Cambrian Russian Blue Clay

2

February 12, 2013 by thesoapalchemist

One of the most elusive natural colors to achieve in a bar of soap, is blue. After years of searching for a natural blue, I discovered Cambrian Russian Blue Clay, and found that it creates exactly the baby blue to soft gray hues that I’ve longed for.

Listing it on our ingredient labels, however, presents an interesting conundrum. Relatively new to the cosmetic world, blue clay is mined in Russia, Estonia, and Czechoslovakia, among other places, and contains a mixture of several different clay minerals including (but not limited to!) illite, montmorillonite and kaolinite. INCI terminology is becoming the accepted nomenclature for ingredients, and to the best of my knowledge, does not have a name for “Blue Clay.” So how should Cambrian Russian Blue Clay be listed on our soap labels?

I found the following paper, written in 1963, interesting, and thought I’d share it with my fellow soapers.

http://www.minersoc.org/pages/Archive-CM/Volume_5/5-30-255.pdf

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2 thoughts on “Cambrian Russian Blue Clay

  1. dw2001@myactv.net says:

    Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Thanks so much for all you do and all the love and hard work you put into making your one of a kind work of art soap and I had a question regarding antibacterial soap. Can your soap kill the germs that make us sick like antibacterial soap does? If not will you incorporate this or what are your feelings regarding this issue?

    Peace

    • Hi there!
      Soap, by its very nature is antimicrobial- it works against “microbes” (all the creeping crud and critters we don’t want). Soap isolates dirt and germs by attaching to them, and not letting go. Then, when you rinse your hands with water, the soap molecules (with the germs attached) are attracted to the water, and wash away taking the germs with them. Because of this, there is no need to put antibacterial ingredients into a bar of soap.

      There is also mounting evidence that using antibacterial products can be harmful. Bacteria are pretty smart little dudes, and they’re getting used to all those antibacterial ingredients and learning how to survive in spite of us using them. Bacteria is “becoming resistant” to the antibiotics we have available. This is becoming a HUGE issue, particularly in hospitals. How will we treat bacterial infections if the medications we have don’t work? It’s better to use antibacterial products when you absolutely need them- NOT for ordinary hand and body washing. Additionally, our bodies naturally contain helpful bacteria that is necessary for us to be healthy. Antibacterial products don’t know the difference between helpful and harmful bacteria. They kill it all. Finally, exposure to bacteria and viruses isn’t always a terrible thing. Exposure can help your body develop immunity and a stronger immune system. Ordinary hand washing with soap and water is an effective way to remove dirt and germs, and be healthy.

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