Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating French Clay Masks

  • French Clay Masks

    Posted by Anonymous on March 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I’m looking to formulate natural french clay masks. Which stabilizers and preservatives would you recommend?
    Thank you very much.

    joseg replied 9 years, 7 months ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • oldperry

    March 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Well, that really depends on what type of ingredients you are including in the clay mask.

    Phenoxyethanol can work as a preservative or parabens.
  • Anonymous

    March 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Perry,
    We have starting formulas for different clays:

    • French Green (clay, water)
    • French Red (clay, water, glycerine, essential oil)
    • French Yellow (clay, water, jojoba, essential oil)
    • French Pink (clay, water, jojoba, essential oil)

    We got good results, but they stay stable for a short time only (phase separation, microbiology issues).

  • Zink

    March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Don’t use oils, stick with water soluble ingredients such as plant extracts instead of essential oils, clays are oil absorbers. 

  • Bobzchemist

    March 26, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Do you have to stay completely “natural”?

    There are many synthetic products that will help - there are far fewer “natural” ones.
  • Anonymous

    March 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I agree with Zink.

  • chemicalmatt

    March 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Maya, bentonite, laponite or good old Veegum (magnesium aluminum silicate) would solve your stability issue, even with the oils incorporated.  Clays tend to deactivate formaldehyde donor preservatives, (and others I suspect), especially when added after incorporation.  Always add your preservative first to the water, before adding the clays and colloids. Perhaps someone else in the Forum knows the best preservative to use with clays. I have to believe simpler molecules like benzyl alcohol, sodium benzoate, sodium dehydroacetate would do well; PCMX would be a slam-dunk.

  • Anonymous

    March 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Dear all, thank you very much for your help!

  • Bobzchemist

    March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I think sometimes we forget to start from the beginning.

    What is the purpose that consumers use a clay mask for?
    What benefit does adding oil to a water-based clay product deliver? Are you able to add enough oil to a clay mask to overcome the oil-absorbing properties of the clay?
    Why would you expect that adding oil to a water and clay mixture without using emulsifiers would result in a stable product?
    Is your finished product passing micro? If not, which of your raw materials is contaminated? 
  • Anonymous

    April 6, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Bobzchemist, these are very good questions. The formulas are provided by our supplier, and it looks like other customers have already tried them. Probably they used the products right away, so stability wasn’t an issue…

    Since mold grew on a couple of the products, those masks definitely wouldn’t pass micro. I don’t think that oils were contaminated (low water activity). We used the same source of water for all the products, and with only 2 of them we had a problem. So, if I see it correctly, the source of contamination is clay. I don’t expect raw materials to be sterile, and if I want to store those masks for a while (and not in the fridge), I guess we will have to use preservatives… That’s very weird that the supplier doesn’t include them in the recipe.

  • joseg

    April 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    @chemicalmatt  I’m having stability issues with my clay mask and after comparing  samples before and after adding preservative, I can definitely say it’s the preservative that is causing it.

    My mask is actually an emulsion (I’m also against the idea of having oils in the mask, but that’s what our customer wanted) with kaolin and MgAl Silicate. I’m adding phenoxyethanol at the end of the process. 
    Is there a reason why adding it at the beginning would make a difference- more stable?

Log in to reply.