Researchers analyze benefits of clay in cosmetic compositions

Researchers analyze benefits of clay in cosmetic compositions

A review published in Cosmetics​ details how clays and clay minerals are used in cosmetic products and what benefits they may offer, ranging from UV protection to antibacterial functionality.

“[Clays] can be used in several types of cosmetics/dermocosmetics, both as active ingredients and/or as starting materials, due to their properties, like sorption, cation exchange capacity, physical exfoliation, and swelling, among others,” they write.

Clays and clay minerals are natural, environmentally friendly, low cost and abundant. They can also be used in different formulations such as gels, creams, pastes or ointments. As a cosmetic ingredient, clays can affect stability and color; as an active ingredient, clays can help with anti-aging, UV protection, oil control and cleansing, among other functions.

Prior to the use of clay and clay minerals in cosmetic products, they were used in spas and medicine for geotherapy and pelotherapy, helping to stimulate circulation, increase absorption and moisturize skin.

Clay and clay mineral compositions

Clay composition plays a big part in the application to the cosmetics industry. Clays with silicon can help with hydration, inflammation and skin regeneration; those with aluminum can absorb melanin and disperse pigment; and antiseptic, antibacterial and regenerative activities were found in clays containing those listed above along with calcium, titanium, iron and potassium.

Most clay minerals contain a mixture of elements, oxides, carbonates, kaolinite, chlorides and phyllosilicates.

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