International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2557

Full Length Research Paper

Physico-chemical properties of clayey soils used traditionally for cosmetics in Eastern Cape, South Africa

D. M. E. Matike1*, G. I. E. Ekosse2 and V. M. Ngole1
  1Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Walter Sisulu University, Private Bag X1, Mthatha South Africa. 2Directorate of Research Development, Walter Sisulu University, Private Bag X1, Mthatha South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Published: 09 December 2011



Clayey soils used traditionally for cosmetic purposes in Oliver Reginald Tambo (OR) District in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa were studied and analysed for their physico-chemical properties. Forty clayey soil samples were collected from selected communities within the District and standard laboratory methods were used to determine their colour, particle size distribution, texture, pH, specific surface area (SSA) and cation exchange capacity (CEC). The study found that the colours of the samples varied from white to gray; and pH values ranged between 4.53 and 9.57. Majority of the samples were silt loam in texture. The SSA values were between 0.5 and 2.4 m2/g and CEC values ranged from 0.5 to 54.5 meq/100 g. From the colours of the samples, they are inferred to contain hematite and goethite which are present in many skin sunscreen and beauty products. The percentage of clay size particles in the samples were similar to those generally used in Thermal Centres. Their high CEC values may ensure skin cleansing through ion exchange between the clay mixtures and the skin. The physico-chemical properties can thus influence cleansing, sunscreen and body beautification roles for which the clayey soils are used.


Key words: Colour, particle size, pH, cation exchange capacity, cleansing, sunscreen, beauty.