What Is Kaolin Clay And Powder? (USES, BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS)

Kaolin Clay is known for its huge positive effects both internally and externally. In this article, you will find more about this amazing clay, its uses and benefits on the skin, hair, teeth and a whole lot more uses you might not have come across before.

Women, and even men alike, always want that flawless and perfect look. Apart from clothing’s, which is totally their choice, the way their skin appears and feels add to their confidence. I am sure your appearance matter to you too. That is why this article has been brought to you with the hope of enlightening you on Kaolin Clay.

What Is Kaolin Clay?


Kaolin Clay is a soft, white clay substance that is often found in soils. They form in hot and moist climates due to chemical weathering in these climates. The tropical rainforest is a good example of such climates. While the clay was mined for centuries in China, it was named after Kao-ling mountain where the mining was done.

The clay is called several other names such as White clay, China clay, Kaolinite clay, White Cosmetic clay, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate and so on. Its chemical name is Hydrous aluminum phyllosilicate. However, it has other names it is called.

Kaolin Clay has a long history of use in different spheres. Away from internal and external bodily use, the clay is also known to have been one of the first clays used in pottery by our ancestors. Even in recent times, Kaolin clay has also become very useful in the paper industry. It is usually brushed on papers as final coatings for smoothness and bright white look.

It is also used in makeups such as face powders, face cleansers, concealers, etc. It is widely used for skin issues like skin sensitivity, rashes, redness, irritation, oily skin, and so on.

What is Kaolin Clay Powder

Kaolin clay powder is an odorless powder made from kaolin clay. It may come in different colors such as white, red or yellow. This depends on other minerals that might have been mixed with it.

Majorly, kaolin clay-based products in stores are found in the powder form. You will most likely buy this in stores as kaolin powder which can be further used as dry or wet cosmetics such as scrubs, deodorants, facial powders, soaps, masks, DIY toothpaste and so on, depending on your need.

Kaolin Clay Uses And Benefits

Kaolin Clay is known for its exceptional use for both internal and external use. The white clay is suitable for use on all skin types even for sensitive skins. It is not a harsh chemical. Also, this cosmetic clay features two unique components which are aluminum oxide and silica. These two components are great for the skin.

Although not scientifically proven, Kaolin Clay is a natural ingredient that has been known over time, for its strong effects on the skin and hair and even internal use. It has been used for these things and positive results have been recorded.

This clay is unique, out of all known clays, it seems to be the mildest. It consists a wide range of minerals and it is quite silky and smooth in texture.

Kaolin Clay For Skin

Known for its huge effect on all skin types, Kaolin Clay nourishes, soothes and cares for the skin delicately. This is why you will find this clay as an active ingredient in most skin products. You will find it in poultices, body powders, deodorants, scrubs and so on.

It works great for the reduction of sebum in the skin. One good reason why it is very good for oily skin types. It gives it adequate smoothness and dryness. It can be applied dry as a powder or wet on the skin while it absorbs dirt.

The presence of silica in the clay ensures it absorbs dead skin while encouraging it to regenerate. It can detoxify and cleanse the skin leaving you with moistness (W.N Logan (2009), Indiana Division of Geology,). Other good components in this clay that help with removal of toxins and oils are some unique minerals and phytonutrients therein.

Another good thing about this clay is that it has healing abilities. With it, you can heal moderate skin bruises or cuts, boils, muscle soreness, pains, insect bites and so much more. Its ability to encourage blood circulation in the skin gives it all these skin benefits and healing power.

As masks

Kaolin Clay can be applied as a facial mask or body wrap for about 30 minutes and then washed out afterward. It should be mixed with warm water to before application.

When applied, it helps remove sebum from the skin by soaking out the excess oils as well as cleansing the pores. This prevents clogging, ensuring you have no breakouts. Not only does is suck out oils, it also does the same for other impurities like germs, grime, dirt and so on, leaving you with a toxin-free skin and pores. The masks can be done daily for best results.

As facial cleansers

Instead of harsh facial cleansers that are mostly filled with chemicals, this clay can be used for daily facial cleansing. It is gentle and less harsh compared to regular facial cleansers. You can combine ¼ cup of the clay, 7 drops of lavender oil plus ½ cup colloidal oatmeal. Whisk together and store in a jar for daily use.

When ready to use, toss some of the mixtures in your palm, add little water to form a paste, gently scrub your face with it and wash out with lukewarm water.


For irritated skin due to bug bites, rashes, and so on, 1 cup of kaolin clay with 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal should be mixed with warm water and applied for no less than 15 minutes for quick relief. Such irritations can be treated with this mixture.

Sensitive skins

Kaolin Clay with honey, (one teaspoon each), can help sensitive skin types. For likely outbreaks, rashes, redness in the skin, this mixture should help soothe them.

Kaolin Clay for Acne

For blotchy, red and painful acne, this clay is also good for these. Whether pus-filled or not, Kaolin Clay can effectively get rid of acne. Weekly use of one teaspoon clay, two drops of tea tree oil and two teaspoons of aloe vera gel can help a lot. When mixed together, it should be applied on the face and other affected area.

Ensure to avoid the sensitive areas like around the eyes for safety reasons. The application should remain for about 7 minutes. Wash off with tepid water. Afterwards, splash some cold water on the face to close up pores.


Also, it is a good way of exfoliating dead cells or flaky skin. Kaolin Clay is lightly abrasive hence ideal for exfoliation. ½ cup of the clay powder,½ cup of coconut oil and ¼ cup white sugar mixture can be used as a good body scrub. It should be scrubbed on wet skin and rinsed off afterward.

Kaolin Clay in Lotions

This clay is also beneficial in the making of lotions due to its richness in potassium, silicon, titanium, and other elements that process the formation of collagen. The clay gives the lotion enough creaminess and silkiness for the skin.

Lotions made with this clay are capable of absorbing toxins and impurities from your skin. It can also give you a smooth and soothing feeling while not leaving out moisture retention for your skin. It is capable of giving a soft skin and also ensures tightened and toned skin.

Kaolin Clay in Soap

With its richness in silicon, potassium, and titanium, Kaolin Clay works well for soaping. These 3 elements help to process the formation of collagen. Kaolin Clay is smooth, silky and creamy hence it gives soaps same feeling in your skin. When used in soap, it helps retain moisture in the body, soaks dirt and toxins giving the body a deep cleansing.

It also has the ability to smoothen and soothe the skin ensuring a brightened, toned and firm skin.

Kaolin Clay in Deodorant

Due to its richness in silica and aluminum oxide, kaolin clay can soak up sweat and oils, pull out toxins, heavy metals or chemicals from deep within. it is very suitable for use in deodorants. It also removes bad body odor from the underarms. It pulls out hydrogen allowing the cells replace hydrogen with oxygen.

As expected of a deodorant, it has a fine texture, does not stain and is odorless. In all, the underarms are kept clean and fresh.

Kaolin Clay in Lipstick

The clay is also used in lipsticks as it softens and brightens the lipstick. It gives good adhesion and has good viscosity power as well. It gives the lipstick a light texture as well.

Kaolin Clay for Hair

Still, on its ability to suck dirt’s, when used on the hair, either in shampoo or hair masks, stale hair sebum and other impurities in the hair are eliminated. On its own, it can serve as a natural shampoo along with other cleansing ingredients. Itself, lavender oil, rose water and apple cider vinegar will make a good combination for hair cleaning.

The light paste should be applied on hair and scalp for about 2 minutes and then washed out with warm water and then cold water lastly.

Other benefits of this clay in the hair are that it strengthens the hair improving its elasticity, slows hair aging process, does not absorb moisture hence leaves hair moisturized.

Kaolin Clay For Cleansing The Teeth

Even toothpaste make use of kaolin clay because of its deep cleansing effect and ability to remove toxins, plaque as well as tartar from the teeth. You can also make a DIY toothpaste with it to whiten your teeth. With 1 Tsp. kaolin clay combined with 5 drops liquid stevia, a tsp. of coconut oil, and 3 peppermint oil drops, you will get your DIY toothpaste. You can use for your regular morning-night brushing.

Kaolin Clay for Diarrhea

This clay is also known for its exceptional role in stopping Diarrhea. It works well by sucking out the bacteria’s that are the main cause of diarrhea thereby reducing the number of microbes in the gut. The clay is suitable to serve as diarrhea management in children and even pregnant women who have limited immunological defenses often.

Not only does it serve this purpose for humans, it also does the same for pets.

Kaolin Clay for Gardening

You might find this unbelievable but kaolin clay can be used in the garden. It is rich in nutrients like minerals hence ideal for domestic animals and crops alike. It is used to improve the nutritive value of crops and to improve crop yields. However, this application of kaolin clay is yet to be really tapped into.

Side Effects of Kaolin Clay

As good as this clay is, it has some adverse effects. Too much intake of kaolin clay can cause constipation for you. Also, when used internally for a long time, it could become difficult for the body to absorb some nonessential minerals from food. This is so because Kaolin Clay coats the digestive system lining very well.

Furthermore, long-term exposure to a large quantity of the clay powder can result in lung problems. The powder could get stuck in the lungs when inhaled. People like mine workers are more exposed to this

Is Kaolin Clay Edible?

Kaolin Clay has been said to be edible. Although eating it has not been proven safe by medical experts, nutritionists have had good things to say about it. Largely, it has become a habit for people to eat it, even pregnant women are found in this category. They believe it is healthy and that it suppresses hunger.

It is known to be good for a whole lot of internal use for the digestive system. Ulcers, sores, and so on can be relieved by the clay because it does not break down, neither does it absorb into the body. The digestive tract, due to its natural acids and bacteria’s, aggravate these internal issues. While kaolin Clay gives a coating to the inside of the entire digestive tract to protect the epithelial lining, giving it the ability to heal on its own.

Issues like diarrhea, leaky guts, and IBS could also be helped with this clay. Swellings in the mouth, larger intestines inflammation like ulcerative colitis could also be helped with the clay.

Where to Buy Kaolin Clay?

Kaolin Clay is widely available. It is sold in stores in form of kaolin clay powder which you can easily use for your recipes. Also, you can order for the clay from online stores like Amazon and get it delivered to you. Ensure you buy the good one. This clay is considered to be “the brighter, the better”.

Hence, it is advised that you look for that which is brighter in whiteness. However, it might not be totally white because it has some minerals present in it that give it a slight coloration; iron oxide giving it a pinkish hue, decomposing plant material also gives it a greenish color.

Difference Between Kaolin and Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay is also a healing clay for body cleansing. It is called Montmorillonite clay, apart from bentonite clay. Unlike the Koalin Clay which is made from soils in hot, moist climates, the benzoate clay is derived from ash made from volcanoes. This clay was named after Montmorillon (Montmorillonite clay) where the clay was first found in France. Kaolin Clay was named after the Kao-ling mountain in China where it was mined for centuries.

For health and skin benefits, they serve similar functions. Bentonite clay also has amazing cosmetic properties. It also has healing abilities to cure ailments such as cuts, insect bites, burns, etc. It also has the ability to suck out oils and impurities leaving you with a soft, smooth skin. Also, for skin irritations such as chicken pox, eczema, psoriasis, bentonite clay can soothe them.

In terms of functions, Koalin Clay and Bentonite Clay are not much different. In fact, they are sometimes used together for the skin. However, bentonite clay is known for its Probiotic features, it aids digestion, contributes to weight loss and generally improves constipation. It is also known for its possible alleviation of hyperthyroidism.


This article has explained what kaolin Clay is, it’s uses and various benefits. It is an age long natural cosmetic clay that has a lot to offer you. For DIY lovers, you might want to check this clay out for your various skin DIY recipes. Even if you are not a DIY-er, looking out for this clay in the ingredients of products you want to purchase (if you wish) is also another way to benefit from it. I hope you have benefitted from this article and you have had a lot to learn about this amazing natural cosmetic clay.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a very detailed and informative article about kaolin clay. After reading its several health benefits and uses, I’m reminded of activated charcoal. They almost provide the same benefits and uses. Thanks for sharing this!

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