Bentonite clay is fast becoming one of my favorite things! Have you heard of it? Known as a detoxifying clay, it has sooooo many uses and has some really unique properties. It is a great alternative to all the chemicals that are found in lots of beauty products. Let’s just talk about how awesome it is for your face though…
What is Bentonite Clay?
When you buy bentonite clay, you actually get a jar of powder, not a blob of clay! Call me naive, but I was surprised! Somehow, I expected it to come already hydrated like clay that I used in art class in high school. Clay in powdered form has so, so many uses since you can hydrate it yourself! Healing clays have been used for centuries by native cultures including those in the Andes, Central Africa and Australia. In fact, many times when animals are ill or in distress, they will instinctively eat dirt or clay to remove poisons from their systems! Bentonite clay is rich in minerals since it is harvested from naturally-occurring volcanic ash. Its name comes from the largest concentration of it, which is found in Fort Benton, Wyoming. Interestingly, there is also an area in France called Montmorillon where a similar clay is found, giving rise to the name Montmorillon Clay. Bentonite clay and Montmorillon clay are so similar that the names can be used interchangeably; however, Bentonite is actually the trade name of the clay. There are two types of bentonite clay: sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite. Sodium bentonite clay is used more for detoxifying, while calcium bentonite is used more for remineralization. One brand of clay is actually a mix of both! Redmond Bentonite Clay is from a mine in Utah where both calcium and sodium bentonite clay are found. This is my preference since it seems to be a happy medium between the two types. (where to buy Redmond Bentonite Clay)
What Does it Do?
There are several things that make bentonite clay unique: Its ability to remove toxins, the amount of minerals that it possesses, and its alkalizing ability. First, let’s talk about removing toxins. Bentonite clay, when hydrated, expands and produces an “electrical charge”. It has a strong negative charge and most toxins and heavy metals have positive charges, which means that the clay binds to the toxins and they stay united. When you remove the clay, the toxins come with it. Presto! Detox. Second, bentonite clay is rich in many minerals including calcium, magnesium, silica, copper, iron and potassium, so it imparts its minerals to whatever it comes into contact with. Third, it it highly alkaline, which is often good for our body. This is one of the reasons that I use it in my tooth remineralizing powder.
Benefits of a Bentonite Clay Mask
Draw Out Toxins from the Skin
Because of its negative “electrical charge” when hydrated, bentonite clay bonds to toxins with a positive charge and removes them from your face! Removing toxins from the surface of your face can also decrease inflammation.
Unclog Pores and Shrink Them
Bentonite clay expands when moisture is added to it. It also contracts as it dries. When applied as a mask, bentonite clay shrinks pores as it dries, making your face feel firmer and your pores are smaller after it is removed. Shrinking the size of your pores can help keep your face clean and blemish-free. Removing excess oil from the face also helps unclog pores, which brings me to my next point…
Control Oil/Acne Treatment
Over-production of facial oils (sebum) is often times what leads to blemishes and acne. The excess oil clogs pores causing white heads and black heads. It also encourages bacterial growth which can irritate skin and cause acne. Because of bentonite’s negative “electrical charge” it is able to bind with toxins and oils to remove them.
Even Skin Tone
How to Make and Use a Bentonite Clay Mask
- Wash your face with warm water using your favorite facial cleanser. I like to use this face wash that I make. Make sure to remove all makeup and pat your face dry.
- In a small container or your hand, mix 1 teaspoon bentonite clay (where to buy Bentonite Clay) with 1 teaspoon water or apple cider vinegar (where to buy apple cider vinegar). Since bentonite clay is very alkaline, mixing it with ACV will make it closer to skin’s natural Ph and may decrease irritation. Caution: If you mix this clay using a utensil, make sure that it is not metal or it will make the clay less effective.
- Apply it to your face and wait 5-20 minutes. People with more sensitive skin should remove it after a shorter time to avoid irritation. You can actually see in the photo that my face was getting a little red and irritated as I tried to snag a photo! Whoops! Seriously, 5 minutes may be all you need. The clay doesn’t have to totally dry to give you the benefits. (The redness went away in about 15 minutes and I reaped all the benefits of the mask so it was not a big deal…just in case you were wondering.)
- Gently wash it off with warm water and pat dry.
- Use your favorite facial moisturizer.
- Enjoy beautiful skin!
Have you ever used a bentonite clay mask? What was your experience?