French Green Clay

What is it? Pale green, smooth Illite clay that’s mined in France. It is mostly illite clay with some kaolinite and smectite.
INCI Illite
Appearance Fine, pale green powder.
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Smooth and light when dry, smooth and creamy when mixed with water.
Scent Nothing noticeable, perhaps a bit dusty.
pH 7.75
Solubility Insoluble
Why do we use it in formulations? I mostly love it in face masks—I’ve found it really agrees with my complexion and is brilliant for purging pores without being too drying. I’ll also include it in soap as clay in soap makes for a lovely creamy bar, but it’ll also turn the soap green, so I’ll only use it if I want the final soap to be green.
Do you need it? Only if you’re a face mask junkie; like most coloured clays this one isn’t terribly useful if you don’t love it for face masks.
Strengths Fantastic for face masks if your skin likes French green clay (USA / Canada).
Weaknesses Not hugely useful for much else.
Alternatives & Substitutions It’s reasonably easily substituted for other French clays and other light, smooth clays like kaolin or zeolite.
How to Work with It As French green clay (USA / Canada) is a fine powder, be sure to wear a dust mask around it if it’s going to become aerosolized (like if you’re whipping it up in a coffee grinder).
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, French green clay (USA / Canada) will have an indefinite shelf life.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks When blending French green clay (USA / Canada) into a liquid, slowly whisk it into water (as opposed to adding water to the clay) for the smoothest possible blend.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use French Green Clay


Posted on

August 26, 2016