Fluid Thinking. Innovative Solutions

The Innovation Blog

Highlighting the inventiveness and trends shaping our industry and its future.

How Ancient Clay Is Making Modern Personal Care History

British Columbia

Sometime back in the Pleistocene Era, maybe about when the Ice Age was ending, a volcanic eruption tossed out mineral-rich ash that mixed with melting rainwater. This then flowed into a natural granite basin, where the material lay for thousands of years in the area now known as Kisameet Bay, British Columbia.

A rainforest grew up above and around it, and the plant life itself may have further contributed to the rich properties of what had become an extensive mineral clay deposit.

This glacial clay has some remarkable characteristics. Among them? It’s composed a rich blend of ultrafine mineral particles of very consistent size, surface area, and absorptive capacity. They’re qualities that make it especially attractive for use in personal care products. Another fascinating feature? Kisameet™ clay, which was discovered and is ethically harvested by the Heiltsuk people of B.C., has antibiotic properties. These were researched by MIT in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, according to Rowland Hanson, co-founder and director of Kisameet Glacial Clay, Inc., which is commercializing it:

This research suggested that Kisameet clay might have antibiotic properties and that was the reason the Indigenous people of the area had been using the clay for decades for medicinal purposes. With this new insight the company approached researchers at The University of British Columbia to confirm the MIT research that had been conducted over half a century prior.

The new research confirmed the antibacterial properties. That’s good news, as the clay may offer a tool for fighting hospital-acquired infections. Even if those properties don’t translate to personal care products, the other qualities of Kisameet™ Glacial Clay make it an ideal active ingredient in facial masks, soaps, and other items.

Outstanding potential for personal care products

For consumers young and old alike who find themselves trying to maintain the good health and appearance of their skin, the potent effects of Kisameet Glacial Clay may provide them with a degree of efficacy they’ve never known before.

At this year’s NYSCC Suppliers’ Day, Kevin Sathre, our Senior Vice President, Sales, sat down with Doug Frankiw of Kisameet Glacial Clay to go over its potential, as it’s ideal for spa applications and topical skin formulations, among other products.

Learn about Kisameet™
Learn about Kisameet™

Kevin even got to enjoy a taste test, as you can see in this video interview clip from HAPPI.

As distributor for Kisameet Glacial Clay, Coast Southwest is looking forward to helping spread the word about this extraordinary ingredient, and to supporting formulators and product planners in finding new ways to reap its amazing benefits.