Unless you regularly spend time at a day spa (which we would definitely encourage) you probably aren’t familiar with bentonite clay, or what it can do for your skin.
Bentonite is a special type of organic clay that helps keep your skin looking clean and clarified.
You can use bentonite clay at home if day spas aren’t your thing. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about using bentonite clay to get cleaner, clearer-looking skin, including how it works and how to add it into your grooming routine.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay, also called calcium bentonite clay, is an organic clay that forms from volcanic ash. Named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, where the largest source of the clay is found, Bentonite has been mined in Wyoming for over 125 years, though it can be found all over the world.
In its original state, bentonite clay looks like silt or dirt; like a fine powder. It is typically mined, purified, then added to different health and wellness products. It’s been used for thousands of years to treat skin infections and is even ingestible.
How Does Bentonite Clay Work?
Bentonite clay is used for its absorbent properties. This clay works by absorbing negatively charged ions, which is the scientific way of explaining that it absorbs and removes toxins.
Bentonite clay molecules bind to toxins in your body and on your skin, encasing them. When the clay is removed from your body or skin, the toxins are removed along with it.
Pretty cool, but how does that help you out as a strapping young lad who just wants to look good and experience less breakouts? Let’s find out.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay absorbs toxins, but that doesn’t mean much unless you know you have toxins that need to be removed, or have any idea what toxins are.
Toxins are essentially substances that don’t belong in our body, and cause our body harm.
Everything from parabens and sulfates to dirt and pollution particles are toxins. Our bodies (specifically our skin) come in contact with these on a daily basis. Don’t believe it?
Here’s how most of us come into contact with toxins in our daily lives.
Products. The health and wellness industry in the U.S. is seriously under-regulated. This basically means that companies can use any ingredients they want, regardless of whether or not research shows the ingredient is bad for us.
Such is the case for parabens and sulfates, two ingredients often used in shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion. These ingredients are used to increase shelf life and as mild cleansers.
Sulfates and parabens have been linked to negative health effects like endocrine disruption and severe skin irritation. In fact, many other countries have banned them from use in their products, but they are still ever-present in the products that line U.S. store shelves.
- Environmental pollutants. The second you step out your door, your skin is slapped with environmental toxins. From the guy smoking a cigarette on the corner to the diesel truck that just blew exhaust in your face, your skin is battling a constant onslaught of toxins.
Processed Foods. What we put in our bodies matters. If you’re constantly stuffing bad food and excessive amounts of alcohol in your body, it’s going to show, and not just on your waistline.
Toxic ingredients in our food can have dramatic effects on our skin, leading to blemishes and even a dull, unhealthy complexion.
You’ve got toxins in your skin, my friend. But luckily, bentonite clay can help dig them out to reveal skin that looks like you take great care of it.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is a popular ingredient in both skin care and wellness products. In addition to its absorbent qualities, bentonite clay also contains:
- Calcium. Calcium benefits your skin by helping regulate your skin’s natural oil (sebum) production and keeping skin free from irritation.
- Iron. Iron works with B vitamins to help give your skin a healthy glow.
- Copper. Copper Helps synthesize skin proteins which helps your skin properly rebuild collagen and elastin stores.
- Zinc. Zinc acts as a physical sunscreen (when used in correct amounts) and can also help you experience less breakouts.
These minerals are essential for keeping your skin healthy and functioning properly, but the benefits of putting volcanic ash on your face (or in your body) don’t stop there.
Here are four other benefits of using bentonite clay.
Bentonite Clay Absorbs Excess Oil
Your skin’s natural oil is designed to keep your skin lubricated and moisturized. Normally, it does a great job, but hormonal fluctuations, using the wrong products, and environmental stressors can cause your skin to overproduce oil.
When your skin overproduces oil, it clogs your pores. Additionally, the oil that males produce is stickier than the sebum produced by female skin, which means it sticks to dirt and dead skin cells more easily. The result? Pimples, bumps, and blackheads.
Bentonite clay helps absorb excess sebum, making it much harder to clog your pores or stick to other molecules on your skin to create bumps.
Bentonite Clay Has Healing Properties
Bentonite clay is beneficial in helping soothe skin irritation. In fact, ancient cultures mixed it with water and used it as a salve for skin conditions like poison ivy, insect bites, and even rashes.
Bentonite helps calm the skin, alleviating redness, itching, and swelling. It even boasts healing properties, meaning you could use it for holistic purposes if you found yourself out in the wild leaning on Mother Nature for survival resources.
Bentonite Clay Has Natural Sun Protectant
The FDA is still researching bentonite clay as a mineral sun protectant, but research shows it works effectively as an additional mineral in sun protectant products.
While bentonite doesn’t offer enough sun protection to be used alone, adding it to other mineral sunblocks may boost their UV deflective properties.
Bentonite Draws Out Dirt and Impurities From the Skin
Even if you cleanse your skin daily, impurities still make their way into your pores, creating blemishes. Bentonite helps give those impurities an eviction notice before they can cause blemishes.
The best part is that you don’t need to use bentonite clay on a daily basis to enjoy these benefits. Most of the time, using a bentonite clay product, even once a week, can dramatically improve the health and clarity of your skin.
Uses of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite can be used orally and externally. You can find it available in capsule form, creams, and face masks. Here’s how bentonite works specifically, on the inside and the outside.
Bentonite clay is thought to boost immunity and even regulate your gut flora (the entire city of microorganisms living in your digestive tract). However, you should only ingest bentonite in small amounts.
Bentonite clay capsules are also helpful in absorbing and removing the buildup of toxins in your body, such as mercury, aluminum, and lead.
Probably the most popular way bentonite clay is used today is in skin care, specifically in face masks. Bentonite clay masks are superior to other types of clay in terms of absorption and handling skin sensitivity.
Curious how you can add bentonite to your skin care routine? Disco makes it super easy.
Our purifying clay mask is packed with powerful oil-grabbing bentonite, along with some other great ingredients that help keep your skin looking its absolute best.
- Charcoal. Not just for barbecues, charcoal also boasts super absorbency properties that help rid your skin of toxins, dirt, and oil. Combined with bentonite clay, charcoal supercharges our mask’s deep cleaning properties.
- Willow bark extract. Willow bark has astringent-like properties, which help it tone and tighten your skin. It helps even your skin tone, helping you look less splotchy and making your skin look natural and healthful. Once the bentonite clay and charcoal have thoroughly cleaned your pores, willow bark extract will step in to protect them from further dirt and oil build-up.
- Aloe. Bentonite is great because it cleans up without over-stripping your skin. You’ll never feel dry or itchy after using our mask. Our mask also includes aloe, which helps hydrate and soothe skin once cleansed of impurities. Not to mention, aloe helps keep your skin calm and conditioned and is well tolerated by all skin types.
You can add our mask to your basic skin care routine once or twice a week as needed, or anytime you feel (or see) a breakout coming on. If you tend to have skin on the oily side, you may need to use it more frequently.
Tips and Tricks for Bentonite Clay Skincare
Even if you don’t have oily skin or skin prone to breakouts, you can still get great skin benefits from bentonite clay masks. Using a mask once a week helps clear out toxins and impurities and gives your pores the ability to breathe.
Here are several more bentonite clay mask tips and tricks.
- Bentonite clay spot treatment mask. Sometimes your breakouts are all over the place, and sometimes they’re just in your t-zone. If one particular area of your skin tends to break out more than others, only use bentonite clay in that area.
Never leave your bentonite clay mask on longer than twenty minutes or overnight. The ingredients in natural masks, like Disco’s, shouldn’t be kept on the skin that long.
Because they’re plant-based and fresh, you won’t gain any more benefits after they’ve been on your skin for twenty minutes. Not to mention you’ll likely wake up with some really interesting residue on your pillowcase should you try to keep it on overnight.
Always use bentonite clay masks on freshly cleansed skin that hasn’t been moisturized. Cleansing will ensure that the surface dirt and grime are washed away -- allowing the bentonite to deep dive into your pores.
If you use a moisturizer before your mask, your mask will only soak up the moisturizer. Once you’ve removed your mask, you can apply your moisturizer like you usually would after cleansing.
We know you probably aren’t used to wearing masks, but healthy, sexy skin is definitely in. Using a bentonite clay mask is the natural way to get skin that demands to be touched.
The Bottom Line
Bentonite clay is a natural ingredient formed from volcanic ash. Incredibly absorbent, you can use it to keep your skin looking clear and clarified.
Disco’s purifying face mask is packed with bentonite clay and other skin beneficial ingredients so you can get sexy, touchably soft, clear skin in the time it takes you to scroll your social media feed.
Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief Review|NCBI
The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics|EWG
Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin|NCBI
Production of a Novel Mineral-based Sun Lotion for Protecting the Skin from Biohazards of Electromagnetic Radiation in the UV Region|NCBI