Bentonite clay has long been used as an ingredient in skincare products, mostly because of its ability to absorb excess oil and remove toxins from the body. It’s also used as an ingredient in numerous household cleaning products, and though it’s easy to overlook as just another cleaning product ingredient, bentonite clay can be quite beneficial to your health if you learn how to harness its powers. This article takes you through the benefits of Bentonite Clay and how you can incorporate it into your daily life, including your diet and skincare routine.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is a mineral-rich, fine, soft-textured, and natural powder from ancient volcanic ash. When mixed with water, the clay forms a paste that has been used for various purposes, including beauty and medicinal.
Traditionally, bentonite clay was used for different reasons, including getting rid of toxins from the skin, treating acne and other skin infections, managing diarrhea, and treating gas.
Today bentonite clay is present in different beauty products such as shampoos, face masks, lotion, toothpaste, and dietary supplements.
How Does Bentonite Clay Work?
Scientists believe that bentonite works by attracting and absorbing harmful particles of dirt, excessive oils, and toxins.
When taken internally, bentonite sweeps throughout the body, getting rid of pathogens and any cellular waste and toxins before they get to their area of processing, like the liver and the kidneys. This helps reduce toxic load, causing your organs to work more effectively.
It also helps absorb toxins before they accumulate in the colon, which allows you to absorb more nutrients. And since bentonite cannot be absorbed, it gets eliminated in the feces together with the toxins.
Bentonite clay also attracts hydrogen, which causes the cell to take up more oxygen, thus more energy and efficiency.
What are the Benefits of Bentonite Clay?
1. Removes toxins from the body
You are constantly being exposed to toxins from the food you eat to your surrounding environment. Luckily, bentonite clay has been extensively studied for its ability to absorb and eliminate toxins from the body.
For instance, research shows that bentonite may bind to aflatoxins, a common contaminant in improperly stored foods, especially cereals like maize.
Acute exposure to aflatoxins can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and acute convulsions, while chronic exposure can result in immunotoxicity and hepatotoxicity, leading to liver cancer.
2. Reduces acne
Have you ever heard of an acne facial? Well, Bentonite clay is an ingredient in these types of facials because it helps to reduce acne by drawing toxins from within your pores. You can use bentonite clay as a facial mask two or three times per week (depending on how sensitive your skin is) or as a spot treatment for breakouts on other days.
To make a facial mask with bentonite clay, mix one teaspoon of powder with one tablespoon of water or rose water until it forms a paste-like consistency. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Note that if you have dry or sensitive skin, be sure to patch test first before using it regularly!
For extra exfoliation, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your bentonite clay mixture. Apple cider vinegar contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which help slough away dead skin cells while helping promote new cell growth at the same time. This will give your face a healthy glow and smooth texture. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much apple cider vinegar can lead to redness and irritation.
Start slowly and work up to higher concentrations if desired. Also, note that both bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar should only be used on your face—not anywhere else on your body—as they can cause adverse reactions when applied elsewhere.
2. It promotes healthy skin
Your skin is constantly being exposed to toxins from the environment and from the skin products you use. Applying bentonite clay may help detoxify and keep it healthy.
The absorbent power of bentonite may help manage oily skin and treat acne. It can balance oil production and alleviate redness due to inflammation caused by acne.
When mixed with water and applied as a face mask, bentonite can also get rid of toxins on the skin surface and within the pores, which can help minimize breakouts and heal skin infections like contact dermatitis.
3. It may improve digestive health
By eliminating toxins and other harmful substances from the gut, bentonite clay may help promote digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Bentonite clay is also effective in getting rid of viruses that cause diarrhea, like the rotavirus.
4. May help treat nappy rash
Nappy rash is a common skin condition in infancy and childhood. It occurs when the area covered by the nappy is irritated from prolonged exposure to a wet or dirty nappy.
In one study, topical application of bentonite paste was effective in treating diaper rash. In the study, 93 percent of the infants’ rash had improved within 6 hours, and by the third day, 90 percent of the total infants were completely healed.
5. Protection against sun exposure
According to research, mineral-based sunscreens containing bentonite clay may absorb more UV light than other commercially available sunscreens.
If you’re looking for a natural sunscreen that also protects your skin from cancer, bentonite clay may be the perfect option for you. Bentonite clay is made of volcanic ash and has been used by Native Americans for centuries to treat a variety of health problems.
If you’re concerned about skin cancer and want to take steps to protect yourself against the disease, adding bentonite clay to your sun protection routine may be a good decision.
6. It may lower cholesterol
High cholesterol increases your risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease. However, the absorbent and binding nature of bentonite will help eliminate cholesterol in the stool.
However, bentonite clay should not replace your medical treatment for high cholesterol or any associated risk factor. And in case you’re on medication, talk to your doctor before taking bentonite.
Unique ways to Use Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay can be used in various ways, which makes it ideal for a wide range of applications. Here are ten unique ways to use bentonite clay on your body and in your home in your day-to-day life.
1. In skincare
Bentonite clay is a great way to add anti-aging benefits to your skincare routine. You can use it as a face mask to help improve your skin’s texture and tone. Bentonite clay is also a natural way to cleanse your skin and balance its pH. To make a face mask with bentonite clay:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of the clay with 2 tablespoons of warm water or rose water.
- Apply the mixture to your face and wait about 20 minutes for it to dry.
- Rinse off the mask with cool water and pat your skin dry.
- Apply the mask before bed to help improve your skin’s appearance and texture in the morning. If you have sensitive skin, you can also add honey to make it more tolerable.
You can also mix a little clay into your facial cleanser to give you an exfoliating scrub.
2. In hair care
Here are six of the most common ways to use bentonite clay for your hair:
Clay Mask: Clay masks work wonders for restoring damaged hair. Apply a thick layer of clay to your hair and scalp, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse off the mask with cool water and shampoo your hair as usual.
Conditioner: Add a small amount of bentonite clay to your regular conditioner for extra conditioning and shine. This will help to reduce damage, frizz, and dryness in your hair.
Hair Mask: Apply a bentonite clay mask to damp hair before bedtime. Let the mask sit on your hair for 30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Leave the mask on for another 10-15 minutes if you want extra conditioning benefits.
Scalp Treatment: Bentonite clay can also be used as a scalp treatment to improve dandruff, oily scalp, and psoriasis. Apply a small amount of clay to your scalp and let it dry before rinsing off with warm water.
3. Bath bombs
Bentonite Clay is among the most common ingredients used in making bath bombs. What’s so special about it? Well, first off, bentonite clay is a mineral that has been used for centuries to treat various health issues. It’s also great for detoxing your body, which is why it’s often included in bath bombs.
Plus, it has a great cooling effect which can help relieve muscle tension and headaches. If you’re interested in using bentonite clay for bath bombs, here are some tips on how to do it:
- Start by mixing together 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of Epsom salt and coconut oil if desired. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
- Add 1 cup of Bentonite Clay to the mixture and stir until fully blended in. You may need to use your hands to get everything together and form it into little balls.
- Put six drops of your favorite essential oil on each ball.
- Bake them in an oven set at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have time for that, simply mold your mix into little balls and dry them out overnight.
- When dry, pop one or two in your bathtub before getting in; they’ll soften as you soak and make your skin feel super soft.
4. Drink it
Simply mix a tsp of bentonite clay in a glass of water and drink once daily. This can help relieve diarrhea, eliminate toxins from the body, and lower cholesterol.
5. DIY toothpaste
Bentonite clay is one of the most popular ingredients in homemade toothpaste because it can bind to metals and ions within the saliva, fight bad breath, whiten teeth, and cleanse teeth. Bentonite clay can also:
- Remove plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums.
- Reduce inflammation and pain in teeth and gums.
- Reduce the risk of dental cavities.
- Help improve overall oral health.
To prepare your bentonite toothpaste:
- Add 1 cup of bentonite clay to a pot of water and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Add glycerin to the cooled bentonite clay mixture and stir until well combined.
- Pour the toothpaste into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months.
Side Effects and Risk Factors
Bentonite has not shown any serious side effects, especially when used externally. However, since bentonite is a natural product obtained from the earth’s surface, it’s prone to collect contaminants such as heavy metals, and pesticides, among others.
And since FDA does not regulate bentonite clay or its products, it may be difficult to tell if a particular brand is safe or not.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the benefits. Always go for a reputable dealer and look for a product labeled safe for internal use.
Also, remember to drink plenty of water to help clear out the clay and prevent any chances of constipation.
If taking any medications, consider taking bentonite at least 2 hours before or after the medication to prevent any interaction, as the clay can bind to some of the drug molecules, thus preventing their effectiveness.
Bentonite clay is a fine powder obtained from volcano ashes. It’s an ancient remedy for different conditions, such as those affecting the skin and the digestive system.
It can absorb toxins from the body, improve skin conditions, promote digestive health, lower cholesterol, treat nappy rash, and protect against harmful UV rays.
It’s generally safe to use bentonite clay but always go to reputable dealers. And in case of internal use, ensure it has been labeled “edible” or “safe to consume.”
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