The beautifying and purifying properties of clay have been used for thousands of years by cultures all around the world. Its ability to absorb various pigments from plants and minerals was highly valued in the preparation of body paints by ancient civilizations. Cleopatra was known to use dead sea clay twice a week to keep her complexion smooth and unblemished. Even animals have long turned to the healing power of clay when they feel ill or are in need of protection from pests and elements.
The Properties of Facial Clays
Today, facial clays are used primarily for cosmetic purposes to deeply clean and tighten the pores, freshen the face, and brighten the skin though they have many other healing properties depending on their ingredients such as:
• Removing toxins from the skin
• Increasing circulation
• Decreasing inflammation
• Tone and tighten pores
• Soften and smooth the skin
• Hydrate and moisturize
• Pulling toxins from the body (especially when taken internally or used under the arms)
• Absorbs excess oil
Which Clay is Right For You?
Well, that depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what skin type you have. I thought it would be fun to write about the different clay profiles and sort of do a mini blog series on it, so let’s take a look at the first type of clay I want to talk about and its properties.
Bentonite Clay Benefits and Bentonite Clay Uses
Skin Type: Oily, acne prone, sluggish complexions (if you have sensitive skin, consider using a thinner layer or using kaolin clay instead)
Bentonite clay comes from volcanic ash that has absorbed nutrients from the earth through the ages. It has been used as a therapeutic and cosmetic clay since 2500 B.C. and has been used in many cultures throughout the world where it is considered the most potent clay for cleansing the skin and body.
Topical Uses of Bentonite Clay
• Used as a poultice for carpel tunnel, tendonitis, bruises, cuts, wounds, and sore muscles to restore circulation
• Mud pack for purifying the skin and detoxing elimination pathways
• Added to your bath (read my post on how to take a detoxifying clay bath here)
• Added to your shower gel or mixed into bar soap recipes
• Hair mask
• Applied to fungal or bacterial infections
• Body wrap for deep detox
Using bentonite clay topically will exfoliate the complexion by massaging it into the skin while you rinse it off. It is also the most powerful clay to use for drawing impurities from the skin and increase circulation. You’ll know this if you’ve ever used bentonite clay because you can’t move your face at all after it dries and you’ll be quite red afterwards! It is VERY strong. But don’t let that scare you away from using it, it’s the most purifying clay out there.
Did you know that bentonite clay becomes negatively charged when it comes into contact with water? Since impurities, free radicals, and other toxins are positively charged, the clay literally pulls the impuruties from the body like a magnet and binds to them whether used externally or internally.
Significant improvements can be seen among acne sufferers after using it twice a week on problem areas. You’ll notice that your pores will appear smaller because the clay pulls out blackheads, leaving the pore tightly closed preventing further plugs from forming with regular use.
So you can see why this type of clay is preferred if you have acne. Please note that your acne may seem to get worse because it is bringing toxins to the surface. When you first start using bentonite clay. This is normal and will subside in a week or two depending on the severity of your acne.
For particularly troublesome breakouts, apply tiny amounts to unopened pimples and leave it on overnight. This works really well if you mix the clay with pure apple cider vinegar or an herb infused vinegar like the one I talked about in this post.
How to Use Bentonite Clay For Healing Acne
Simple Bentonite Clay Mask for Acne
Bentonite Body Wrap
Mix equal parts clay and water or herbal tea to create the desired amount. Feel free to add half the amount of clay of powdered herbs to the mixture ( you would chooses these based on your specific healing needs)
Add 1 tsp sea salt and mix the ingredients together
Apply to the ailment (varicose veins, fungal issues, eczema, etc) and wrap snuggly with plastic wrap.
Allow the mixture to set for 30-40 minutes and then get into the bath or shower afterwards.
Be sure to drink plenty of fresh water to help flush the toxins that have been released before and after the wrap.
Internal Uses of Bentonite Clay
• Relieves chronic headaches and allergies
• Powerful against candida and other yeast problems
• Stimulates and detoxes the liver
• Promotes proper bacterial balance in the colon
• Improves Immune function
• Improves cellular respiration by fixing free oxygen in the blood stream
• Reduces food allergies
• Improves digestion
• Pulls toxins from the digestive tract
• Removes heavy metals in the body
• Shortens the duration of bacterial food poisoning
• Anti-aging by reducing free radicals
Bentonite Clay Drink Recipe
2 TBS bentonite clay
1 cup (8oz) of water or herbal tea
Or you can buy it ready made here
Add the clay to a glass jar with a non-reactive lid
Pour the water into the jar and shake for 30 seconds
Drink up to 1 oz first thing in the morning 1 hour before eating and drink 1 oz before bed on an empty stomach
Bentonite Clay Side Effects
Disclaimer: Always check with your medical practitioner before ingesting any type of clay as it can interfere with certain medications.
If you are able to take this healing clay internally, the positive effect it will have on your acne and overall health will be hard to miss. Since acne is largely treated from the inside out, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a try!
The brand I recommend is this one.
Using bentonite clay externally too often can cause your skin to become irritated and dried out. I recommend using it no more than once a week for oily skin types and 1-2 times per month for normal and dry skin types.
Links to my other clay articles:
For more on bentonite clay, check out these articles:
Bentonite Clay Mask
10 Reasons to Use Bentonite Clay to Detox Your Body Effectively
Blemish Busting Bentonite Clay Face Mask
10 Uses for Bentonite Clay
Medicine Cabinet Must Have Part 1: Healing Properties of Bentonite
Have you used bentonite clay before? how did you like it?
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