- Bentonite clay is a type of clay that is known for its skin healing properties.
- It can pull away toxins from the deep skin layers and heal minor conditions like acne, rash and wounds.
- A Bentonite clay mask is easy to prepare and regular use can detoxify the skin and help keep it looking young and supple.
- Bentonite clay is a safe and effective detoxifier and does not have any side effects when used externally.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite is an absorbent clay named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, which hosts the largest sources of this clay. Its unique chemical composition helps it absorb toxins, and it has been used by people for centuries as a detoxifier.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay Mask
Every day we are exposed to harmful toxins through the air we breathe, and the water and food we consume. The most susceptible of all tissues to the damaging effects of these toxins is our skin. Bentonite clay, when applied regularly via a facial mask, helps remove these toxins from deep within the skin and improve skin health.
Individual particles of Bentonite clay carry a negative charge on their surface. This helps them attract positively charged particles of toxins, which they can pull out from the deeper layers of your skin.
Treats acne and minor skin conditions
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when there is an overproduction of sebum, the oily compound produced by sebaceous glands within your hair follicles. When sebum is produced in excessive quantities, it can clog the pores of your skin, leading to the deposition of dirt and bacteria. This is what causes the formation of pimples.
Bentonite clay has excellent sebum absorbing capabilities. Regular use of Bentonite clay as a facial mask will help remove excess sebum and catalyze sebum production in the skin. Also, when a bentonite clay mask is applied, it creates a gentle antiseptic environment that kills acne-causing bacteria. This helps in treating the problem at its root.
A study published in 2012 found that clay face masks were effective in reducing acne and comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). The researchers further found that the efficacy of clay face masks in treating acne was equal to conventional oral and topical antibiotic therapies.
Firms and tones skin
Bentonite clay is rich in vital minerals. The nano-particle nature of the clay makes it easy for the mineral molecules to enter the skin.
Silicon is one such mineral (in the form of silica) that can enter the skin through a Bentonite clay mask. Silicon is fundamental to the production of collagen, the main structural protein of the skin which contributes to the firmness of youthful skin.
While the production rate of collagen decreases as skin ages, a constant supply of silicon, especially through facial masks of Bentonite clay, can replenish its dwindling stores and fuel the production of collagen. This in turn can bring back the firmness of your skin, making it look more vital.
Unclogs and shrinks pores
The grease-absorbing ability of Bentonite clay helps extract all the excess sebum and dirt clogging the pores of your skin. Moreover, the mild astringent action of the clay helps tighten the pores.
Reduces appearance of scars
By moisturizing the skin and absorbing impurities, Bentonite clay helps to cleanse and refresh the skin surface, helping to heal blemishes.
Draws out toxins
The charged nature of Bentonite clay helps it to draw out toxins from deep within the skin layers. This helps protect the skin from damage and rejuvenate it.
The abrasive nature of Bentonite clay particles gives them mild exfoliating properties. Bentonite clay helps in microdermabrasion, a process that removes the upper dead skin cell layer to reveal the underlying layer. Exfoliation also removes dirt and other impurities from the skin.
How to Make a Clay Mask
Making a clay mask is easy. Upon obtaining a high quality Bentonite clay powder, simply take a small amount of the powder in a glass or ceramic bowl and mix it with water (with a plastic or wooden spoon) until the mixture has a slightly firm, non-dripping consistency. You can usually achieve this consistency by mixing the clay powder and water in a 1:2 ratio.
Once you have prepared the paste, apply it generously to the face, scalp or armpits. Let the paste dry and then wash it off with water.
There are no known side effects of using Bentonite clay externally. Before applying it liberally to your face, however, it is recommended to perform a patch test by placing a small amount of the clay on your skin to ensure that you’re not allergic to it. It should also be noted that ingesting Bentonite clay is not advised as it is possible to get sick from consuming too much of it.
Other Uses of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay can be consumed orally, typically in the form of capsules, for its immunity-building and detoxifying effects. A study found that ingesting small doses of Bentonite clay can help to fight bacteria that lead to sickness. It may also help improve your gastrointestinal health by promoting the bacterial flora in your intestines, thereby facilitating nutrient uptake in your gut.
The moisturizing and healing properties of Bentonite clay may help to improve the health of your hair and mitigate hair loss. A hair mask of Bentonite clay will pull out dirt and grime from the scalp and unblock clogged pores. This leads to a healthy scalp and, in turn, healthy hair.
Conventional toothpastes contain many compounds like fluorides, triclosan and SLS (the foaming agent) that may harm the body in different ways. Fluoride, for instance, is implicated in bone problems, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
Bentonite clay powder can be used as a safer alternative to conventional toothpastes. It serves as an effective oral health agent due to its mild abrasive nature, helping to remove plaque. It also raises the pH level of your mouth, making it harder for harmful bacteria to grow and thrive.
The idea behind armpit detox is pretty simple. Regular use of deodorants prevents skin from sweating. However, sweating is the body’s natural detox mechanism by which it excretes waste products outside the body. Also, harmful chemicals from the deodorants may enter the body and accumulate just beneath the skin of your armpits.
Applying Bentonite clay paste on the armpits will let the clay absorb the toxins and open up the clogged pores to allow your skin to “breathe naturally.”
Treating diaper rash
Diaper rash, also called infantile diaper dermatitis, is an inflammation of the baby’s skin around the diaper. It usually occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to urine and stool, although there could be other reasons like chaffing and rubbing of the sensitive area with the diaper or due to the use of antibiotics.
The healing properties of Bentonite clay also extend to animals. Clay masks are equally effective for your pets and they will have the same effect on them as they have on you.
A regular clay mask will detoxify your pet’s body by pulling away toxins and heavy metals from the skin and also help in enhancing the shine and health of their coat. You can use a clay mask or a poultice to treat your pet’s skin conditions like rashes, wounds, cuts and bug bites.
Bentonite clay is a safe and effective compound to improve skin health and has been used by people all around the world to maintain young-looking skin and treat minor skin conditions like acne, blackheads, wounds, rashes and insect bites. Its effectiveness extends to animals so it can also be used on your pets.
A regular mask of Bentonite clay can help detoxify the skin and heal it. A hair mask can also improve the health of the scalp and address hair loss. Bentonite clay can also be used as a safe alternative to conventional toothpastes.