The use of clay goes back to prehistoric times, where it has been used to soothe upset stomachs, as an anti-diarrhea medicine, as well as as one of the best medicinal solutions for their addition of nutrients and their removal of toxins from the body. Now as we go back to using more natural products for our beauty, body, and skin treatments, one clay that has come back as a popular cleanser for the hair, skin and body is Bentonite Clay.
So what is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay forms from the end result of weathering volcanic ash and water. It is ideal for internal and external cleansing and detoxification, and it is said to be able to draw out toxins, such as chemical impurities from the body. According to the site Wellness Mama, ‘Bentonite Clay carries a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. When it comes in contact with a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay will absorb the toxin and release it’s minerals for the body to use. Bentonite also helps get oxygen to cells as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead.’ The clay can be used for the body, in detox clay baths; in skin care recipes and as poultices; and is also used to draw impurities from the hair, creating shine, definition and acting as a conditioning treatment.
Bentonite Clay can be used for some of the following, though the list is not exhaustive:
- Detoxification: Bentonite clay can be taken internally to improve intestinal health as well as absorb metals and impurities that will keep them from being absorbed into the body,
- To help heal all types of skin problems such as blemishes, cuts, or burns,
- Bentonite clay can be used in clay baths to draw out infections, heavy metals as well as toxins,
- The clay can be used in hair to clarify and moisturize the hair, as well as remove product build up and impurities. The clay leaves hair smooth, conditioned and with more curl definition,
- It can also be used to create masks to clarify and moisturize the skin of the face to create more smoother and healthy skin.
I have been using Bentonite Clay for a year now for my face and hair (got it from Mareau Super Spar, Windhoek, Namibia), and the results have been as impressive as all the reviews say!
For use on my face I normally mix one part of bentonite clay with three parts of lukewarm water, and mix it into a smooth paste, which I let sit on my face for a total of ten to 20 minutes, or until the clay has dried; this leads to clean, smooth and clarified skin. I also swear by African black soap; (See my post on black soap here). When used in conjunction, my skin has never felt better!
For my hair I use the same mix; however since I have a thick head of hair, I double the recipe and also let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes. The rinsing process still leaves much to be desired, as you have to make sure all the clay is rinsed from your hair and skin which requires a bit of patience. The results are phenomenal: soft, conditioned and well-defined curls (if you have curly hair!).
An important aspect to note when using Bentonite clay is to not use it or let it come into contact with metal as this will reduce its effectiveness; use plastic or glass to mix it together. Do note that if you’re going to take it internally, always consult your doctor first.
Bentonite clay can also be mixed together with other ingredients to enhance its healing and clarifying properties. I will leave you with this recipe: (Taken from Herbalhut.com)
Bentonite Clay Honey Mask
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (I used Afrorage raw honey)
- Equal parts Betonite clay
- Equal parts apply cider vinegar
Mix all the ingredients together, apply the paste to the skin to dry for 10 minutes and rinse it with warm water. Skin will come out smooth and cleansed.