From sheet masks to overnight masks, there are many masking methods you may employ for your skin. But if you ask us, there is no mask quite as iconic as the classic clay mask. A self-care staple, clay masks are commonly used to help deep-clean and pamper the skin. There are several different types of clay used in skincare, including one unique form called Amazonian white clay, also known as kaolin clay. This pale, absorbent clay is a Kiehl’s signature ingredient, and it can be found in several of our best-selling skincare staples.
Here, we’ll clue you in on why Amazonian white clay is a must-have in your skincare routine. You’ll learn about where it comes from, its properties, and how Amazonian clay benefits your skin. We’ll also introduce you to a handful of products that contain this superstar ingredient (hint: it’s not just masks). So get comfy, apply your favorite face mask (clay, naturally), and read on for your introduction to Amazonian clay.
What Is Amazonian White Clay?
Amazonian white clay is a mineral-rich form of kaolin clay sourced from the mouth of the Amazon river in South America. Like other forms of clay, it is rich in a mineral called silica. Amazonian clay also contains high levels of titanium, iron, aluminum, and potassium salts.
It’s highly porous and boasts notable detoxifying properties; for these reasons, the unique natural material has also been referred to as “Magic Earth.” The Amazonian clay we use in our formulas is collected by locals and fairly traded. This mutually beneficial partnership helps provide economic support for the small communities surrounding the Amazon River in rural Brazil.
How Does Kaolin Clay Benefit Skin?
As we mentioned earlier, clay is noted for its detoxifying properties. Different types of clay have been used throughout history to help cleanse the skin; kaolin clay, in particular, is celebrated for its ability to help remove impurities from the skin’s surface. It’s especially useful for those with oily, blemish-prone skin, as the porous material helps absorb excess oil and dislodge sebum from within clogged pores.
2 Must-Have Amazonian Clay Masks To Add To Your Skincare Routine
Fairly-traded Amazonian white clay is the key ingredient in our award-winning Rare Earth Deep Pore-Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask, which also contains bentonite clay and diatomaceous earth. The detoxifying Amazonian clay mask helps draw out impurities, leaving your skin looking smoother and visibly more refined. It’s clinically-demonstrated to reduce the appearance of clogged pores by more than a third and visibly diminish surface oil after a single application.* With continued use, this potent clay mask helps minimize the appearance of blackheads and enlarged pores, revealing smoother, visibly clearer-looking skin over time. We recommend using the purifying mask at least once weekly to deep-clean and help balance your skin.
*Results based on expert grading in a two-week clinical test on 54 subjects.
Another great option, especially for those with dull or tired-looking skin, is Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask. The buttery mask with kaolin clay, turmeric, and crushed cranberry seeds provides gentle exfoliation to help invigorate fatigued skin. It gives your skin an instant facial, helping to boost radiance and improve skin’s texture in a single use. The gentle formula is suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin) and can be used up to three times per week for a brighter, smoother appearance.
More Ways To Use Amazonian Clay In Your Skincare Routine
While indulging in a classic clay mask is undoubtedly one of the most popular options for using kaolin clay in your skincare routine, it’s by no means the only way. Keep reading to discover three more Kiehl’s favorites with kaolin clay that you can add to your regular skincare routine.
1. Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
Reap the benefits of white clay on a daily basis with a clay-infused cleanser, like Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. The mild foaming formula, which contains Amazonian white clay and aloe vera, gently removes dirt, oil, and other impurities without stripping the skin. It also provides light exfoliation and helps to smooth uneven skin and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores over time. This classic Kiehl’s exfoliating cleanser is suitable for all skin types and can be used twice daily for skin that feels soft, fresh, and healthy.
2. Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic
There are many benefits of toning after washing your face, but it’s important to choose the right formula for your skin’s needs. If you’re prone to excess oiliness or shine, reach for Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic. Made with kaolin clay and allantoin, this dual-phase formula helps remove impurities left behind after cleansing while balancing the skin’s natural moisture levels. Over time, it also helps minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and mattify oily skin. You can apply the toner with a clean cotton round or splash it directly onto your face after cleansing for balanced, fresh-feeling skin.
3. Age Defender Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser
While the aforementioned kaolin clay-infused products are unisex, some men may prefer using products made specifically for their skin (which often tends to be thicker and oilier). If you’re a guy looking to upgrade your skincare routine, we suggest starting with Age Defender Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser. Made with kaolin clay, Moroccan lava clay, and phytic acid, this unique cleanser deep cleans the skin to help remove excess oil, sweat, and other impurities. It also helps refine the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores. In addition to functioning as a daily cleanser, this multipurpose formula can double as a face mask. Apply it directly to dry skin and leave it on for five minutes for gentle exfoliation. We recommend masking with this clay-infused formula up to three times per week to help reveal a youthful, refreshed appearance over time.