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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Many Colors of Clay

The Age Old Use of Clay
The Many Colors of Clay
Clay has a long tradition of use, both internally and externally, throughout the world.  The color of the clay is determined by where it comes from, how deeply it was mined,  its composition and make up of minerals and active enzymes. External treatments of clay (reguardless of type) stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluid, help remove dead skin cells, and help strengthen and tone connective tissue.
Kaolin Clay




Kaolin Clay is derrived from the Chinese word Kao-ling.  It is a soft and unsually white natural clay produced by the chemical weathering of aluminium silicate.  This clay is the most widely used clay in the cosmetic and beauty industry today. It is known as the mildest of all the clays and can be used on very sensitive skin types.  Kaolin Clay is often found in soaps, scrubs, poultices, deoderants, facial powders, masks,  and most dry and all wet cosmetics. Since it does not draw oil like some of the other clays, it is also very useful for people with naturally dry skin. In many parts of the world China White clay, yet another name for Kaolin, is colored pink-orange by iron oxide.  This is called Pink Kaolin Clay.  Still more mild than other clays, this Pink Kaolin is a little more detoxifying than it's partner White Kaolin Clay.

Pink Kaolin Clay
 Note: Pink Kaolin Clay can leave some natural pigments behind on the skin. Therefor it is best to use at night when the skin will naturally absorb some of the left behind pink residue. 


Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay comes from thick layers of volcanic ash that once fallen back to earth absorb many micronutrients from the areas which it lies.  It has been used as a theraputic clay since at least 2500 B.C. People world wide have used this substance for internal therapies as well as detox for the external body. It is considered by some the most theraputic and healing of all of the clays. A good quality Bentonite Clay should be a grey/cream color.  Anything bordering white should be suspect to bleaching or high amounts of Kaolin Clay as an additive filler. The largest and most active deposits of Bentonite Clay in the world come from Montana and Wyoming, USA. 


French Green Clay
French Green Clay, as its name denotes comes from large deposits in France.  However this exquisite clay can also be found in Montana, Wyoming, parts of China and other depositis through out Europe.
French Green Clay has a cornucopia of valuable elements including montmorillonite, nine different and important mineral oxides, magnesium, calcium, potassium, dolomite, silica, maganese, phosporous, silicon, copper and selenium.  The beautiful green color owes it's nature to two very important factors. One is iron oxides and the second is decomposed plant material. Due to the decomposed plant material this clay should always be very green to green, never a dull grey. Unlike other clays were the key ingredients work in symbiosis with one another, many elements within the French Green Clay work on their own accord. Each element is responsible for working the outer skin layers in its own unique way.  This clay is highly absorbant and literally "drinks" the toxins from the skin.  It pulls vast amounts of toxic particualates and impurities (not to mention dust, oils, and make-up)  from the pores, while toning and bringing fresh blood to the damaged and healthy  skin cells alike.  This is a great revitalizer for the complexion, helping sustain that natural health-filled glow.

Rhassoul Clay

 This dynamic clay hails from Morocco.  The word Rhassoul is derrived from the Arabic word for washing "Rhassala".  This clay has many names including; Red Clay, Ghassoul Clay, and Oxide Clay, but most often will be titled Rhassoul. It has been used in it's country of origin for over 1400 years as soap, shampoo, and as a skin conditioner.  It is mined deep beneath the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco and can only be extracted under very special conditions.  When first mined, this clay appears as a polished brown soap-like clay.  It is chunky and resembles a rock more than anything else. After extensive micronization (crushing) this product becomes silken smooth and of very tiny particulates. Rhassoul contains higher percentatges of silica and magnesium, potassium and calcium than other clays.  Rhassoul Clay combats dryness of skin, improves clarity and elasticity and has the ability to pull impurities and unclog pores even stubborn black heads.  This clay also works wonders with the hair.  It cleanses, removes impurities, and leaves the hair voluminous and ever so shiny.

Cambrian Blue Clay

This clay is the rarest and most ancient of all clays with deposits beginning in the earliest Paleozoic period of our history, about 542 million years ago.  Cambrian Blue Clay is imported from the salt lakes of Siberia.  There is only one company out of Russia that exports to anywhere else in the world.
 Its color comes from iron, zinc and algae and for all above mentioned reasons is considered the most valuable clay in the world. It is prized for its anti-agin and anti-wrinkle and blemish fighting properties.  It has an incredible ability to tighten and strengthen skin elasticity and tensile strength. This has been considered one of the most "aggressive" clays.  Meaning it pulls the greatest amounts of toxins from pores and hair folicles.  Yet it is gentile enough to use on most all skin types. 


Photo of Kaolin Mine early 1900's


Clay is quarry mined from deposits within the earth ranging from 100 feet to several thousand feet below the surface.  It is then brought to the surface and into the sun for the first time in ages, this removes excess water and makes it easier to work.  After this process of hauling it to the earths surface, it then begins the process of micornization.  It gets heavily ground with huge often hydraulic crushers and then finely pulverized with fine mesh equiptment.  After this process is complete, it is once again laid out into the sun for more dry time allowing the final amounts of moisture to evaporate.

                                                                FACE MASK RECIPE:
1) Take 1 TBS of liquid of choice add to small bowl
2) Add 2 TBS of clay (which clay is determined by skin type and effect desired)
3) Stir continously to avoid clumps. End result should be a smooth paste (add drop by drop of water
         small amounts of clay to achive desired consistancy.

Liquids:
   1) Purified water: the simplest and most strait forward of liquids to use (use cooled).
   2) Green Tea: the added benefits of green tea antioxidants. May help ease the formation of fine    
        lines and wrinkles. (use cooled).
   3) Whole Milk: used to soothe irritated and dry skin

Essential Oils:
   The addition of essential oils such as lavender can be highly beneficial.  Add 1-2 drops of pure 
   essential oil if desired.  Know the benefits of each oil you choose to add, and always stay clear of
   citrus scents due to their phototoxic nature.