French clay soaps

Coloured clays were amongst the first natural colourants I started experimenting with when I started making soap – and I quickly realized that creating beautiful looking soap was only a small part of the appeal of clays.  The major benefit (in my humble opinion!) is in the silky feel and great lather of a clay soap, and how good your skin feels after you’ve used it.

French Argiletz Clay Soaps

French Clay Soaps

As I live in France, most of my experience is with the French Argiletz clays and Rhassoul clay, which seem to find their way into almost all of my soap!  I have also used a pink China clay, which I liked a lot – I acquired a small “stash” to try, but decided not to buy more in the spirit of sustainability and using local ingredients.

Although some soapers are nervous about using clays in swirled soaps because of concerns that the soap will thicken up too quickly, I’ve not really had a problem …..  But I think that’s because I always mix the clay in some water at least a half hour before I add it to the soap.  Different clays absorb different amounts of water, with Rhassoul, green and yellow clay absorbing a LOT more water than kaolin, or pink and red clay.  So giving the clay a chance to absorb water before you add it to the soap seems to address this problem.

But this post is not about swirled soaps – it’s about celebrating 2 types of clay in all of their individual glory!  I’ve found that a lot of people (including myself) really like plain, simple soap bars.  So I decided that it was too long since I made some …… and set out to make these.

I used a single batch of soap, which I split into 2 halves before adding the respective clays.  The palm-free soap recipe I used is one which people with sensitive skin will like, and it has no scent or additive other than the clay.  And decoration is limited to a somewhat fancy top, which is the result of my experiment with using a fork to create an interesting appearance.  So just plain, simple, wonderful soap!

French Argiletz Clay Soaps

Pink Clay Soap in the mold

French Argiletz Clay Soaps

Green Clay Soap in the mold

I’m really pleased with how the bars turned out – and both are great to use.  Although my skin is fairly dry, so I’ll reserve the green clay bars for my friends with oily or combination skin and max out on the pink bars.

French Argiletz Clay Soaps

Pink Argiletz Clay soap bars

Green Argiletz Clay Soaps

Green Argiletz Clay Soaps

French Argiletz Clay Soaps

All of the clay soaps together

Thanks for reading – and happy soaping!



French clay soaps — 3 Comments

  1. Their simplicity is so appealing. Their gentleness is obvious! Your pink is lovely. How much clay do you add? I tend to get a beige soap with pink clay. I amarine i do not use enough!

    • Merci, Valerie! I usually use around 10 to 15 ml of clay per 500g of oils – so around 2 tablespoons per 1kg of oils. And to your point about colour, I’ve found that different batches of pink clay (even from the same supplier) can result in different shades ….. My current pack of pink Argiletz clay is quite peach coloured, but the previous box was a much clearer pink. I guess that’s just one of the “surprises” I’ve learned to expect with using natural colourants!!

      • I also use Argiletz, and I guess I use about the same amount as you, or just a little less! I will buy another package to compare. Thanks for your answer!

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