You must have heard a lot about kaolin clay. It has been very popular as an ingredient for face masks lately since clay has been proven to have many benefits for the skin. But did you know that kaolin clay had two different types: light kaolin and heavy kaolin? Each of the types has its own benefits and uses, aside from being good for your skin.

Kaolin clay consists mainly of mineral kaolinites. The name derives from “Gaoling” a Chinese village from where the mineral was found for the first time. Kaolin clay is the most common clay in the world, as it can be mined from many regions such as China, the United States, and Brazil.

Find out the difference between light kaolin and heavy kaolin, as well as the health and beauty benefits it has.

Use and Benefits of Kaolin

Kaolin clay has a wide range of usage since it is a highly beneficial mineral clay extracted from the earth. Here is the use of kaolin clay in the beauty, medicine, and manufacturing industries.

Difference Between Light and Heavy Kaolin

There are two kinds of kaolin clay sold in the market, light kaolin and heavy kaolin. Then what are the differences between the two? Here are the differences between light kaolin and heavy kaolin.

1. Light Kaolin Clay

Light kaolin is also called colloidal kaolin. It is a naturally hydrated aluminum silicate that has been elutriated and dried to remove the majority of its impurities. It also contains an excellent dispersing agent. 

Light kaolin, as the name suggests, is a light and smooth powder without any gritty particles. Light kaolin is also odorless or almost odorless and insoluble in mineral acids and water. If you mix light kaolin with water, it will form a stiff and sticky mass, and if it is suspended in water, it will form a slurry or turbid solution. Therefore, kaolin clay is not soluble in the mineral acids and waters.

2. Heavy Kaolin Clay

Heavy kaolin is a natural, purified, and hydrated aluminum silicate that consists of various compositions. It appears as a fine powder in grayish-white or white color. Similar to light kaolin clay, the heavy counterpart is also insoluble in any organic solvents and waters. It will form a slightly sticky and plastic mass when it is mixed with water. The heavy kaolin clay is also called coarse clay.

The Use of Light and Heavy Kaolin Clay

As they have distinctive characteristics on their own, the light and heavy kaolin clay also had different purposes. 

1. Heavy Kaolin Clay Use

The heavy kaolin with up to 60 μ is commonly used in the kaolin poultice preparation. Kaolin poultice is later used as fillers in ceramics, rubber, cement, paper, and fertilizers. The other use of heavy kaolin clay is for cosmetics, paints, sources of alumina, insecticides, and anti-caking preparations. 

Manufacturing industries use heavy kaolin clay for many purposes, such as tablet preparation, filter materials, or removing colors.

2. Light Kaolin Clay Use

Meanwhile, light kaolin clay is used in pharmaceutical preparations, treating diarrhea, dysentery, and enteritis. Light kaolin clay is also safe for internal administration.

Light kaolin and heavy kaolin are types of kaolin clay with different appearances and purposes. Kaolin has many benefits, from skin and beauty treatment to medicinal purposes such as for diarrhea, from mild, moderate, to severe one. Kaolin clay also makes a good medicine for cholera. Usually, kaolin clay is combined with other ingredients for diarrhea and relieves swelling and soreness in the mouth from the radiation treatments. Some of those products are also used to treat ulcers and inflammation in the large intestine.

Kaolin clay can be used in laboratory tests as well to help medical practitioners diagnose certain diseases. 

In recent years, light kaolin clay has been very popular as a product that can remove any impurities in the skin, giving it a natural detox to make skin glow and healthier. Not only for skin, but kaolin clay is also used in toothpaste and hair care products.

But long before kaolin became well-known for its beauty benefits, it was used to make porcelain products by the Chinese. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as China clay