Kaolin Clay Skin Benefits, Powder,Side Effects & Properties
Kaolin clay is versatile clay with unique chemical and physical properties that contribute to its skin health benefits as well as side effects. Is Kaolin clay powder good for skin? Read on learn more about what is kaolin clay, its skin and other health benefits, physical and chemical properties as well as side effects.
What is Kaolin Clay?
It is a naturally occurring clay substance mostly found in soils that have developed from the chemical weathering of rocks in hot, moist climates. A good example of such a climate is the tropical rain forest. It is also called China clay, White clay, White Cosmetic clay, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate, Kaolinite clay amongst other names.
Kaolin Clay Skin Benefits
What are the health skin benefits of kaolin clay? What is China Clay good for? The external use of this kaolin has a long history and it beneficial as you will learn shortly.Some of the benefits of using this clay are mainly based on its rich history in personal use. Not sufficient clinical data exists to support its effects on health. Following are the benefits of kaolin clay for skin
Kaolin is used to Clean and Care for Skin
Kaolin clay has been traditionally used in caring, nourishing, and soothing different skin types. Currently, kaolin is one of the major active ingredients in most of the facial and skin products, body powders, deodorants, scrubs, and poultices [Awwad, 2011]. It can be used alone or in combination of other products.
The clay can be effectively used to care for wet and oily skin. It is applied on the skin as a dusting powder or in a wet dressing and left for sometimes until dry then washed out. Kaolin clay works by reducing the production of sebum. This makes the oily skin to remains smooth and dry.
Kaolin Helps in Detoxifying the Skin
According to W.N Logan (2009), Indiana Division of Geology, Kaolin clay is used as skin detoxifying and cleansing agent. The clay contains high content of silica that helps in removing the dead skin and makes it to regenerate. This also purifies and detoxes the skin and makes it moist. In addition, it has unique minerals and phyto-nutrients present, which helps in eliminating toxin and oil from the skin.
To detoxify and clean the skin, kaolin clay is used as facial masks and body wraps, where thin layer is applied on the face or on the body and left to stay intact for averagely 20-30 minutes. When it is washed out, the skin, remain with remarkable regenerative properties.
Kaolin Clay can Treat Various Skin Conditions
Kaolin clay can be used to treat and heal various skin conditions. For instance, in the gastrointestinal tract, kaolin clay has been effectively used to treat and heal soreness and some swellings in the oral mucosa (mouth) that result from radiation treatments (Barker, et al. 2007).
In combination with other products, kaolin clay can also be used to treat some ulcers or inflammations of the larger intestine, such as ulcerative colitis. This is because kaolin clay provides a protective coating to the epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract, hence preventing damage cause by radiation drugs or the irritant hydrochloric acid that causes ulcers and inflammation.
China clay can be used as a topical emolument to treat some skin conditions, such as soreness of the muscles, aches, and pain, inflammations, small and moderate cuts, bruises, boils cold sores, insect bites, and zosters. According to Berker, this is because kaolin clay enhances blood circulation to the skin. Kaolin is mild hence very efficient in improving circulations of the blood to the skin, which facilitate healing of the skin conditions.
Kaolin Clay Powder for Skin
Kaolin also comes in form of powder. Kaolin powder is mostly used to soften or make your skin dry. Simply take a teaspoon of the clay powder then mix it your lotion then apply the mixture on your body and hands. To spice it up with more benefits add a few drops of essential oils. Many users agree with the fact that it makes your skin soft. Have you tried kaolin clay powder? Give it a try today to understand its effect.
Other Kaolin Clay Medicinal Health Benefits
China clay is also has medicinal health benefits. It is not only good for skin but also other conditions. Here are a few medicinal health benefits of kaolin
- Kaolinite clay can be used to treat various kinds of diarrhea-Kaolin clay has been conventionally used to treat mild-to-moderate diarrhea. In some cases, it is used to treat severe diarrhea, such as dysentery and cholera. It works mainly by adsorbing substances from the gastrointestinal tract.
- White clay can be used to manage spontaneous pneumothorax –Kaolin has been considered effective in the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax. This is because the small crystals of kaolin act as an abrasion particularly on the pleura endothelial lining. This makes it produce pleurodesis, which successfully prevent recurrence of pneumothorax or pleural effusion.
- It is used as a food additive
- It is also used to relief soreness and swelling in the mouth.
Kaolin Physical & Chemical Properties
In this section let us look at the chemical and physical properties of the white or China clay
Physical Properties of Kaolin Clay
China clay is often white in color, especially in its pure natural state. However, the color may vary when it occurs in combination with other elements. For instance, kaolin clay appears pink-orange in combination with iron oxide, and yellow or light orange when in combination with aluminum silicate (feldspar). Sometimes, white clay may appear brown when mixed with sand. See more kaolin clay varieties basing on colors.
White clay occurs in crystal forms of varying sizes. The crystals of kaolinite as seen under electron microscope are hexagonal in shape arranged in platy layers. Kaolin clay is soft powder and earthy in texture. It has low capacity to shrink and swell, which means that it has low extent of expanding when wet and low capabilities of contracting when dry.
Chemical Properties of Kaolin Clay
Kaolin clay is inert (dose not react with other elements) at widely varying pH and temperature and it often exists in nature as a free element.
Its chemical name is hydrous aluminum phyllosilicate (Al2Si2O5 (OH) 4
Kaolin clay hardly dissolves in water, but form slurry suspension. Kaolin clay has very low cation-exchange aptitude (approximately between 1 and 15 mEq/100g). This implies that it can only hold very minimal quantity of any class of cations at any given pH value. Therefore, it is very less reactive. However, it may transform under extreme temperatures above 500oC.
Side Effects of Kaolin clay
Is Kaolin safe? Does using this clay have adverse effects on our health? What are the side effects or cons eating kaolin or using this clay as mask or in other skincare products? Read on to find out.
- Kaolin clay has few side effects and limited severe toxicities. This is mainly because it is not absorbed systematically. However, according to studies, kaolin clay may cause lung (pulmonary) problems, such as pneumoconiosis in cases of prolonged exposure such as occupational contact. This indicated by reduced Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) and Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) due to destruction of the airway, such as in restrictive lung disease. .
- Kaolin pectin may reduce the absorption especially those that chelate with aluminum salt such as digoxin, lincomycin, and clindamycin. Again, it may also reduce the absorption of quinidine, trimethoprim.
- Kaolin clay is also remarkably safe in pregnancy. However, there may be consequences for the unborn child for instance;it is sometimes associated with low birth weight when consumed regularly during pregnancy.
- For those who eat China clay caution should be taken because prolonged usage may lead to Low blood-hemoglobin level, a sign of anemia. Ingesting the white clay inhibits absorption of iron from foods.
- Many of the women who eat kaolin-specific pica complain of constipation: some even suffer ruptured colons.
- Chalk –eaters (those who eat kaolin clay) at the expense of healthier foods often develop malnutrition.
- Some kaolin varieties such the Red kaolin are known to possess strong drawing power should be used minimally avoid adverse effects
Kaolin clay is a clay mineral with numerous benefits as well side effects. Its chemical and physical properties explain how this clay is lets us understand its deep features.It has medicinal and health benefits such as caring for dry skin, treatment of various skin conditions, and detoxifying skin. It is also used to treat different kinds of diarrhea. Its uses are based on its inertness (inability or low capabilities of reacting with other elements). Kaolin clay is also very less toxic even in human, since it is not well absorbed into the body systems. However, there should be more human and clinical studies to substantiate and back up the beneficial uses of Kaolin especially on humans.
Suggested Further Reading
- Kaolin Clay Uses – Skin, Cosmetics, Eating, Hair, Spray & Where to Buy (China Clay)
- Kaolin Clay Mask Benefits for Face, Acne & Oily Skin-Homemade Recipe
- White, Red, Yellow & Pink Kaolin Clays-Benefits & Uses
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Awwad, A. (2011). Nano-Structured Kaolin clay and Its Industrial Applications. New York: VDM Publishing.
Barker, J., Holaschke, M., Fulton, A., Evans, K. A, & Powell, G. (2007). Effects of kaolin particle film on Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) behaviour and performance. Bull Entomol Res, 97(5), 455-460.
Indiana Division of Geology- Newton Logan (2009). Kaolin of Indiana. Bilbao Bazaar