Tip: Bake Clay for Your Cosmetics

A lot of people have asked me about using clay in cosmetics as of late.
'Is it safe to add to an emulsion?'
'I've heard clays wreak havoc on preservatives'
'How do I know if my clay is OK?'

Well here's some good news.

I just came across a super duper easy tip to help clear your clay of every last bit of moisture, kill off any resident beasties, and prep the powder for use in skincare products.

Shall we adjourn to the kitchen?

To Clean Your Clay, You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Sanitary Baking Tray
  • Oven
  • Sanitary Container


  1. Spread your clay out evenly on the baking tray in a thin layer to ensure even heating throughout the process
  2. Set your oven at 212º F / 100º C
  3. Place the tray in the oven for at least 15 minutes. (This will remove any moisture)
  4. Turn the oven up to 320º F / 160º C and let the clay bake for a minimum of 2 hours
  5. Decant the clay into a sanitary container until ready for use (Allow the clay to cool completely before closing the container to avoid condensation)
  6. Rejoice

A Little Heads Up

This method will NOT magically transform any old type of clay into suitable use for cosmetics. Be sure you are using COSMETICS GRADE any time you want to add clay to a skin or haircare product. There is a reason cosmetics grade costs more than other grades (often sold for a fraction of the cost). Cosmetics grade clay is handled and processed specifically for use in cosmetics.


This clay-cleaning tip comes to you courtesy of Rebecca Midkiff at DIY Cosmetics. Her source for this method is Martindale Pharmacopoeia. Find Rebecca's original post (and the inspiration for todays post) right here.

Do Tell

Have you ever baked your clay? Please share in a comment below.


Rebekah Osorio said…
Clay is one of my favorite things to work with. Thank you so much for this tip!! This will save me so much hassle :) :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Rebekah - I was wuite pleased to come across this tip too
Almocado said…
Thanks for sharing Lise
LisaLise said…
Hi Annette - my pleasure!
Unknown said…
Hey Lise, Wouldn't you have to heat the clay above 100 C to drive off any water? BTW, I really love your blog! Leslie
LisaLise said…
HI Leslie - Thanks for your kind comment! I agree it sounds like one might benefit from a higher temp, but I am citing the original source with this method, so I am assuming it has been tested and verified.
JustineA said…
Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
I am just wondering if we could use a microwave for small amounts...
LisaLise said…
Hi Justine - That’s a great question. Unless you know the exact temperature of your microwave I’m not sure this is recommenable. However, I would need to do a bit of checking to be sure. The time factor is as important as the temperature so I think I would stick to a regular oven.
JustineA said…
Yeah, that is the part where I also get a huge question mark. I am just thinking that you can sterilize baby bottles in the microwave and I also just found an article about at home sterilization with a microwave for urinary catheters ... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2908961
This might be worth further research...
LisaLise said…
HI Justine - Oh wow thanks for sharing this link! That is quite interesting indeed! Perhaps you've hit upon something new with this thought. Of course, there is no way of knowing if a microwave method would work unless you have access to test equipment, but the idea is certainly intriguing! Thanks again for sharing the link.
Anonymous said…
I am wondering if clay negates the benefits of all the good stuff we put in masks? Does it absorb all the good nutrients thus keeping your skin from absorbing them?
Ju Nell
LisaLise said…
Hi Ju Nell — Thanks for your comment. The clay draws impurities from the skin when is is used as a mask. I’m not quite sure which things you think it might negate? Which nutrients are you adding to the mask and how are you using them? It can make a difference. Feel free to expand a bit on your question and I’ll try and answer better ;)
Anonymous said…
Lise....say for instance I make a yogurt, turmeric, clay mask....will the clay pull the benefits away from my skin ? It really is just a random thought I had one day while doing a mask. It definitely will not keep me from doing them. 😂. Ju Nell
LisaLise said…
Hi Ju Nell — Ok I think I understand — I don’t think there is much reason for concern and you should def keep making and using your masks — that combo you described sounds like a winner to me
Anonymous said…
Thanks Lisa.....you always have such good info. I do love the yogurt, turmeric, clay mask. I usually add a dash of honey to most of my masks too. Honey just adds something to most of my cleansers and masks that I love.
Ju Nell
Anonymous said…
This is a great thread!
My comment:
Im in Brazil right now and have stumbled across some incredible natural red clay from a cliff! Its very fine textured...
Im so tempted to filter it and bake it and use it in my cold- process soap. Would the lye also help kill any bugs?

Is this a total NO-NO???

Thanks for the help!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - if you are using this in cold process soap, you should be fine. :)
Anonymous said…
Hi Lisa. I was just wondering whether I could sterilize anything like herbal powders,. Oats etc by baking before I made face packs. If yes, what temperature and how long?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon -- interesting question! I suppose it would work for some ingredients (thinking about heat sensitivity here). I can't advise as to temp and time as this would take a bit of testing with equipment I do not have.