When Rhassoul isn't All That

I was chatting online with a client about rhassoul clay recently and a few things came up in the conversation that just didn't jive with my experiences. The mention of 'white' rhassoul was one.

I'd never heard of white rhassoul before. 

A new ingredient?

Interested and intrigued!

It wasn't long before I received a sample from my client. That's it up there on the right. Definitely lighter than the rhassoul I have in stock.

Let's put it to the test!

The Nose Test

A careful nose test revealed no discernible scent of any kind. It had the same neutral scent as my rhassoul.

The Eye Test

The color is obviously lighter, but looking closely revealed something else. 
See it?
There are pure white bits here and there. 
I drew rings around a few of them below: 


I've worked with rhassoul for many years – from numerous suppliers – and never have I seen pure white bits in either rhassoul chunks or powder. 

Gosh darned if a niggle of doubt didn't show up right then and there.

The Touchy Feely Test

Touch was next. I rubbed a bit of the white rhassoul between my thumb and index finger. It felt quite a bit grittier than expected. When I noticed the powdery residue on my finger, the niggle got worse. 

The darker rhassoul was tested in the same fashion with middle finger. It felt smooth – not a trace of grittiness – and there was barely any residue on the finger. Here's a pic of my unrinsed fingers.  

The Rinse Test

Finally, I rinsed the rhassoul off, and discovered 2 things:
  1. If you are very careful, it is actually possible to rinse off a finger at a time.
  2. There was a tangible difference in the 'afterfeel'. The white rhassoul left my skin feeling dry. The dark rhassoul left my finger feeling clean and normal.

Conclusion: Never Ignore a Niggle

Even though I had never even heard of white rhassoul before and can't say for 100% certain there is no such thing in existence, I'm willing to hazard a guess based on the highly scientific comparative test you have just been witness to. 

I suspect the company selling this product mixes some portion of rhassoul with Fuller's Earth, Diatomaceous Clay (or some other less pricey and more readily available clay that may or may not be cosmetic grade), slaps the name 'white rhassoul' on the package, and charges an arm and a leg for it.

But hey, I could be wrong. 

It has happened. 

On occasion. 

Do Tell

Have you ever bought or worked with white rhassoul? What were your experiences with it?

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Denice said…
This demonstrates the importance of obtaining the SDS and CofA for our ingredients. That would be the way to see what's actually in it.

LisaLise said…
you are so right Denice! Thanks for sharing :D
TinaCPH said…
Very interesting! Reminds me when I first started making balms and bought some "fake" butters - now I always check and if there is no info I ask first. I find it very disappointing that ingredients are not listed.