Clay for Health & Beauty from Face Masks to Baths: Bentonite & Beyond
In the past, I only looked at clay as a cool art project. When I was younger I was able to make some pottery and remember how great the clay felt in my hands. I never thought much about clay beyond that…until recently.
In my last post: Toxicity & Detoxification, I talked about a lot of different toxins and examples of different ways we come in contact with them. Due to the “pulling” properties of clay, it can be used to help remove toxins from the body, be it through a clay bath or a clay facial/hair mask. This last month I have been experimenting with different ways of using clay and must say that I am now in LOVE with this great healing tool.
There are different types of clay that are recommended for different uses. Here is a little about each of them:
Bentonite Clay: An edible clay from naturally occurring volcanic ash sediments that contains over 70 trace minerals. This clay is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and external maladies. Traditionally used as an internal supplement to assist with mineral deficiencies, and to help bind toxins making them more soluble. Externally, it can be used as a mud pack, in the bath, and in skin care recipes. This clay has the ability to absorb toxins, impurities, heavy metals and other contaminants from the body, and is ingested to treat mineral deficiencies, anemia, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, intestinal problems, hemorrhoids, and for general organ health. This clay is good for oily skin.
French Green Clay: This clay literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin by bringing fresh blood to damaged skin cells, revitalizing the complexion, and tightening pores. Green clay is a bio-mineral, and contains decomposed plant matter as well as many trace minerals, micro-algaes, kelp, and phyto-nutrients. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which make it beneficial for muscular pain, swelling, and arthritic or rheumatic conditions. It is used cosmetically for its ability to stimulate blood and lymph circulation, remove dead skin cells, absorb impurities and fats, and tone and strengthen connective tissues. After using French Green clay, skin feels fresh, smooth, radiant, and soft. French Green Clay is also marvelous for helping to clear problem skin areas, and is gentle enough to use weekly, or even daily on problem spots. This clay is good for oily skin.
Rhassoul Clay: This is a Spa quality mineral rich, reddish/brown clay that blends extremely well with water making its application to the face and skin a smooth and delightful experience. It is very high in trace minerals. Because of the high mineral content, astringent properties, and absorption properties, Rhassoul clay is a wonderful and effective clay for cleansing, detoxification, and for general skin care treatments. In clinical tests, it has been shown to be effective on skin elasticity, clogged pores, removes dead skin layers, removed surface oil from skin, improves skin clarity and appearance, and reduces flakiness and dryness of both the scalp and skin. This clay is great for oil or acneic skin.
White Cosmetic Clay: Also known as Kaolin Clay, it is one of the most versatile clays, and is also the mildest of all cosmetic clays. It is commonly found in skincare preparations and cosmetics because of its gentle nature, mineral content, absorbent properties, and ability to “fix” scents. This clay is more widely used than any other cosmetic clay, and is frequently found in powders, body packs, skin care products, deodorants, soaps, scrubs, poultices, cosmetics, facial masks, and toiletries. This clay will gently draw impurities from the skin without removing natural oils while simultaneously exfoliating, cleansing, and stimulating circulation. It is suitable for all skin types, whether it be oily, blemish prone, normal, sensitive, dry, or mature skin.
I’ve been doing magnetic clay baths once or twice a week for the last month and I definitely have noticed a difference. Magnetic Clay Baths can assist in the removal of heavy metals, or chelation. I will forewarn you, these can be messy. I ended up purchasing LL’s Magnetic Clay Detox Baths. I got the Mercury II version. These baths are predominantly bentonite clay with an herbal packet custom designed to assist in the detox.
There are multiple ways to use this clay to detox. You can give yourself a foot bath or a whole body bath. You can also mix the mud and slather it on your body and wait for it to dry. I personally prefer the whole body bath, however this has a caveat. Each kit comes with pH strips that allow you to check your body’s pH level via urine or saliva. If your body shows to be highly acidic, it is recommended that you start with foot baths and limit your time in the clay. If your pH levels are more stabilized, then you can dip your whole body in or spend a little more with the clay.
If you decide to to the wet baths, I recommend having an old or cheap blender on hand to help with the wet mixing (this prevents clumps). Here are the most popular products that they sell.
Clay for Beauty
I also recently found some clay beauty recipes I simply love that I have been using for my hair and skin. The first recipe is for a homemade face mask that I use for normal/combination skin:
- 1 tbsp Cosmetic Clay (see choices above)
- 1 tsp yogurt (the more fat the better)
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp jojoba oil (or other preferred carrier oil)
- 1 drop lavender oil
- 1 drop rose geranium or ylang ylang oil (or other preferred essential oil)
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Slowly mix in clay bit by bit avoid lumps.
- Cleanse your face and neck and leave slightly damp. Smooth the mask over your face and neck avoiding your eyes and mouth.
- Relax for 15-20 minutes til it dries.
- Wash off mask with a warm wet washcloth.
- Follow with toner and facial moisturizer
This mask must be used the same day as it contains fresh ingredients. This recipes makes enough for 1 or 2 people.
These are also face mask recipes but for different skin types, follow the same instructions as above for them.
Recipe for Maturing/Aging Skin:
- 2 tbsp Cosmetic Clay (see choices above)
- 1 egg yolk or 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sweet almond oil or kukui nut oil
- 2 drops rose or sandalwood essential oil
- 1 drop neroli oil
Recipe for Acne Skin
- 2 tsp Cosmetic Clay (see choices above)
- 2 – 3 tsp low fat yogurt or strong herbal tea
- 2 drops lemongrass oil
- 1 drop tea tree essential oil
Recipe for Sensitive & Problem Skin
- 1/2 tbsp Cosmetic Clay (see choices above)
- 1/2 tbsp rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp avocado or evening primrose oil
- 1/2 tsp aloe vera juice
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp yogurt or milk
- and one of these following essential oil blends:
- For sensitive skin: 1 drop chamomile oil, 1 drop jasmine or rose oil, and 1 drop lavender oil
- For eczema or psoriasis: 1 drop chamomile oil, 1 drop jasmine or rose oil, 1 drop patchouli or sandalwood oil
I have personally tried out the first recipe for normal combination skin many times and shared it with other and the verdict is that it leaves your face so clean and soft that I think this will be my go to mask for a very long time.
You can also use clay on your hair. Clay hair masks help clarify the hair and clean product build up. They can also help hair grow faster. For my hair (which is quite curly), I used Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This is also a messy process so I suggest you put some garbage bags or an old sheet no the ground so as not to make a mess.
- 1/2 cup Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (or other bentonite clay)
- 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup aloe vera juice
- 1/4 cup of water (or however much you need to get to a consistency you can work with)
- 2 tbsp olive oil or sweet almond oil or jojoba oil or castor oil
Do NOT use metal bowls or utensils to mix the clay as this can cause a chemical reaction that will damage the integrity of the clay. Apply to your hair in sections and let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Rinse it out and follow with a deep conditioner as this will leave your hair feeling dry.
For those with curly hair you might notice your curls are more elongated but will probably have more definition (at least that’s what I noticed).
I hope you enjoyed learning about clay as much as I have enjoyed experimenting with it. I have loved the results so much that this will definitely be a part of my health and beauty regimen moving forward and for a long time. Leave a comment below letting us know how you fared with your experiments.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.