Skincare Health & Wellness Series by Georges'Botanique

Skincare Health & Wellness Series

"Go Natural with Clays"

Natural Clay Colors

Do you know what is in your soap?

Today we're going to

  • discuss the purpose in using clays in soap.
  • identify the different additives used in soapmaking.
  • learn how to mix the additives to use in soapmaking.
  • define the "Go Natural" approach to soapmaking.
  • describe skincare health and wellness benefits in using clay soap.

After multiple soapmaking sessions, I felt I was ready for colors. Colors as anyone has learned is quite challenging except I'm up for the challenge. My mantra has been the "Go Natural" approach to crafting soap. That meaning, I prefer that I know what ingredients are used, keeping it to a minimum, and using only those ingredients known for their earthly good qualities for your skin.

Where does clay come from? Clay is a soft, loose, earthy material containing particles with no larger than 4 micrometers . It forms as a result of the weathering and erosion of rocks containing the mineral group feldspar (known as the 'mother of clay') over vast spans of time. Humans have a vast association with clay from the ceramist who creates pottery to medicinal purposes for the gastrointestinal system. Of course, in the instance of crafting soap it has the dual purpose as a natural colorant giving the soap it's beauty and the cleansing effects it has on the skin.

Where are clays found? Clays are primarily found near the earth's surface. Clay comes from the ground, usually in areas where streams or rivers once flowed. It is made from minerals, plant life, and animals—all the ingredients of soil. Over time, water pressure breaks up the remains of flora, fauna, and minerals, pulverizing them into fine particles. Massive kaolinite deposits have been mined at the Hilltop pit, Lancaster County, South Carolina. Of course, there are many places across the world mining clay that comes in various colors and types based on the mineral content in the clay.

Clays prepared for soapmaking

Clays are considered "additives" in soap. According to Webster's Dictionary an additive is a substance added to something in small quantities, typically to improve or preserve it. Additives may range for natural ingredients from the earth to harsh chemicals, like triclosan that is added to the product to enhance the antibacterial properties of the soap. As of September 2017, triclosan will be banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from all cleansing products. It is a pesticide, used in bar and liquid soap to reduce odor and reduce bacteria on the skin. Studies have shown that it is no more effective than soap without triclosan. And, that repeated use has shown an increase in methyl resistant staph aureus (MRSA) hospital acquired infections (nosocomial) with long term effects that alter the hormonal balance in the body, leading to cancer. So, why do we use it!

Having said that the "Go Natural" approach to soapmaking appealed to my sensibilities. When crafting the soap with clay additives it does not take much to craft a batch of soap. Typically measuring out 1 ounce or less, depending on how much soap and color that you need is ideal. This is something that you need to adjust as you prepare several batches. Hint ~ mix the clays in a small bowl in your sink as they are powders that will spread everywhere.

The clays used to create this modified swirl technique included green clay from France, Kaolin clay, activated charcoal, and red Moroccan clay. The red Moroccan clay has been reported as the BLACKHEADS BE GONE clay. It is one of the most effective clays for acne prone sufferers in ridding your skin of blackheads, skin toning, and re-balancing dry skin with regular use.


Moroccan Red Clay (aka Rhassoul Clay) has been used for the last 1400 years as a soap, shampoo, and skin conditioner. Luxuriantly smooth to the touch, it's highly absorbent and exfoliating qualities make this clay a must have in top notch professional spas. It comes from ancient deposits in the fertile Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Its use in history as a cosmetic clay can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt where it was used by nobility to tone and enrich the skin.

Kaolin clay, the most versatile and easily applied clay is commonly added to skincare products and cosmetics. White Cosmetic clay, also known as White Kaolin clay, is a very fine and light clay that has natural absorbency properties. White Cosmetic clay is found in virtually all powdered and dry cosmetics and most wet cosmetics, including soaps, scrubs, poultices, deodorants, facial powders and masks.

Being one of the mildest of all clays it is suitable for people with sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. It does not draw oils from the skin, so it can be used on dry skin types without negative results. In our soap it is used for contrasting whites with other darker hues to give the soap a distinctive swirling effect. Potentially one could leave out the kaolin clay in this soap, however I have found that it makes the soap silky. Great Shave Bar! It is gentle for underarm shaving and around the bathing suit area. You will kiss stubble and ingrown hairs goodbye.

The green clay from France acts as an absorbent. It's powers are due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin. If you're looking for improving your skin tone, minimizing ashy dry skin use the green clay. Using this clay in a soap provides that added benefit in removing bacteria and toxins from the skin, just as triclosan. Except it is natural.

Blending Oils and additives in soap

Mixing clays requires measuring out about a tablespoon of one-ounce of each type of clay in separate mixing bowls. A pour spout plastic or glass container works well. The amounts need to be measured exactly using a scale. After measuring the dry ingredients add 1/2 ounce of carrier oil and blend well. I typically use a carrier oil like de-fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil to blend the clays. If necessary use a small stick blender to avoid clumping the clay.

Depending on the type of design you choose for your soap with determine whether you mix the clays with the SAP or leave in the oil base state. In this instance only a small amount of SAP (batter) was used with each color. Typically using the essential oils in the batter containing the colors will cause it to seize so the aroma oils are only added to the remaining SAP that is left uncolored.

Natural Clay Herbal Handcrafted Soap

Your participation in this series is greatly appreciated. Feel free to comment on the series and ask questions related to skincare health and wellness. The author of the "Skincare Health and Wellness" series is a registered nurse and vascular diagnostician with years of experience in issues pertaining to healthy skin. Although we do not diagnose skin conditions we do provide you with knowledge and information about best practices in skincare.

by Suzanne Kelley, MEd.,BSN,RN,RVT

Created By
Suzanne Kelley, MEd.,BSN,RN,RVT


Created with images by Kjerstin_Michaela - "acne pores skin pimple female face skincare"

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