Sticky heat, arid weather conditions, dust and pollution are factors one has to deal with while planning a skin care regime in summer. If you have tried various store-bought products, yet not received the desired results, then this ingredient might be the answer to your skin and hair woes this summer.
Kaolin— a naturally-occurring mineral, is a soft, clay powder used for cosmetic purposes. The silica-based clay has, for centuries, been mined from the mountains of India, China and Iran among other places. It absorbs oils, controls the production of sebum (oily secretion of sebaceous glands) and removes toxins and dead skin cells. Usually white in colour, some packaged varieties of kaolin might also be red, yellow or pink, each slightly varying in properties. “This clay has absorptive properties and works best on oily skin.
It helps heal blemishes and keeps them at bay, too. Kaolin is also known to remove impurities from the pores, exfoliate and soothe the skin,” says dermatologist Saumya Shetty Hegde. Kaolin works at multiple levels, making it a popular choice for many packaged beauty products. Many cleansers, toners and lotions contain kaolin. You can also make hair and face packs with it at home. “It improves the skin’s balance and decreases levels of pore-clogging oils, dirt and toxins. General skin inflammation, caused by the usual environmental factors, can also be addressed with kaolin cleansers,” says dermatologist Chiranjiv Chhabra, adding, “Kaolin increases circulation to the impacted areas of skin, helping stimulate healing and reduce irritation. Using a cleanser that contains kaolin prior to applying makeup can help control oil production and prevent unwanted shine.”
It is wise to understand your skin type before trying out any new regime or ingredient. “Not too much for dry skin, but it does a great job for combination and sensitive skin types. It helps by soaking up excess moisture without causing flakiness or dry patches,” adds Chhabra.
One thing to be kept in mind while using kaolin is not to use it on excessively dry skin.
“It is not recommended for very dry skin or conditions like eczema, sebopsoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Do not use if you have severe grade acne with infection,” cautions Hegde.v