Clay minerals: Properties and applications to dermocosmetic products and perspectives of natural raw materials for therapeutic purposes—A review
Clay minerals are layered materials with a number of peculiar properties, which find many relevant applications in various industries. Since they are easily found everywhere, they are particularly attractive due to their economic viability. In the cosmetic industry, clay minerals are often used as excipients to stabilize emulsions or suspensions and to modify the rheological behavior of these systems. They also play an important role as adsorbents or absorbents, not only in cosmetics but also in other industries, such as pharmaceuticals. This reviewer believes that since this manuscript is presented as covering topical applications that include pharmaceuticals, some types of clay minerals should be considered as a potential material to be used as drug delivery systems. We review several applications of clay minerals to dermocosmetic products, relating them to the underlying properties of these materials and exemplifying with a number of clay minerals available in the market. We also discuss the use of clay minerals in topically-applied products for therapeutic purposes, specially for skin treatment and protection.