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kaolin

Also known as white cosmetic clay or China clay, kaolin clay is another group of mineral-rich, absorbent clays used in homemade face masks, toothpastes and other body care products. Kaolin does not swell nearly as much as bentonite clay. Kaolin has great covering ability and anti-caking properties. Kaolin is said to be great for sensitive skin.

Kaolin is high in potassium and is a main component of some bentonite clays. Depending on where the clay originates, kaolin clay composition can vary, giving it a pink, orange, or yellow hue. Kaolin can be added to formulas as is, the usual final concentration is 4-20%.

Kaolin is registered as an OTC skin protectant drug with the FDA (Category I, allowed concentration 4-40%). This means that if you want to sell a finished product containing kaolin and you make a skin protectant claim (incl. minor cuts, scrapes, burns, chapped skin and lips, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and insect bites), kaolin must then be listed under ‘Active Ingredients’ on the label. Also, your facility and your product must be registered with the FDA and you must operate under cGMP guidelines. However, if no skin protectant drug claims are made on the label, kaolin is not considered a OTC drug and no registration is needed.

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