3 times a day.

Digestive problems
Oral route: drink a clay water followed by several clay waters a day, about 3 to 5 glasses.

Internal route: Drink 2 glasses of clay water per day, in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before bedtime.
Skin route: Apply a poultice, to be repeated 2 to 3 times a day or make a clay bath, daily.

Green clay

Sensitive skin - Dry skin - Toothpaste

White Clay

The Origin

White Clay is a mineral with many resources... It is composed mostly of hydrated aluminum silicate. Its white color is due in part to the high percentage of alumina (over 30%) it contains but also to the low presence of iron in this clay. White clay of the Kaolin type is the most widespread. This clay is used for medicinal purposes and also for cosmetic care... skin care, hair care but also make-up, White Clay is very soft and easy to use.

Benefits of White Clay


White Clay, the best clay in case of...

Oral way: to carry out a cure of argillaceous water during 3 weeks, at a rate of a glass before each meal.
to keep your teeth white, r The mouthwash is made with clay water supplemented with salt. White clay

Skin prone to redness - Couperose

Red Clay

The Origin

Red Clay is unique and can be easily distinguished from other clays by its red to brown color. It is composed mainly of hydrated aluminum silicate but also of a high percentage of iron (6 to 9%) which explains its typical color. It is most often of the Illite and Kaolinite type but can also be Montmorillonite.

Benefits of Red Clay


Red Clay, the best clay in case of...

make a clay paste to spread over the entire scalp by massaging. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with clear water. Red clay

Oily hair - Oily skin - Body scrub


The Origin

Rhassoul is a clay found only in Morocco, in the underground galleries of the Atlas Mountains, a mountain range in North Africa. It comes from the pronunciation of the name Ghassoul, itself from the Arabic name ghassala meaning "to wash". This clay is particularly rich in silica and magnesium.

Benefits of Rhassoul

Degreasing, Sebum regulator

Rhassoul, the best clay in case of...

Cutaneous way: make a clay paste to be applied directly on the whole hair, once a week. Leave the mask on for 20 to 30 minutes.

Fine hair, no volume Cutaneous way: make a clay paste to be applied directly on the whole hair, once a week. Leave the mask on for 20 to 30 minutes. Combination to oily skin, with an acneic tendency Cutaneous way: make a clay paste to apply directly on the skin, once a week. Rhassoul

Stained skin - Oily skin - Make-up

Yellow Clay

The Origin

Yellow Clay is unique and its particular color comes from its origin: a soil rich in iron oxide. It is composed mainly of hydrated aluminum silicate but also of a high percentage of iron (5 to 7%) which explains its typical color. It is most often of Illite type.

Benefits of Yellow Clay


Yellow Clay, the best clay in case of...

Cutaneous way: make a clay paste to apply directly on the skin, once a week. Yellow clay

Couperose - Sensitive scalp - Make-up

Pink Clay

The Origin

Pink Clay is a perfect blend of white clay and red clay. This alliance makes it a unique clay with multiplied properties. It is composed mainly of hydrated aluminum silicate but also a high percentage of iron (4 to 6%) coming directly from the red clay it contains.

Benefits of Pink Clay


Pink Clay, the best clay in case of...

Cutaneous way : make a clay paste to apply directly on the skin on a weekly basis.

Pink clay

Oily skin - Oily hair - Dull complexion

Blue Clay

The Origin

Blue Clay is unique and distinguishes itself from other clays by its blue color. It is a mixture of Montmorillonite and Illite. This clay is used mainly for cosmetic care, skin care, hair care but also makeup, Blue Clay is very easy to use.

Benefits of Blue Clay


Blue Clay, the best clay in case of...

To use as a scrub, make a mask with clay, vegetable oil and a little water. Apply with a light, circular massage and rinse with clear water. To make a clay paste to spread over the entire scalp by massaging. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with clear water. To make a clay paste to be applied directly to the skin as a mask, for 5 minutes. You can make this mask as soon as you feel the need. Blue clay

Combination skin - Sensitive hair - Couperose

Caramel Clay

The Origin

The Caramel Clay is unique by its color which reminds the caramel. This clay composed of Illite, Kaolin and Montmorillonite, has many cosmetic properties. Mostly used in cosmetic skin and hair care, it is very easy to use.

Benefits of Caramel Clay


Caramel Clay, the best clay in case of...

make a clay paste to apply directly to the skin, once a week. make a clay paste and spread it on the whole scalp and hair as a mask. Leave on, then rinse thoroughly with clear water. : powder the face for a matte and tanned complexion.

Fragile or blotchy skin
Skin path: make a clay paste to apply directly to the skin and to the affected areas on a weekly basis.
Caramel clay

How to use them?

The internal route

Clays can be simply ingested. Simply yes, but by respecting some rules of use!

By oral route, different ways of use exist:

  • The clay water. It is obtained after mixing a glass of water and a teaspoon of ultra-ventilated clay. Then, after letting it sit for 3 to 4 hours; the clay has settled to the bottom of the glass and the clay water is the supernatant. It is this liquid only, slightly cloudy, that should be drunk.
  • Clay water. It is prepared in the same way but for this one, before drinking, we mix it all.
A clay cure

The ideal for taking clay orally is to consume one teaspoon per day. The clay should be taken either in the morning when you wake up, at night when you go to bed, or 30 minutes before a meal... The choice is yours! A first cure of three weeks can be considered then after a break of one to several weeks it is possible to continue with cures of one week interspersed with a week of break.

The external route

In addition to the internal way well known to relieve in particular the problems of digestive order, the use of the clay by external way results from the instinct, could we say, animal!
The clay mask

The clay beauty mask can be done, on the face, the hair or even some parts of the body. It is an essential beauty treatment as evidenced by this image, common enough to be noticed, of a woman eyes closed, cucumbers at the rendezvous, a clay mask aesthetically applied... To make a clay mask, it is the formula of the clay paste that is used.

Avoiding the eyes, it is to be applied to the face and let sit for about fifteen minutes, while avoiding that the clay dries. Prefer a application in a thick layer on a wet skin then rinse with clear, cold or warm water. A mask can be done on a weekly basis. For a hair mask, the instructions for use will be the same. Do not hesitate to massage the scalp gently before letting the clay act.

Whether for the skin or hair, the variety of clay to use (white kaolin, green montmorillonite - illite, etc...) depends mainly on the type of skin and hair. The application time is also to be adapted.

The poultice

This method is one of the best known! For a successful poultice, a well-balanced clay paste, neither too fluid nor too thick, must be prepared. Everything will depend on the amount of water used. In this case, powdered clay of various shapes can be chosen. Provide enough mixture so that the poultice is approximately 2 centimeters thick and overflows a little from the area to be relieved. Apply the mixture with a wooden spatula. Its duration will vary depending on the problem ... an hour or even a whole night (provided that it does not dry; for this the use of compresses, cellophane paper is useful).

  • For example, for purulent wounds, it is critical to renew the poultice every hour.
  • If the poultice is intended to target a deep organ or even bone tissue, it may last an entire night(see conditions in paragraph above).
  • In the case of a wound or burn, for example, a poultice is favored rather cold so as not to aggress the affected area.
  • During rheumatism, the hot clay poultice is recommended to relieve the area all the more. However, be careful if the area is inflamed prefer a cold poultice.
The clay mud bath

To turn your bath into a full-size mud bath, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of clay to the hot water in your bathtub. These baths can be daily and last 15-20 minutes, or weekly, it will all depend on the condition you want to relieve. For example, these baths are recommended in case of rheumatism, bone conditions or even in case of fatigue or stress. It is also possible to perform foot or hand baths. In this case you can make the clay mud in a basin. But which clay to use? It will depend on your skin type but know that the green clays montmorillonite or illite are very versatile.


Dry powder alone can be used for children and babies in particular. As an alternative to talcum powder or even sprinkled on small wounds, clay plays a major anti-infectious role and also promotes healing.

Precautions for the use of clays


It is important to handle clays with inert utensils and containers, glass, wood and not with metallic instruments or plastics. Indeed, the latter could modify the characteristics of our dear clays whose properties reside in their capacities of exchange of positive and negative charges.

It is also important to know that you should never reuse a clay already used, it will be loaded with toxins and impurities...

Let's talk about heating, if you want to heat up a clay paste for example, make sure you use a water bath or if you are a little lucky directly in the sun. You can also heat the water alone before mixing it with the clays. In any case, forget the microwave!

Beware of eyes and mucous membranes!

Unlike essential oils, clays are used on mucous membranes. It is still a question of dosage and use that comes into play, be careful!

Fragile" users

Regarding the internal use of clay, it is strongly contraindicated for people prone to constipation. It is important to drink enough water during a clay cure. Its use is also contraindicated for people suffering from a digestive hernia, high blood pressure, a history of intestinal obstruction or nausea.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use clay and young children generally have adapted dosages. Clay is a natural product, but it is important not to overdose it and always respect the recommended doses and times of use.

If you are taking medication ...

If you take medication at the same time, internally, clay can counteract the action of the latter... A word of warning then about daily medication such as antihistamines, antipyretics, contraceptive pills, antihypertensives... Clays are highly absorbent, it is preferable to take them at a distance from medication. In any case, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for additional information.


To prolong the conservation of your clay in powder or crushed, use an airtight container in a ventilated room, dry and at room temperature. Moisture is the sworn enemy of a clay powder!
As for the clay paste, it can dry more easily. It is preferable to make it extemporaneously.

Sterile or not?

You should know that natural clays are not sterile compounds as opposed to pharmaceutical products based on clay for example. Indeed, it has been shown that natural clays contain bacterial flora. But don't worry, it is not pathogenic and is present in controlled quantities. As long as the flora does not exceed the limit of the food standards, the clays remain suitable for consumption if I may say so! Indeed, you will understand that the fresh food products that you consume such as cheese are not free of bacterial flora either...

Ok for the internal route there is no problem, as long as the usual precautions are respected.

As for the external route, don't worry, the bacteria in the clay will not migrate onto your skin... On the contrary, the bacteria's membranes are negatively charged while the clays have positive charges: the clays therefore attract and fix the bacteria!

Be careful with dosages and treatment times!

Follow the dosage and application instructions for each clay. Precise instructions for use exist for each of the clays' uses.

  • Respect the application times for all skin applications. The clay will lose its effectiveness if it dries out anyway, it could also irritate your skin.
  • Before any oral intake, respect the dosage and the recommended time of treatment. Indeed, the components of the clay act at minute doses, it is thus useless to absorb important quantities of clay at the risk of observing undesirable effects.
  • The oral intake should not be associated with a diet rich in fats because clays can form a compact mixture with fats.
Clay quality...

The precautions of use are useful, if and only if you use first and foremost good quality clays. But then what is a quality clay?

  • A good quality clay will be as pure as possible, i.e. not mixed with any other variety of clay and with a low presence or absence of non-clay minerals and quartz for example.
  • A quality clay must be 100% natural. To date, as a mineral, clays cannot receive the "AB" label; but who knows one day maybe... They can however agree with the cosmetic regulation and obtain a Cosmebio label.
  • A quality clay is widely controlled via physico-chemical, microbiological and heavy metal analyses to guarantee an ideal composition.
  • The best is to use a newly extracted and sun-dried clay.

Concerning the variety of clay to use, it will depend on your needs, try to check the criteria mentioned above and favor raw products and not ready-made formulas more likely to have been modified.

Learn more about the Cosmebio label

Clays in different forms

You have decided to use clay, but you are still wondering in what form? In fact, in addition to the different kinds of clay known (white, green, red, kaolinite, montmorillonite, illite ...), it can also come in several aspects: powder, paste, pieces, capsules ... We tell you more about the different possible formulations of clays!

Clay powders

- The ultra-ventilated powder is the finest, with a particle size of 20 µm. Subjected to strong ventilation, the clay minerals are separated from the other particles by density difference. It is favored for the most sensitive skin and for internal use.

- Surfine or ventilated powder is simply sifted to remove the larger particles. It is generally used for masks, poultices, bath.

- The fine powder has the thickest grains, from 50 µm to half a millimeter. It is used more for poultices than for beauty care.

Clay in pieces

The clays once dried in the sun can be broken into pieces of about 1 cm then sold either in bulk or in bags of 1, 2 or several kg.

They can be used either as they are, in which case the pieces must be left in a little water for a few hours while taking care to stir from time to time. One will then obtain a paste to be reworked and to be used for external care such as cataplasms for example.

Or it is also possible to grind the pieces in order to obtain a rather fine powder such as one saw it in the preceding paragraph.

The clay paste

It is a formula where water and clay are perfectly balanced, in other words: you can buy and use the clay paste directly without making a patty!"

What advantages will you say to me! Yes since this paste is easy to use.

However, it has some disadvantages... For example, it can dry out, harden and then become complicated to use. In addition, and this can be understood, it will be more expensive than a clay powder.

Clay in capsules, tablets or sachets

Clays can also be used internally especially for digestive problems.

Capsules, previously filled with clay, are simple and convenient ways to use.
The same goes for tablets or dose packets.

They are usually well dosed, easy to swallow, convenient to carry and also to store. Their cost is of course higher.

Clays, a history of colors...

Only the mineral composition, and in particular in iron, can define the color of the clay. Let's take a closer look at the iron content of a material... The state of the iron in the soil allows for clays of different colors.

  • The more iron is oxidized (Fe3+), the more red, orange, yellow the clay will be...
  • The less it is oxidized (Fe2+), the more the clay will tend toward blue or green colors.

To know that the white clay as for it will be almost devoid of iron... This explains its lack of coloring. As for the purple clay for example, its color is due to a high level of ammonium manganese diphosphate associated with a white clay. And for blue clay it is ultramarines that are coupled with the clay and allow for this bluish color. Finally, the pink clay is none other than a mixture between a red clay and a white clay.

Namely, the color of a clay is not just pretty but, as it depends on its composition, it also impacts the quality of its properties.

How to use clays, in plain language and in pictures

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GUIDE History of clays

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