A Tablespoon of Earth and a Teaspoon of Nature

A Quick Guide on Using Natural Clays in Cosmetics and CP Soap

You may have seen our current advert campaign in the press or online recently that involves a subtle and traditional approach to soap and bath bomb making. Being a summer campaign, we wanted to reflect the image and feeling of ‘handmade’ and ‘rustic’ to create a series of adverts that celebrate the natural ingredients we have available here at the Soap Kitchen.

It was important for us to go as synthetic-free as possible with the ingredients for the products being showcased in the adverts. This made our cosmetic clays a favourable colourant for the soaps and bath bombs!

While clays make perfect, natural and delicate colourants in cosmetics, they also bring a lot of added benefits to soaps, bath bombs and anything that is applied to the skin.

This blog explores how to use natural clays to add colour, the types of colours achieved and the properties of some of our favourite clays. Get your recipe book and shopping list; because you will want try these in your future makes for sure!

Using Clay for colour:

How? Unless you are adding these clays in to dry ingredients, you will need to mix them with a liquid to create a paste. This will allow the clay to completely disperse and blend in to the base product without leaving any clumps or pockets of colour.

  • To add clay to cold process soap, we advise mixing it with a small amount of olive oil to create a paste.
  • To add clay to bath bombs, you don’t need to make any changes, just add the ingredient to your dry mixture the same way as you would if you were using Mica or mineral pigment.
  • To add clay to melt and pour soap bases, mix the clay in to a paste by spraying it with isopropyl alcohol. You may need to reheat your melt and pour soap after adding the clay to allow the colour to completely disperse.

Why would you choose clay to add colour to your product?

  • By using clay to add colour to your product instead of a dye or pigment, you can say that your product is completely ‘colour-free’ as clays are technically not classed as colourants.
  • Because clays are a lightweight powder, this allows them to be mixed well with water and suspend well in most liquid toiletries.
  • Clays are great at maintaining their colours, so when they are added to a long life product like CP soap, the colour is less likely to fade.
  • Clays are not sensitive to a high PH in soap.
  • Clays are great if you like to multicolour your soap as the colours will not bleed in to one another.
  • 100% natural product.

Red Clay: Whilst other clays tend to give a more subtle colour, Red Clay is perfect for a darker, deeper pigment in soap.

Colour achieved: Rust Red











Properties and Benefits:

  • Detoxifying
  • Mildly absorbent
  • Leaves skin feeling silky and radiant
  • Ideal for Normal to sensitive skin types
  • Perfect for products such as, face masks, body wraps, shampoo and body washes
  • The best all body detox when added to bathwater!

Rose Clay and (French) Pink Clay: Possibly the favourite coloured clays amongst the creative team, the pink and rose clays produce some really pretty and earthy colours. Pink clay is considered the mildest of clays and therefore is a favourable ingredient in facial skincare products.

Colours achieved: Dusty Pink, Rosie Pink and Pastel Pink






Properties and Benefits:

  • Detoxifying
  • Absorbent
  • Pink Clay has a softening and toning effect
  • Ideal for all skin types, particularly mature
  • Best for face masks, facial cleansers, washes and cosmetic powders.
  • Mildly exfoliating


(French) Green Clay:  Who knew you could achieve so many different shades with one ingredient? With a pinch of titanium dioxide, Green clay can offer a variety of tones.  This clay also carries many benefits that are hugely desirable in skincare products.

Colours achieved: Sage, Light Mossy Green ( or with titanium dioxide – Peppermint Green, Pastel)







Properties and Benefits:

  • Ideal for oily/combination skin types
  • Best for absorbing oil and drawing out skin impurities
  • Commonly used in products that help spot prone skin
  • Tightens pores and tones skin
  • Best used in face masks, soap and skincare


Other Clays: These clays are not generally used for colour but, they have some amazing properties that are worth noting when developing a range of natural cosmetics.

Rhassoul Clay:

  • Strong absorption
  • Rich in Minerals
  • Spa quality
  • Great for the scalp and therefor a great natural shampoo ingredient
  • Anti-Dandruff
  • Great for all complexions, especially oily or dry skin
  • Full body detoxing











Kaolin Clay:

  • Fine and gentle clay
  • Commonly used in make-up cosmetics such as mineral foundations, eyeshadow and fixing powders. Also frequently used in bath bombs and natural deodorants
  • Mildly exfoliating and very cleansing
  • Ideal for dry and sensitive skin types











Bentonite Clay:

  • Possibly the most common clay to be used in the cosmetic industry
  • Strong absorption
  • Most ideal for oily skin
  • A must have ingredient for a natural shaving soap!
  • Also used in facial creams, masks and teeth cleaning products
  • Carries effective medicinal healing properties for common skin problems











*All Clays are full of advantageous properties when used in cosmetics and soaps but, it is important to know that you should try to avoid any medical claims when branding and advertising your products. Once a product claims to have any medicinal, treating values, your product is immediately classed a ‘drug’ rather than a ‘cosmetic’ product and therefore requires a completely different kind of testing and safety assessment.*

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