What is kaolin clay used for?

Kaolin clay is a favorite in the cosmetic industry, and is also known by china and white cosmetic clay. The clay itself is characterized by its soft white appearance which when applied as a face mask retains its original colour. 

Kaolin is a natural product that has been around for thousands of years, historically it was used as a skin care mask and as a ingredient in skin care products. Over time with word getting out about all the benefits Kaolin offers, it became an integral part of any cosmetic product.

Its ability to disperse in water also makes it an ideal pigment which is used in many other industries such as in the making of paper, rubber, porcelain, plastics and paint.

Kaolin clay can be utilized to provide a number of desired benefits depending on the product type. See below for more information on what kaolin is used for in cosmetics.

Face masks

Kaolin’s unique properties and ingredients makes it an incredible additive for masks and other skincare products. 

Because of the absorbent quality of kaolin, it makes it ideal for use as a facial purifying mask as it cleanses, exfoliates dead skin cells from the surface and clears pores of any impurities.

It can be used on a variety of skin types as it is beneficial for oily and dry skin. 


Many facial cleansers include kaolin where it adds absorbency, bulk and texture. The clay regulates oil and moisture levels in skin which improves complexion and reduces shine, as well as controlling oil production.

Cleansers with kaolin combat skin damaged by environmental conditions.

The clay has the ability to dry the skin and increase localized circulation which contributes to fighting inflammation. 


Kaolin when incorporated into face powders, liquid powders and foundations work to ensure a smooth finish while preventing the powder or foundation from caking or appearing uneven.

Due to its absorbent nature, kaolin is an ideal ingredient in cosmetic powders as it helps reduce oily shine throughout the day. As many foundations and powders can prompt the skin to produce more oil, kaolin products help to fend off this issue and keep skin looking fresh and matte.