Alternative uses for soil
What comes to mind when you think about soil? Probably mud, flowers, plants, trees, that sort of thing. Maybe you think about your childhood pastime of making mud pies. But soil is more than just a nutrient for plant life. In this article, we’re teaming up with play bark supplier Compost Direct as we examine other uses for soil.
There are a number of beauty products that owe their existence to the ground beneath our feet. The first one that springs to mind is mud masks, of course! With all the minerals trapped in the ground, clay is particularly beneficial for the skin thanks to particles called peloids.
There are many different types of clay and each of them have many different benefits for the skin. StyleCaster outlined a handful of clays to display this wide range of perks from a single source, including:
- Fuller’s earth clay — this one is a multi-tasking hero of the soil world. Fuller’s earth clay is hyper-absorbent, so in the world of cosmetics, it is used for face masks. It’s also used for cat litter and to mop up oil spills on pavement…
- Bentonite clay — this earthy substance is great at soaking up excess oil, impurities, and sebum, making it a go-to ingredient for acne products.
- Rhassoul clay — this clay is packed full of minerals, so it’s perfect for moisturising skin and hair in equal measure.
But that’s not all. Elements of soil are also used in the production of make-up, such as blush and foundation. Soil minerals such as mica, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides are commonly found in powder foundations, where the mineral hematite is used for red pigment.
Did you know that soil is crucial for the development of medicines? In fact, according to Soils Matter, many modern medicines owe their creation to discoveries found within the earth.
With fungi and bacteria abound within soil, it makes the perfect place to start when discovering new medicines. For example, more than 500 antibiotics and pain relief gels have roots in the study of soil microbes, and the bacteria mycobacterium vaccae has potential use as an anti-depressant.
There are certainly more discoveries to make as well. Within soil, there are a number of microbes yet to be discovered!
Products made with soil
Naturally, your mind might hop directly to pottery when discussing items that were created from the earth. Of course, that doesn’t just cover fancy artworks either, as your ceramic kitchen plates and bowls also owe their materials to soil.
But what about your windows and your glasses? Glass comes from sand, but sand is another type of soil. Even some plastics around the house come from soil, such as silicon that is also drawn from sand.
Soil is used for so much more than just gardening. Keeping soil healthy will certainly help to grow an array of plants, but please don’t go scooping soil up from the garden to make your own face masks! Better leaving that to the professionals.