Bentonite clay purifies pores
Bumble Dee/Shutterstock"We're now painfully aware of the negatives effects of pollution and free radicals on the skin," says Biba de Sousa, an esthetician in Beverly Hills. Bentonite clay is a pore-cleansing powerhouse. When activated with liquid, it acts like a magnet and a sponge, binding to and sopping up positively charged impurities (think heavy metals, excess sebum, bacteria, etc.). "Simply put: It pulls pollutants and 'sludge' out of the skin," de Sousa says. Bentonite clay isn't the only detoxifier that deserves a spot in your beauty routine. Check out these purifying skincare ingredients.
Bentonite clay absorbs excess oil
Tatevosian Yana/ShutterstockOne of the biggest myths about oily skin is that you should use harsh, alcohol-based products to dry it out. This simply isn't true! When you strip away natural oils, your skin over-produces it to compensate. Instead, what you want to look for are natural ingredients that help balance sebum levels, like bentonite clay. "This super-absorbent, swelling clay has unparalleled oil-drawing capabilities," says Alexandra Wagner, an esthetician in Los Angeles. This makes it excellent for oily complexions. Dry, sensitive, and aging skin types should choose for more mild clays, like French pink and white kaolin. Looking for a DIY facial treatment to combat oil and shine? In a nonreactive bowl (wood, plastic, or glass), combine equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. Apply the mask evenly to the skin, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water. Don't miss these dermatologist-approved recipes you can make at home.
Goran Bogicevic/ShutterstockNot only does it purify pores on your face, but your whole body! Love soaking your stress away? Why not your toxins too? By adding 1-2 cups of bentonite clay powder to your grown-up bath, you can transform it from simply a relaxing ritual to one that also detoxifies and reduces swelling, and soothes inflammation. Need more reasons to make tub time part of your routine? Science suggests that taking a bath might be just as good for you as taking a walk.
Vladislav Lazutin/ShutterstockThis mineral-rich clay does more than eliminate impurities. After bentonite clay does its job detoxifying, it infuses skin with minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and silicon. Reap the remineralizing benefits with a bath or a full-body mask. Pro tip: This can get messy, so make the proper preparations ahead of time. Planning an at-home spa day? Here are 12 pampering products you'll definitely want to have on hand.
fotandy/shutterstock"Bentonite granules provide additional cleansing by sloughing away dead skin cells," says de Sousa. Unlike harsh exfoliants that can damage skin, this fine powder gently buffs away dry, flaky skin, leaving your complexion softer, smoother, and healthier. For a DIY facial polish, mix bentonite clay powder with a splash of water or rose water until it forms a thick paste. Using your fingers, gently apply in circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water. Bentonite clay is just one of the skincare clays that offers exfoliating benefits.
Alena Ozerova/ShutterstockOne of the most common applications for bentonite is as a natural alternative to store-bought blemish treatments. According to the Mayo Clinic, the four main causes of acne are oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria. Bentonite addresses them all. Remember its adsorbent (magnet-like) abilities? When mixed with water and used as a face mask or spot treatment, bentonite pulls out excess sebum and bacteria from the skin. And its mild exfoliating effect helps remove dead skins cells and unclog pores. These are the ingredients everyone with acne-prone skin needs in their beauty arsenal stat. (Hint: Bentonite is one of them.)
Heals eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
Cococinema/ShutterstockBentonite has been used (both internally and externally) as a traditional healing method for centuries. One of its application is as a topical remedy for skin irritation and rashes. Think: Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, poison ivy, and bug bites. Not only does it draw out fungus and bacteria from the skin, but studies show that bentonite can act as a topical antibiotic, helping to calm skin infections, soothe inflammation, and speed up healing. Try a bentonite-infused soak or "mud pack." Wondering if your skin issues are eczema or something else? Here are the five clear signs not to ignore.
LarsZ/ShutterstockClay in your hair? Just hear us out. Bentonite clay benefits your scalp and strands much in the same way it does for your skin. It clarifies, eliminates toxins, removes product build-up, sops up excess oil, and leaves hair super clean. Here's how to make it: Combine bentonite clay powder, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils (like rosemary and lavender) until it becomes a yogurt-like consistency. Divide hair into sections and apply liberally. Leave on for 15-20 minutes (just don't let it harden!) and rinse thoroughly. Try these stylist-approved tricks for having the shiniest hair ever.
kazmulka/ShutterstockLooking for a natural alternative to conventional deodorant? Try mixing up a DIY recipe with bentonite clay, coconut oil, aloe, baking soda, arrowroot flour, and essential oils (or try one of these homemade versions). Bentonite absorbs moisture and eliminates odor-causing bacteria. Coconut oil nourishes sensitive underarm skin, while arrowroot powder helps control perspiration and baking soda balances pH.