woman with clay mask

A Beginner’s Guide to Bentonite Clay

If you’ve walked into any retail beauty store in the past few months, face masks are making a big comeback.

Did you know that there are many ingredients that can go into just one face mask? Turn the face mask’s packaging over to see the latest trend: bentonite clay.

If you’re curious about this ingredient, this article is right for you! We will tell you every detail you can imagine about bentonite clay. Get ready for a crash course in beauty 101!

Table of Contents


What is Bentonite Clay

Bentonite is technically a clay that comes from the Earth. Companies mine it from the ground as they would any other mineral, such as salt.

Because of the Earth’s dense structure, the clay emerges in packed pieces. For cosmetic purposes, manufacturers mash the clay into a fine powder.

Most consumers see the clay in its powder form. You might also see it as an ingredient within another product, such as face masks.

The key to the clay’s power resides in its main mineral called montmorillonite. It’s technically a metal. Human tissues don’t have a lot of metals, but they are a core part of our functional lives.

Iron, for example, makes oxygen transport possible within the bloodstream. Montmorillonite as a mineral or metal performs several jobs within the clay, such as:

  • Drawing impurities into the clay and away from organic tissues
  • Absorbing surrounding moisture
  • Exfoliating the skin or internal organs when taken as a supplement

Are you wondering how the ancient peoples found and knew that this clay was useful for their skin?

Take a look at the clay’s origins because they tell a detailed story. Simple ingredients are often the best ones for the body.

Chasing the Clay’s Origins

Basic clay has been used for centuries. Native peoples around the world used it for detoxification through consuming it while others realized that it had value as a topical.

Native peoples relieved skin ailments when there were no other choices by using clay. It offered these benefits, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory help
  • Skin-irritation relief
  • Wound protection

Did you know that bentonite was discovered in the United States in the 19th century? A geologist found it.

He was amazed at how much swelling the clay took on when exposed to water. Before the 19th century, bentonite clay was used by people across the world, including populations in these locations:

  • Central Africa
  • Australia
  • Andes Mountains

The clay was easily transported in balls as people migrated around the region. They simply mixed it with water, and applied it to their skin as necessary.

Clay was so readily available in many places that it made sense to use it for various applications. These tips and tricks of using clay were eventually passed down through the generations.

With such a large deposit of bentonite clay in Fort Benton, Montana, using the substance was just a natural step as the area was mined.

The 19th century was full of new inventions, and taking care of your skin was another trend. There were elixirs constantly advertised by questionable people in the 1800s, but bentonite clay was the real thing.

Both women and men benefited from this substance as the negatively charged ions improved skin tones among countless groups. As the years passed by, beauty-product manufacturers caught wind of the clay’s benefits.

It eventually became an ingredient within shampoos and lotions. You must be curious about the different types of bentonite clay available today.

There are specific varieties in the marketplace. Educate yourself on these fascinating products.

The science behind bentonite clay makes it a true solution for most skin problems.


Exploring the Different Types of Bentonite Clay

The Earth is full of varying minerals. This same concept applies to clay as well. There are four, defined types of bentonite clay, including:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Sodium

To be honest, however, you won’t see very many products with magnesium or potassium as their main minerals. Mining and producing the clay just isn’t cost effective.

These clay types don’t necessarily react as reliably as calcium and sodium with the human body either.

Sodium Bentonite

Every person has dealt with water retention as a result of a salty meal. Your body tries to balance out the salt or sodium by storing water in your tissues.

This same concept applies to sodium bentonite. There are so many sodium ions in this clay that it quickly absorbs any water that’s nearby.

The water-absorption function is useful when this bentonite is applied in industrial applications, such as construction. Applying excess sodium to your skin might cause a moisture imbalance.

Sodium bentonite would draw too much moisture from the skin in some cases, which defeats the purpose of its benefits.

Calcium Bentonite

With a majority of calcium ions, this bentonite works well with the human body. The tissues absorb calcium, which offers bone benefits in the long run.

Calcium bentonite has similar absorption activities to sodium bentonite, but there’s a better balance. It won’t leave your face or other skin areas dry.

Most skincare products have calcium bentonite as a main ingredient because of its balanced functions with the skin. However, this fact may make the product a bit more expensive. Sodium bentonite tends to be less expensive overall.

The Verdict

Each type of clay has obvious similarities and differences, but choosing one can be a subjective selection.

Think of sodium bentonite as a detoxification tool. It’s simply stronger with negative ions.

The calcium bentonite works well as a complement to your beauty routine. It improves the skin by adding balanced minerals instead of drawing too many nutrients from your tissues.

Your skin is ready for an experiment with bentonite clay. Good for you!

Explore the areas on the body that will positively respond to the clay’s actions. Understand the benefits and tips that make bentonite clay a world-class product for every inch of the body.


A Head-to-Toe Primer on Bentonite Clay’s Benefits and Applications

After learning about bentonite clay’s benefits, you’ll want to use this substance all over your body. Stop for a moment, however, because you need a thorough discussion on the advantages of this product.

Read about the applications below and how the clay improves the tissues. Are you excited to try out some DIY beauty treatments? Explore this primer right now.


Bentonite clay works as both a shampoo or mask on the hair. It pulls toxins from the hair shaft while absorbing extra moisture.

Try this hair-wash recipe. Your tresses will feel completely different afterward:

Mix one cup apple cider vinegar with a half-cup of water. Add two tablespoons of bentonite clay to the liquid.

Lather the mixture into your hair as you would with everyday shampoo. Rinse it out. You’ll notice a distinct shine as the hair dries afterward.


If removing blackheads, lightening the skin and tightening the pores are your goals, bentonite clay has the answer.

All you need for a simple face mask is clay, water and lime juice. Mix these items together until a paste forms.

Carefully apply it to the face until it dries. Rinse it away.


The negative ions in bentonite clay practically latch onto oils, dead skin cells and tiny particles on the face. Acne doesn’t stand a chance against this volcanic solution!

Use the same face mask as described above. The acne won’t be instantly removed, but you’ll see a difference over the next few days.


Your teeth appreciate the minerals within bentonite clay too. They whiten and nourish the teeth just as readily as the skin.

Combine two teaspoons baking soda, several drops essential oils, two tablespoons coconut oil and one-quarter cup filtered water to three tablespoons of bentonite clay.

Brush your teeth with this mixture to see results after several days.


It’s possible to detoxify the body by rubbing the clay and some water onto every inch of your skin. Sit down in a warm bath in order to continue the detox.

The negative ions continually pull toxins from the body with this bathing strategy.



Everyone has some skin issues that they don’t like, including dark spots, blemishes and scars. Psoriasis and eczema might be concerns as well. Did you know that bentonite clay can help in these areas?

Minerals within the clay can nourish the skin. It’s not unheard of for the skin to look and feel like it’s years younger after a face mask or cleansing.

It helps when the negatively charged ions also make an impact. Try this clay mixture for your healthy skin. There’s a natural addition to this recipe too.

Combine one tablespoon clay, one teaspoon aloe-vera gel, three teaspoons water and several drops of argan oil into a container. Apply this mixture to your face and other skin areas.

Rinse it off to reveal glowing skin. The argan oil works alongside the clay to reduce fine lines, tighten pores and nourish the tissue.

Hands and Feet

Your hands and feet take on a lot of stress in a given day. Use a clay mask on them to pull toxins from the body and relax the muscles underneath.

Mix two tablespoons filtered water with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and three tablespoons of clay. Apply the mixture to your hands and feet. It should look like a mask that you would put on your face.

Rinse off the mixture, and enjoy the feeling on your skin. Try this mask once a week for the best results.

You’ll never find a product that’s perfect for every person. There will always be drawbacks in some form or another.

Learn about the side effects associated with bentonite clay. The good should outweigh the bad, but you should still know the facts.


Cautioning Users About Side Effects and Negative Reactions

Although bentonite clay is a natural substance, it does have some negative reactions with the human body. It is a foreign substance after all.

Science has discovered that bentonite has high levels of lead within its structure. It makes sense that this metal is present. Lead works alongside the other molecules to draw impurities from the skin.

Have you ever heard of lead poisoning? This serious ailment is usually associated with old paint in the home. However, similar symptoms can occur with the lead densities found in bentonite clay.

Take a look at a few side effects that might be issues, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Difficulties with cardiovascular or digestive systems

The concern over bentonite clay’s side effects were largely aligned with consuming the substance. However, your skin is a strong, absorbent tissue.

Scientists found that lead within bentonite clay can move into the bloodstream after a topical application. If you experience any vague symptoms, such as numb extremities or extreme fatigue, skip the next clay application.

Arsenic is another ingredient within bentonite clay that can cause some issues. It typically irritates the digestive system as it absorbs through the skin.

You might notice irritated areas on the skin that are the result of the arsenic’s reaction with your body. The bentonite clay being used may not be as safe as once thought.

Always listen to your body when you try a new beauty product. It’s a fact that almost any substance can bother the body to some extent.

Pick the Right Product

The only way to truly protect yourself is by purchasing bentonite clay from a reputable seller. Questionable people might bag a mixture of different clays and claim that they’re bentonite types. Frustrating side effects might be the result of these transactions.

Ideally, choose a seller that spells out laboratory data on the retail packaging or through a pamphlet. This data might contain these details, such as:

  • Molecular densities of included metals
  • Mining origin
  • Date of manufacturing

The packaging itself should also look professional. Clearly defined contact information should be on the outside of the package.

You might try a phone call or email to the company too. A rapid response tells you that the company is legitimate.

A Safe Brand

Redmond bentonite clay is a top brand that we trust. They manufacture several other products, including salt-based mixtures, so you know that they have a professional process in place.

Read reviews and ingredient lists before you try and bentonite brand, however. You want a high alkalinity and smooth, product texture when you open up the product. Online reviews will typically give you an insider’s view on these details.

Bentonite clay has its drawbacks, but you can thwart those details by being diligent about research and brand selection. There are so many more advantages that make a difference for your skin. You want to concentrate on those instead of the negative aspects.



It’s amazing to think that this beauty solution comes from the ashes of Earth’s volcanoes. With bentonite clay becoming more popular than ever before, it’s time that you make this ingredient a regular part of your beauty regimen.

In this article, you learned several key points regarding bentonite clay, including:

  • Various types and their origins on Earth
  • How to use bentonite clay
  • Understanding the underlying risks

Below is an infographic showing the main key points about the article.


Check your face masks for bentonite clay today. As a main ingredient, bentonite clay enhances your weekly face mask’s efficacy as the skin enjoys the natural treatment.

The results will be easy to spot on your healthy, mature skin.

Did you try bentonite clay already? How did it feel? Tell our readers all about your experience.

Adding your tips to the article will only improve other women’s beauty regimens right now.

Try bentonite clay for your skin and hair today! Nature’s solutions tend to be the most effective ones on the human body.


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