Clay, which is a mineral extracted right from under the earth, has been known for a beneficial ingredient for skincare for a long time. However, you will often find many kinds of clay sold in stores. There are several kinds of clay, but two of the most commonly found are kaolin clay and bentonite clay or the multani mitti. Let’s dwell on the main question: is kaolin clay and multani mitti same?

Kaolin Clay and Multani Mitti

Most of you might not be familiar with multani mitti. Multani mitti is the Hindi name for bentonite clay. The name is derived from a place called Multani, from where the clay was believed to be found; whereas mitti means mud.

As clay is a mud originated from the earth, its chemical contents are found to have many valuable benefits for the skin. Clay like kaolin and bentonite or multani mitti dig deep into the pores, pulling out the dirt completely, without causing any irritation to the skin. It makes clay a safe ingredient for even sensitive skin. Most types of clays are especially great for oily skin.

A. Benefits of Kaolin Clay

The other name for kaolin clay is China clay. It comes in various colors, mainly white but there are also pink, red, and yellow kaolin clay. Among any other clay, kaolin is the mildest and safest for sensitive skin. So if you have sensitive skin and want to try cleaning your pores with kaolin clay, you may opt for the yellow ones. Meanwhile, red or pink kaolin clay is more suitable for acne-prone, very oily, and very sensitive skin.

Related: Frequently Asked Question on Skincare: Is Kaolin Safe for Skin?

B. Benefits of Multani Mitti

Many of you might not be familiar with multani mitti clay. In fact, it is the other name for bentonite clay. It is also called the fuller’s earth. Multani mitti is very rich in minerals for skin benefits. It is composed of iron oxides, silica, water, magnesia, and lime in variable proportions. Multani mitti is classified as sedimentary clay.

Bentonite clay is the most common clay. When you mix it with water, this clay will swell and expand, causing the molecules to charge. This electricity reaction helps to pull out dirt from the pores, making them magnetically stick to the clay. It makes bentonite clay the best material for cleaning the pores and removing every dirt in it. However, this material is not recommended for sensitive skin, since the lead contained in bentonite clay or the multani mitti can be harsh to the skin.

Difference Between Kaolin Clay and Multani Mitti or Bentonite Clay

Kaolin clay and multani mitti or bentonite clay are both rich in silica minerals and aluminium. So, is kaolin clay and multani mitti same?

The main difference between both is the formation process. While kaolin clay has to go through the weathering aluminium silicate minerals, Bentonite is formed by volcanic ash. The chemical formulas between the two are also different, which means both also have different purposes.

Using Kaolin Clay and Multani Mitti for Face

If you have sensitive skin, you must be extra careful with your skincare ingredients. Even though clay is generally said to be safe for sensitive skin, it is recommended to choose kaolin clay in red or pink. 

Usually, kaolin clay is packed as a ready-to-use powder, so you need to mix it with water and make a paste. To use kaolin clay as a face mask, you can add other natural ingredients such as Manuka honey and leave the mask for 10 to 20 minutes on your skin. Then rinse the mask off with cool water.

What about multani mitti? Multani mitti or the bentonite clay is the gentler clay, among others, but it is not safe for sensitive skin. Multani mitti is most recommended for blackhead-prone, very oily skin with a lot of dirt clogging the pores. Hence, it works the most for deep pore cleansing. 

How to Choose the Best Clay for Skin

After you find the answer to is kaolin clay and multani mitti same, now another one emerges: which is the best option for you? It all depends. To find the most suitable clay, the first thing you must consider is your skin type. As explained above, kaolin clay as light and fine clay consists mostly of kaolinite minerals and is widely used for cosmetic products. It is safe for sensitive skin. While bentonite clay, despite being a gentler clay among its kind, is harsh for sensitive skin and more suitable for oily and blackhead-prone skin.