Let me guess; you’ve heard about amazing and all-so-powerful bentonite clay benefits for the skin and now you want to give it a try. But you’re wondering: does bentonite clay help acne? Is it really effective?
Bentonite clay is one of the most popular natural remedies available today. Everyone wants a piece of it and they claim it shrinks pores, eliminates cellulite, even heals sunburnt skin! This may all be true or not.
Before you decide to buy it, let’s have a look at what is it really about and how can you add it to your skincare regimen safely.
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is said to be one of the most powerful healing and cleansing clays. It’s also called Montmorillonite, and it’s one of the most popular clays today. It is formed from volcanic ash and it contains different minerals (also known as trace minerals), such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
When it comes into contact with water, Aztec clay gets a negative electric charge; that means that it helps to remove toxins, dirt, and impurities from the skin and our system. It can be used both internally and topically, to detox, cleanse, and heal.
The two main types of bentonite clay are sodium and calcium clay, based on the most abundant mineral in the clay.
How does bentonite clay work on skin?
bentonite clay helps to adsorb oils, toxins, dirt, and impurities from the skin. It acts like a “glue”; it sticks to the molecules of these toxins, removing them from the skin. According to ResearchGate,
Bentonite clay carries a uniquely strong negative electrical charge which causes it to magnetically attract any substance with a positive ionic charge (i.e. bacteria, toxins, metals, parasites, fungus, etc).
Bentonite clay is not the only cosmetic clay that we know though, there are many different clay types out there and they are all different; some are great for normal skin, others for mature, and some for oily skin type.
- French green clay
- Kaolin clay (white, yellow, pink, purple, red)
- Illite clay (red, green, and yellow)
- Rhassoul clay
- Fuller’s earth (Multani Mitti)
- Sea Clay
- Dead sea mud
Bentonite clay history: in short
Aztec healing clay has been used as a natural remedy and cosmetic clay in folk medicine forever. Literally, centuries and centuries. Its first recorded therapeutic use dates back to ancient Mesopotamia around 2500 BC!
The ancient Egyptians would regularly use clay for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as to soothe different types of pain. In Ancient Greece, they used the compresses made with clay mud. In Switzerland, they even used it to treat tuberculosis.
Is bentonite clay good for your skin?
We are surrounded by pollutants on a daily basis; free radicals, dust, sun exposure, and more. Our faces are the frontlines of the exposure and washing it with just water won’t always do.
That’s where clay comes in handy. It helps to reduce the toxins on the skin’s surface while benefiting out skin in other ways as well (we’ll talk about that in a minute)!
But not all skin types will do well with this type of clay. If your skin is dry or sensitive, it’s best to avoid Bentonite and choose another clay that’s more gentle and not as drying. The best option would be white kaolin clay, which is safe to use with any skin type.
Bentonite is best for oily and acne-prone skin and even then I don’t recommend using it more than a few times a week. It’s very drying and using it excessively can cause skin irritation.
Bentonite clay benefits for skin
Aztec healing clay promotes a number of benefits for the skin when applied topically. It boosts the overall health of the skin, giving your skin a lovely and evenly-toned skin, even when you don’t use it regularly.
Helps to control sebum
Too much sebum and bacteria on the skin can cause acne and breakouts. Bentonite clay helps to remove the excess oil from the skin surface, removing blackheads and whiteheads at the same time. By removing bacteria, sebum, and impurities from the skin, it helps to minimize the appearance of acne with regular application.
I tried clay when nothing else worked and I was blown away by how effective it really is. To this day, I apply a clay mask on my face a few times a month to keep my skin cleansed and healthy.
Helps to unclog and minimize pores
Let’s face it, clogged pores happen. With negative charge, clay helps to remove impurities and dirt from the skin, unclogging the pores at the same time. It also helps to prevent blackheads and blemishes. Clay helps to open, clean, and minimize pores, making your skin seem more evenly toned and smooth.
Removes toxins from the Skin
Since it’s charged negatively, it helps to remove toxins and other harmful components from your skin. That’s how it improves the overall skin tone and health, promoting glowing skin.
Gently exfoliates the skin
Clay is a natural exfoliator, which is a welcome benefit since scrubs play an important role in skin health. They help to remove dead skin cells, stimulating it and promoting the growth of new cells, while improving circulation at the same time. The better the circulation, the more nutrients reach your cells. Clay and its exfoliating properties help to clear up skin, giving it a healthy glow and a smoother skin.
Clay can help stimulate skin, boost circulation, and promote elastin and collagen production in the skin. Since it increases blood flow to the cells, it may help increase cell regeneration and minimize scars in return. I haven’t found any official research on the subject, but dozens of online claims from satisfied users confirm this benefit. Those who tried it, also say that it may minimize the appearance of stretch marks. It doesn’t only regenerate skin tissue but it also helps to rejuvenate it naturally.
The word has it that bentonite clay for cellulite is another way to use this grey powder. Since it helps to tighten skin, increase circulation, and remove toxins, it may be effective to some extent. Whether this is effective or not, I can’t say. But many users claim that it doesn’t make it disappear completely, it does help to minimize it though. We all know that cellulite is a tough cookie; clay treatment may be effective but don’t forget about dry brushing method and a regular massage to keep the skin stimulated.
Helps with pain, inflammation, injuries
Using clay as a compress can boost healing process of the skin in case of injuries, cuts, wounds, and even sunburn. Clay helps to regenerate the damaged tissue. With regular use of compress, the skin heals but all the materials you use should be made of cotton and natural ingredients.
How to use bentonite clay for skin?
Bentonite clay, along with other cosmetic clays is a very versatile ingredient to keep at home. It’s been a stable in my house for years; I’ve used it internally and topically for a number of issues and what I love about it most is that it’s affordable and effective.
Bentonite clay uses for skin:
To fight acne with a facial mask
To cleanse and rejuvenate the skin as a facial or body mask
In a DIY deodorant to make a toxin-free option to commercial deodorants (even though it doesn’t work the same for everyone and I found it to be ineffective during warm and summer months)
As an armpit detox mask
Homemade clay soap, which is great for acne and oily skin
In a homemade oil cleanser to gently exfoliate and remove makeup
For a foot soak or detox bath
As a foot mask
Bentonite clay mask for hair
Additional uses of bentonite clay, that I practice when needed are:
In a toothpaste
For cuts, burns, and sores on the skin (a clay poultice improved skin healing)
For sore throat with a clay poultice
For internal detox
Bentonite clay mask benefits
In short, these are the benefits of a bentonite clay mask:
- Draws toxins from the skin
- Increases microcirculation
- Promotes soft and smooth skin
- Regenerates and rejuvenates skin
- Brightens skin
- Works as a natural exfoliant
- Unclogs and minimizes pores
- Reduces acne
- Controls sebum on the skin
- Boosts skin healing process
Let’s have a look at a few Aztec clay mask examples that you can whip up at home in no time. each one is designed to promote unique benefits for the skin; changing the ingredients will change the purpose of the mask. Also, visit any of the recipes below to see how do you mix bentonite clay for your face.
Bentonite clay mask for acne
You can make bentonite clay mask for acne with only 3 ingredients; it’s both simple and effective. I absolutely adore tea tree and am thoroughly convinced that it does miracles in combination with the clay. This one definitely demonstrates the most powerful benefits of bentonite clay on face. But it specifically targets only acne-prone skin and definitely isn’t good for dry skin.
Lemon balm & Bentonite clay mask for oily skin
Those with oily skin can benefit from the soothing combo in this DIY clay mask, that’s hydrating, cleansing, and toning. It helps to remove excess sebum and the shine from the oil! Plus, it smells lemony, herbal, and amazing! It’s a must in my skin care regimen!
Top 10 Bentonite Clay Face Masks (easy recipes)
I’ve chosen simple, popular and effective Aztec clay mask recipes for any skin problem! You’ll easily find one that suits your own taste. Since clay and other ingredients in the recipes are exfoliating, all of these masks remove dead skin cells, rejuvenate the skin, give it a lovely boost, and effectively cleanse it. Some are powered up with additional antioxidants (spirulina powder), others provide extra cleansing effects (with activated charcoal).
Best bentonite clay powders
When deciding on what type of clay to choose, make sure to know where it comes from. It has to be a trusted brand and clay has to come from a trusted source. The most beneficial clays that are both natural and healthy must come from well below the earth’s surface.
As with most of the natural and organic ingredients, we ought to be careful. To ease your choice, I gathered a few (in my opinion) best bentonite clay powders for oily skin.
1.Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
Aztec Secret Indian healing clay is one of the most popular bentonite clays there are. The Internet and Amazon are buzzing with it.
This natural calcium bentonite clay for acne and blemishes can also be used in facial masks, armpit detox, clay baths, clay compress, insect bites, etc. This clay is for external use only, but it will firm the skin and improve the complexion.
About the clay brand:
I honestly can’t tell you much. The only thing I was able to find is this article on the mysterious Aztec Secret. If you have any more info, let me know, so that we can keep this section updated. The company, or the people who make the product, are supposedly located somewhere in Nevada.
About the clay powder:
Use it twice a week, but I’d suggest no more than that because it might be very drying for some. Also, it may cause redness and may be slightly uncomfortable during the drying process. I personally don’t mind because I know that it’s working its magic but I just thought I’d let you know.
Also, some people reported the mask to be a bit too much for their sensitive skin, which is why I don’t recommend this Aztec Secret to those with sensitive skin. Use something more soothing instead.
It comes in a plastic container which holds 1 lb. of the product.
2. Redmond Bentonite Clay powder
This is a natural sodium bentonite clay, that helps to shrink the pores and improve the overall health of your skin. Whether with water or apple cider vinegar, this bentonite clay for acne should work either way by controlling the sebum. With mild exfoliating properties, it helps to rejuvenate the skin.
About the brand:
Redmond bentonite clay powder comes from a Redmond company you can find at this website. The company offers different products under different brands, such as Redmond Clay, Real Salt, Earthpaste, Earthpowder, Redmond Bath Salt, and Earthcure. They claim their products are natural, simple, and clean.
Because this product sells in California, the package states that it contains trace amounts of naturally occurring lead. This is a standard procedure for any product that sells in California. For more idea on lead in the clay, check this post from Wellness Mama.
About the clay powder:
This might as well be a clay of a thousand uses. Applicable in face masks, detox baths, and topical pastes above others, the Redmond clay is best for external use. This bentonite clay is supposedly also food grade.
The powder contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, iodine, and zinc.
It comes in 24 oz. jar and it is slightly difficult to mix.
3. Indian Healing Clay
This is a pure sodium bentonite clay, therapeutic grade, that helps to fight acne, can be used for a deep pore cleanse, and skin rejuvenation. According to the brand, this is one of the best bentonite clay powders for oily skin and detoxification.
About the brand:
This clay powder comes from the brand Asutra. You can find them on this website, where they also have an online shop. From what I know, they focus on yoga and its equipment, but they have a number of other products as well.
They promote products made with natural and organic ingredients, the value of essential oils and non-toxic, eco-friendly lifestyle, and mentality. The website claims all their products are honest and clearly labeled. They are also all made in the USA, healthy and good for our bodies. Find more about Asutra story here.
About the clay powder:
According to the brand, this is one of the best bentonite clay powders for oily skin and detoxification. It is finely ground, which makes the mixing with water or apple cider vinegar much easier. The application is quite smooth and you’ll be able to notice the differences on your skin.
The process of drying is a bit unpleasant but that’s the same procedure with most bentonite clay powders for oily or any other kind of skin.
The bentonite clay powder comes in a jar with 2 lb. size.
There have been some online comments that the mixing ratio is a bit off. The Asutra website claims the ideal ratio should be 3 parts water to 1-part clay.
I completely disagree with this recipe. Add 1 tablespoon of clay into a bowl and pour water gradually: minimize the ratio at first until you get a smooth paste of the right consistency.
Bentonite clay tips
- Best bentonite clay should be gray/cream color. If it’s too white, it’s suspicious.
- Always handle clay with wooden and ceramic utensils. Avoid contact with iron as the clay loses its effectiveness.
- Cleanse the skin before applying bentonite clay but don’t leave it on your face more than 20 minutes.
- If using bentonite clay for acne as a mask, you might break out at first when you start using it. Same happened to me, it’s completely normal. The situation should stabilize within a week or two, depending on the severity of the problem.
- The clay mask leaves my skin dry, which is why I always apply either a moisturizer or my homemade natural skin serum.
- Avoid bentonite face masks if your skin is very dry.
- If your skin is very sensitive, choose a different clay (white kaolin clay works great).
- When taking clay internally, drink it at least an hour after you ate (before you go to bed) or in the morning on an empty stomach, but don’t eat anything for an hour. Also, if taken internally, don’t take clay with medications and supplements, it can reduce the effectiveness.
- Don’t dispose of the clay directly in the sink, it may clog it. Throw it in the bio thrash instead.
- This post is based on my own experience. See my disclaimer for more info.
Can you ingest bentonite clay?
Yes, you can. We’re not going into detail here but if you get food grade clay, you can drink it and make a bentonite clay cleanse a few times a year. The clay helps you detoxify but there may be some side effects that vary from person to person. You can read more about how to cleanse your body with bentonite clay internally.
Bentonite clay detox side effects
When clay pulls the toxins and heavy metals, and all other harmful components out of your body, you might experience some side effect which should, however, disappear after some time.
If you apply bentonite clay for acne with a face mask, you may experience itchy and red skin. While it may be slightly annoying, this is completely normal. It means the clay is pulling out toxins and other harmful components. Both side effects should disappear after some time.
The clay leaves the skin dry, sometimes too dry. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend using it more than twice a week.
Bentonite Clay on Skin: A Recap
Aztec clay, Indian healing clay, call it what you wish. Bentonite clay has been around for centuries. Many ancient civilizations used it the same way we use it today: because of its powerful healing and cleansing properties.
Bentonite clay is incredibly effective for oily and acne-prone skin because it helps to remove impurities, dirt, and bacteria that cause acne. It helps to control the sebum production and also improves the overall skin tone. I’ve been a regular clay mask user for years and I can notice visible results after each mask, no matter how often I use it.
While there are many different clay powders available, one of the most popular brands today is still Indian healing clay. It has thousands of satisfied users and it’s never failed to promote its properties. It’s a versatile powder that you can use for clay compress, facial masks, body masks, or as a DIY skincare recipe ingredient.
Let me know what’re your fave bentonite clay skin benefits and uses!
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Just started using the Aztec clay. Hopefully it will help with my acne,oily skin. Thanks for the article it was super informative.
Thank you, Ellen! I don’t see why it wouldn’t help. Just don’t give up and let me know when you see some results!