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Clay Mineral Origin Cheat Sheet

August 1, 2015

Good morning and happy Saturday to you all.

I’ve just finished writing up this big cheat-sheet for my friends at New Directions and thought I’d share it with you too.

"Wonder Soil" particles shown by SEM.  This amazing soil is a calcium smectite and is pretty rare.  You can find the story of this soil here. Isn't it pretty!

“Wonder Soil” particles shown by SEM. This amazing soil is a calcium smectite and is pretty rare. You can find the story of this soil here. Isn’t it pretty!

As you can see from the information in the table clay is quite a complex thing and we use lots of different types in the cosmetic industry depending on what we are trying to achieve. One of the very first ingredients I learned about as a young Cosmetic Chemist working in the industry was VEEGUM – an ultra-pure smectite clay that helps to bring structure and yield strength to an emulsion or gel formulation. I still love Veegum and often use it in my formulations although I have to admit that many of my clients wanting natural formulations are turning their nose up at it because it contains ‘Aluminium’.

Just like with our ‘lead in your lipstick’ thing there is aluminium in lots of things and with the pyllosilicate family of clays which includes the Veegum type making up 90% of the earths crust you will have to find a way of suspending yourself in mid-air to avoid coming into contact with it. Lead has only become an issue since we ‘liberated’ the 0.0013 ish % that occurs naturally during our rush to become industrialised – blame the TV, fast trucks and mass produced consumer goods (amongst other stuff).

Clay Fact Sheet (you have to click on it, hope that’s OK)

Anyway, I don’t let a little aluminium in my smectite get me down, I love a good mud bath and so should you!

I hope you find the information here interesting and somewhat useful.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane permalink
    August 1, 2015 4:05 pm

    Hi Amanda! This looked interesting, but the writing is too small. Is there any way of enlarging it? I tried printing it, but that didn’t help. Cheers, Jane

  2. RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
    August 1, 2015 4:07 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Jane. I guess it depends on your computer but I can use the magnifying glass on my screen and make it massive. You can then screen shot it and print it out that way. I hope that helps.

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