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Comparison: Brazilian Mineral Red Clay vs. Bentonite Clay

by Valeria Cole |

If you're considering adding natural clays to your beauty regimen, you may find yourself wondering, what is the difference between different clays? There are many different names, colors and uses. You may actually fall victim to the false belief that all skin care clays are the same, when, in fact, they all offer unique benefits for users.

[ Related Article: All About Brazilian Mineral, Kaolin Clays ]

Bentonite clay has long been a popular product, while Brazilian clays are recent additions to the scene. However, you shouldn't ignore these powerful red clays just because gray clays have a popular following. Learning a little more about these different kinds of clays can help you determine which ones are best suited for your beauty and skin care needs and goals.

Bentonite Clays Vs. Other Clays

Bentonite clay is found in the US. If you find yourself wondering, “what does bentonite do?”, you are not alone. Many people have heard about this kind of clay, but few people really understand what it is, how it differs from other clays and how it can benefit their skin. Despite this lack of general knowledge, bentonite clay powder remains one of the most popular natural skin care ingredients.

bentonite clay powder in a cup on a marble background

Light gray in color, bentonite clay is associated with weathered volcanic ash that has been exposed to water. It has the ability to absorb a lot of moisture (more than its own weight in fluid, actually), so people often mix it with apple cider vinegar or even water to create a mask for oily skin. Allowing this mixture to dry on the skin creates a tingling, pulsing sensation and may help with acne issues. One of the many bentonite benefits is the potential to treat or reduce acne caused by excessive oil on the face.

It is important to consider that Bentonite Clay absorbs water 300-700% which means it is really drying to the skin. Bentonite also has a higher pH than both illite and kaolin).

Water Absorption*:colorful kaolin clay in powdery piles

  • Kaolinite (found in Brazil): 65%
  • Illite (found in France): 150-200%
  • Bentonite (found in the US): 300 – 700%

Brazilian clays absorb less water and are less drying to the skin.

pH: Clay's pH:

  • Calcium Bentonite (aka Aztec Secret): 8 - 9.7
  • French Green (aka Illite Clay or Sea Clay): 7.75
  • Fuller's Earth: 7.5
  • Rhassoul (aka Red Moroccan or Red Clay): 7 - 7.5
  • Dead Sea Mud: 7
  • Brazilian Mineral Kaolin (all colors): 6
  • Moor Mud: 4.5 - 5.5

Brazilian Red Clay Offers Many Skin Care Benefits

Structure wise – kaolinite is a softer clay and is lighter and fluffier compared to illite and bentonite clays, so a lot gentler to the skin and easier to blend in formulations.

Kaolin is similar to French clays is light and fluffy. Bentonite is heavier and a bit sandy.

[ Related Article: Brazilian Kaolin Clay - Cleansing, Detoxifying & Stimulating for Skin Care ]

Here are some generic benefits of Brazilian clays:

  • 100% natural and photostable colors
  • Remove waste, impurities and dead skin cells
  • Reduce skin and hair oiliness
  • Provide firming effect Increase skin elasticity
  • Approved by Ecocert
  • Enhance blood circulation stimulating elastin and collagen production
  • Improve emulsion, gel stability and sensory
  • Environmental friendly
  • No animal testing


ingredient facts about Brazilian red clay

Our Brazilian Red Clay in particular has many amazing benefits: 

  • The presence of several active oligoelements gives a distinct beneficial result for sensitive skin
  • It softens the skin, causing an immediate effect
  • Improves cutaneous elasticity in 173%
  • Helps to repair cutaneous damages caused by natural aging or photo-aging
  • Promotes a tensor and long-lasting effect on the skin
  • Matte effect
  • Firming effect
  • Clinically tested 

Brazilian red clay powderFor many people looking to improve the condition of their skin, Brazilian red clay is an ideal solution. Brazilian clay is a kaolinite clay, which is used in all kinds of products, from traditional cosmetics to toothpastes. Mineral crystals in Brazilian clay can fight or reduce toxins, stimulate cells and even reduce the impact of solar radiation on the skin. It's high in iron (hence the rich red hue), so red clay is great for smoothing the skin surface.

[ Related Article: Why Clays Make Perfect Masks, Skincare Gift, Family Bonding Activity ]

Brazilian red clay is the most absorbent of all Brazilian clays, it's a great choice for people who have oily skin or suffer from acne. Red clay skin benefits also include promoting elasticity in skin and providing a natural lifting effect when used as a skin treatment. It is important to select a clay that reduces oiliness, but does not dry your skin, which can happen with the usage of Bentonite clay given its high water absorption.

Here are clinical results of our red clay in relationship to oiliness:

skin oiliness chart

 Results of the sebummetric analysis performed in vivo on the face area with Red at 1.6 g/ml with 10 minutes of application. The measurements were performed before the mask application (T0) and after 10 minutes of treatment (T10). The higher the anti-oil activity, the lower the ratio between the evaluated areas.


More people are switching to red clay for skin instead of the gray-green bentonite clay. Brazilian Red Clay Clinical tests for improvement of elasticity and firmness are even more incredible - they have shown that it can help to reduce signs of aging: 37% improvement in firmness and as much as 173 percent improvement in elasticity when used at 2% levels.

Brazilian Red Clay Skin Care Solutions for Face and Body

Do you want to regain that youthful glow your skin once had? At Teadora we fell in love the the amazing properties of the Brazilian Red Clay and combined it with Sugar or Salt in our RedAmber Clay complex used in our Vegan Brazilian Glow Rejuvenating Red Clay Masque & Scrub. With natural ingredients, including naturally anti-aging and highly moisturizing superfruits oils, this scrub will add elasticity, firmness, while simultaneously leaving your skin butter smooth, silky and reducing in-growns.

Teadora red clay scrub and mask

Choose Salt for Rougher, blemish prone skin and sugar for more sensitive skin.

Love yourself, find your joy, share your passion.

Cheers, Val

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