Rhassoul (ghassoul) clay

What is it? Rhassoul (also known as ghassoul, or sometimes Moroccan clay) clay is a highly absorbent naturally occurring clay that is mined in the mountains of Morocco. It is made mostly of silica and magnesia.
INCI Moroccan Lava Clay
Appearance Fine brown powder
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Rhassoul clay is quite sandy, which makes sense given it is mostly silica and so is sand! The coarser grades have larger particles, but I’ve found all grades to have a distinct sandy feel to them.
Scent A bit dusty
pH 6–9
Solubility Insoluble
Why do we use it in formulations? It makes for a lovely, absorbent, gently exfoliating face mask on its own or blended with other clays (and some kind of liquid, of course!). It is also a nice addition to cold process soaps and anhydrous exfoliating and/or cleansing balms.
Do you need it? No, but it is quite unique among the clays. I’d probably get a small amount to have on hand as it’s inexpensive and has an extremely long shelf life.
Refined or unrefined? Rhassoul clay can be purchased at different levels of fine-ness; I would recommend fine over coarse.
Strengths An excellent absorbent and mildly abrasive clay—the favourite of many.
Weaknesses I can’t think of anything inherent to rhassoul clay, but clays often come down to being personal preference. I tend to prefer creamier clays, like French green or kaolin, as rhassoul is more sandy/mealy.
Alternatives & Substitutions Rhassoul clay is unique among clays for its sandier texture. Clays like French green and kaolin are much softer and creamier, while bentonite is significantly more absorbent and hydrates into a gel-like paste. I’d probably try a blend of 2 parts kaolin to 1 part bentonite as a starting point.
How to Work with It For a mask, whisk small amounts of rhassoul into whatever liquid is in the recipe, ensuring the mixture is smooth before adding more. In soap, blend in the clay with an immersion blender when required by the recipe (typically either into the oils or lye water before combining, or into the batter at trace).
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, rhassoul clay should last indefinitely.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Rhassoul clay has a long history of being used to wash the hair and body by North African women.
Recommended starter amount 100–200g (3.3–6.6oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Rhassoul (ghassoul) clay


Posted on

March 5, 2019