8 Ways to Use Bentonite Clay in Your Beauty Routine

This versatile, natural clay can do wonders to your hair and skin.

Gray bentonite clay in a bowl. Diy facial mask and body wrap recipe. Top view, copy space.
kazmulka / Getty Images

Bentonite clay is an aluminum phyllosilicate clay that has been used in a variety of ways for centuries. Named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, where it is abundantly found, this clay's absorption and antimicrobial properties make it a popular skincare ingredient. It can exfoliate the skin and clear up impurities, and it has even been used in the past to treat certain diseases.

Buy yourself a package of high-grade bentonite clay for DIY beauty recipes, and it will quickly become a staple in your natural beauty cabinet. Here are 8 ways you can add bentonite clay to your beauty and skincare routines.

1. Make a Face Mask

A black woman with clay facial mask looks at herself in the mirror.

Grace Cary / Getty Images

Treating yourself to a self-care day? We recommend a bentonite clay face mask. This clay is commonly found in store-bought face masks, but making your own ensures what you're putting on your face is completely natural and free of chemicals.

To make the mask, combine bentonite clay and water (1:3 is the recommended ratio) to create a paste. Then, apply it to your face. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and rinse off for noticeably smoother, clearer skin.

2. Add to Your Oral Hygiene Routine

Toothpaste by activated charcoal powder on marble table
trumzz / Getty Images

Bentonite clay is a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste, particularly charcoal toothpaste and other products, because it cleans thoroughly while providing antibacterial properties.

To use bentonite clay as a dentifrice, blend 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay, 4 tablespoons water, and 1⁄8 teaspoon of sea salt. Bonus: A mixture of 1⁄2 tsp of clay with 1⁄4 cup water can be used as a remineralizing mouthwash.

3. Bathe With Bentonite Clay

A black woman drawing a bath.

Jack Hollingsworth / Getty Images

Research shows that bentonite clay has been used to alleviate skin irritation. Its soothing capabilities can be maximized in a nice, hot bath. Fill a tub and add 1-2 cups of clay. Mix to combine, then soak yourself and relax. Rinse off any excess clay.

4. Create a DIY Soap

Wooden hairbrush, spoon with blue bentonite clay powder, soap bar and loofah sponge. Natural beauty treatment, skip-care or zero waste concept. Top view, copy space.
kazmulka / Getty Images

Long before modern-day soaps, clays were used to cleanse the body. Bentonite clay's absorption properties allow it to function as an effective detoxifier that attracts and absorbs grease and impurities. Try adding bentonite clay to a DIY soap recipe to reap these benefits.

5. Add to Your Hair Care Routine

In addition to their use as soap, clays are often used in shampoos and conditioning agents. Just as bentonite clay works well in soaps for high absorption properties, it functions in hair care the same way. There are plenty of easy, DIY shampoo bar recipes if you want to get creative and make your own natural shampoo.

6. Reduce Puffy Eyes

Gray bentonite clay in a bowl. Diy facial mask and body wrap recipe. Top view, copy space.
kazmulka / Getty Images

If your eyes are tired and puffy, undereye bags are becoming more prominent, fear not—you can apply a thick layer of clay paste to alleviate these effects. After applying, let the paste sit for at least 20 minutes.

By doing this a couple of times per week, the clay may reduce some of the undereye inflammation by absorbing excess fluid.

7. Apply an Acne Spot Treatment

Young Woman Applying Moisturizer On Face
Maksim Chernyshev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Again, bentonite clay's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties come in handy in natural acne treatment. If you've got a pimple, make a bentonite clay paste and dab it on. As with the face mask, a 1:3 ratio of clay and water is recommended for best results.

8. Sanitize Hands

Among hand sanitizers, alcohol-based ones are the most common—but they can be harsh on the skin. Cleaning the hands with a paste made from bentonite clay is a potentially gentler way to protect the skin from microbes.

View Article Sources
  1. Moosavi M. (2017). Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief ReviewIranian journal of public health46(9), 1176–1183.