How to Use Clay in Bath and Beauty Projects

Clay is incredibly versatile. It’s probably most well-known for face masks, but it can be used in everything from cold process soap to scrubs. Find clays here, and learn how to work with them below!

buttermilk and clay bath bombs | bramble berry

Clay in cold process soap

Clay creates beautiful natural shades in cold process soap. It's easy to work with too - it just requires a little prep work. Because clay absorbs moisture, it needs to be dispersed in distilled water instead of oil.

We recommend a 1:3 ratio of clay to liquid. If you're working with smaller batches, 1 teaspoon of clay in 1 tablespoon of water is a good place to start. Then, add 1 dispersed teaspoon at a time at trace until you get a shade you're happy with.

Clay speeds up trace, so be prepared to work quickly. And like other natural colorants, we recommend forcing gel phase to create more vibrant shades.

Clay in melt and pour soap

They still create lovely shades in melt and pour, and you don't have to worry about speeding up trace. We recommend the same 1:3 ratio, but with 99% isopropyl alcohol instead of distilled water. 

Start with 1/2 teaspoon of dispersed clay per pound of soap. Adding too much can make it hard to mix and can give the melt and pour a gloopy texture, so start small and go from there.

marbled lemon melt and pour soap | bramble berry

Clay in face masks

If you have oily skin, you're going to love clay in face masks! It absorbs excess oil from the skin, so it feels clean and fresh. They work in both dry and wet scrubs. Start with 1 teaspoon per pound.

Even those with dry and combination skin benefit from clays. It's just a matter of adjusting the recipe to be more hydrating. It also helps to choose the right clay for your skin type.

Clay in bath bombs

Have you ever made bath bombs that were too delicate? Clay is a great fix for that. It makes them more sturdy, so they're easier to transport and hold up better in humid climates.

We recommend about 1 teaspoon of clay per pound of bath bomb mixture. Adding more can dry them out or create a residue in the tub - clays are essentially dirt, after all. It's easiest to mix them in with the dry ingredients before adding oil and other liquids.

Clay in scrubs

Clays have a very fine texture, so they don't add much exfoliation to scrubs. However, they absorb excess oil from the skin and add a beautiful color.

You can use clays in dry and liquid soap/oil-based scrubs. How much you add depends on personal preference. Start with a teaspoon and go from there. If they settle as they sit, just give the scrub a good mix before use.

green tea scrub | bramble berry

As for moisturizers like lotion and lip balm, we recommend skipping the clay. It's best suited for the products mentioned above.

Ready to craft with clay? Get started with these projects!