What to Know About Rhassoul Clay

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 25, 2021
2 min read

Rhassoul clay is used for skin care, hair, and beauty products. There are lots of claims about how it can help your skin, but there isn’t very much research. It’s not a treatment for skin conditions.

Rhassoul clay is also called ghassoul clay or red Morrocan clay. It comes from Morocco.

People have been using it as a shampoo and soap for centuries. The term “rhassoul” comes from the Arabic word “rhassala,” which means to wash.

Generally, clays have minerals like:

  • Calcium
  • Aluminum
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Titanium
  • Iron

Cosmetics might use clay for anti-caking agents, thickeners, and binders.

You can find rhassoul clay in loose powder form, and in face masks, facial washes, shampoo, and hair masks.

Most of the claims for rhassoul clay come from personal experience. There isn’t much research. Talk to your doctor or a dermatologist before you try it. It’s not a treatment for health problems.

Some people claim rhassoul clay helps against acne. Bacteria plays a role in causing the skin condition, and some natural clays can get rid of certain kinds of bacteria. We don’t know if rhassoul clay fights bacteria, though.

In three clinical trials, rhassoul clay seemed to help people with an ostomy pouch avoid getting irritated skin near the surgically made opening in their belly. Don’t use it for this reason unless your doctor tells you to.

Rhassoul clay has detergent properties. It can be used as a washing base for shampoo. You might find it in natural shampoos.

The silica in clay might act as an exfoliant for cleansing your scalp. This seems to be especially helpful for oily hair.

Never eat rhassoul clay. It could have bacteria, parasites, viruses, and heavy metals in it.

Eating clay could lead to low potassium and muscle weakness, too. It can also affect medicines you take and keep them from working like they’re supposed to.

If you’re thinking about using natural clay on your skin or hair, talk to your doctor or dermatologist first. Clay can irritate sensitive skin. Clay masks can also be drying, which can lead to irritation. It’s a good idea to test the clay on a small patch of skin first. If you have a reaction, stop using it.