Clay: Overview
some types and information on each

overview and kinds
Clay is extracted from the ground, typically from areas where water or volcanic lava once flowed. Due to the transformational power of either force, clay characteristically contains trapped fragments of pulverized organic matter that includes plant material, fauna and a variety of minerals. Depending on the region of origin, cosmetic clay varies in composition with color ranging from white to green and red. Use it to make facial masks, body wraps, soothing pastes for minor skin irritations, conditioning hair treatments and natural toothpaste.

bentonite clay
Bentonite clay, the product of heated water and volcanic ash, is so-named because a large reserve of it was found in the Benton Shale deposit of Wyoming in the 19th century. It is highly colloidal, able to readily absorb 10 times its weight in water. In fact, it is commonly used as a sealant for wells, ponds, pools and foundations. In manufacturing, it is used to produce various products, including paper, clumping cat litter and poultry feed. In the cosmetic and spa industries, bentonite clay is used in facial masks and body packs, natural body powders and as an emulsifier and thickener in skin lotions, creams, shampoo, deodorant and other products.
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green clay
Also known as French clay, green clay is classified as an illite clay, which means that it typically occurs in sedimentary or metamorphic rock due to the combination of acidic ground water and weathering. French green clay gets its name from the fact that it was once exclusively mined in southern France, although it is now also extracted from China, Wyoming and Montana. This cosmetic clay is particularly calming to inflamed skin and its chelating properties (it binds to heavy metals) help to cleanse the skin of trapped toxins.
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kaolin clay
Kaolin clay, also known as kaolinite, is the most abundant of clays, occurring as a silicate mineral all over the world, especially in soil subjected to weathering in tropical climates. Similarly, although kaolin is mined in more than a dozen countries, the United States is the largest producer, with the biggest deposits being located in Georgia. Commonly referred to as white cosmetic clay, kaolin is a light, fine powder used as a food additive and in manufacturing to produce numerous products and coatings. Kaolin is also used to make various cosmetics. Because it is a component of fine porcelain, it is sometimes called China clay.
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red clay
Red clay, also called rhassoul, originates from Morocco, where it has been used for skin and hair care for centuries. It is traditionally used in Turkish bathhouses, where it is often applied as a full body mud pack. In addition to serving as a thickening agent in skin lotion and creams, red clay is mixed with water and used as a substitute for conventional shampoo and as a hair conditioning treatment.
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