Clay masks are definitely having a moment in the wellness spotlight! You may have seen people with grayish-greenish, mud-slathered faces in your social feeds all in the name of #selfcaresunday. Believe it or not, clay masks have actually been used for centuries to beautify, refresh and heal a variety of skin and health issues. There are a number of clays on the market that boast their own set of health benefits, but the most popular of which is bentonite clay.
What is Bentonite clay and how does it work?
Also known as green clay, bentonite clay is composed of aged volcanic ash. It’s known for its unique ability to produce a negative charge when hydrated, allowing it to act like a magnet and bind to heavy metals and toxins, which typically have positive charges. It has an alkalizing effect on the body and may help balance gut bacteria when taken in small doses.
Best ways to use
- Face mask: To detoxify skin and remove impurities, mix up a paste of clay and water. Typically a teaspoon of water to a tablespoon of clay works best, but it depends on how thick of a paste you prefer. Swapping apple cider vinegar for water will deepen the cleansing effect, but might not be a good choice for sensitive skin!
- Skin Irritations: Applying a mask of bentonite clay and water to skin irritations may help them heal faster. Clay is able to bind to bacteria and toxins living on the surface of the skin, making it an excellent antibiotic treatment to reduce redness, itchiness, and help fight allergic reactions.
- Detox Bath: Add 1/4-1/2 cup of clay to a bath for a relaxing and detoxifying soak. This can help soften skin and soothe any irritations by removing impurities.
- Detox drink: A daily dose of bentonite clay may help balance gut bacteria and relieve indigestion. Start small by stirring a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon to see how your body reacts, before increasing to 1 teaspoon.
A few words of caution…
- Never mix bentonite clay with metal utensils! It can bind to toxins in the metal which will then end up on your skin.
- Always do a skin patch test before applying a face mask or treating skin irritations. Bentonite clay is ideal for normal to oily skin types and may be too harsh for those with dry or sensitive skin.
- As with any supplement, check with your doctor before ingesting bentonite clay as a detox drink, as it may interfere with any existing supplements or medications you’re taking.
Have you ever tried healing clay masks? Share your experience in the comments?