Why Does Clay Improve Soap?

The craft of soapmaking is filled with unique approaches and a wide range of ingredients used to create a soap to suit every body and every need.


Because there are so many different ways to make soaps from various oil and base ingredients, there are also various ingredients that can be added to add aromas, improve the way it produces suds and to create clay soap.


What makes clays such as kaolin a popular addition to soap, whether as a primary ingredient or simply in trace amounts is that depending on how it is used it can become a real game-changer.


Natural Soap Colourant

Soap is available in a wide variety of colours and shades, but it is important to know that these colours in commercially available soap are often derived from artificial sources, which is not exactly the type of ingredient that should be used on your skin


Clay instead provides a wide range of dusty shades, from orange, red and cream to even shades of purple and green, and given the source this colour is unlikely to fade or bleed.


As well as this, there is versatility to the types of designs soapmakers can create and people can buy, with natural and quite vivid single colours or a range of swirls and mixed designs.



A lot of people associate exfoliation with intense and often quite painful scrubs, but it does not need to be this way, and with that in mind, a lot of people swear by kaolin clay.


As a fine, soft clay, it helps to gently rub away dead skin cells and pull impurities away from the surface of the skin, all without causing too much in the way of skin irritation and redness.


Different clays can produce similar if slightly different effects as well.


Draws Out Oil Without Causing Dry Skin

Clay is inherently excellent at drawing water and fluids into itself, which is why there are some people that use clay for detox purposes.


One aspect of this that can really help people who have naturally oily skin is that kaolin is a natural absorbent, drawing bacteria, impurities and dirt away from the skin as well as absorbing some of the excess oil on the skin without going too far and stripping the natural skin barrier.


A Richer, More Soothing Lather

People with sensitive skin often have to be careful with which types of soaps they use, as an overly harsh and powerful bar might cause redness, irritation and potentially a skin condition such as dermatitis.


Kaolin can help in a few ways here. The first is that it builds up a much softer, creamier lather than soaps made without it, which helps the soap to feel more immediately pleasant on the skin.


The other benefit is that kaolin has an inherently soothing quality that can help relax red, angry skin and soothe rashes.


One caveat to this is that if you have naturally dry skin, it may be worth starting with a bar of soap with a smaller concentration of kaolin, as it can in some cases cause dry skin to exacerbate.


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