How to Make & Use a Bentonite Clay Face Mask (and why you should!)

 Acne is the absolute worst. If you haven’t already, you can read about my acne “journey” (more like black hole) here. I have been trying everything to clear up my hormonal acne without going on any medications or pills. Vitamins, supplements, every kind of face wash, face cream, spot treatment, diet changes…you name it–I’ve tried it. Each has worked okay, nothing has been perfect.

My acne’s not gone, but I have seen noticeable changes to my skin after using a Bentonite Clay face mask twice a week for the past month or so. I discovered this “Aztec Secret” after washing my hormonal-acne-riddled face one night, heading into the vast WWW and desperately searching for answers. When I came upon Bentonite Clay on Amazon and read the reviews, I ordered a jar immediately.

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

What is Bentonite Clay? According to Mountain Rose Herbs,

“Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. Bentonite Clay is a unique clay due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy meats, impurities and chemicals.

Here’s what you’ll need:

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

So here’s what you do:

1. Scoop out a few spoonfuls of clay into your plastic bag (you could use a bowl, but it’s 10x easier to mix it in a bag!). Make sure you use a plastic utensil and bag (or bowl)–do not use anything metal. It messes up the clay’s electric charge (which is important, because that’s what allows it to draw out the toxins and junk in your pores!).

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

2. Add the same amount of water or Apple Cider Vinegar if you have oily skin, then a little more until the correct consistency is achieved. It should be like yogurt (regular yogurt, not thick Greek yogurt!).

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

3. Leave some air in bag and seal it. Mix up the clay and water or ACV by shaking and kneading your bag.

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

4. Now, use your face mask brush and apply a thin layer of clay on your face. There will be clumps in your mixture; avoid them, just use the mixed parts. Oh–don’t go crazy. You want the mask to have time to dry, keep it thin!

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

Here’s the thickness you’re going for:

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs

5. Wait 15-20 minutes, or until you literally cannot move your face because the clay has completely hardened. Bentonite clay is like a sponge…when it’s wet, it expands. As it dries, it contracts. This means that as your mask dries, it will literally feel like your face is pulsating and being sucked off by the clay. In some ways, that is what’s happening–the clay draws out toxins, impurities, oils, and any other junk in your pores while it dries!

Here’s an up close photo of what your desert face will look like (it’s kind of scary):

How to make and use a bentonite clay face mask | Blair Blogs6. Using warm water and a washcloth, gently remove your face mask.

7. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and moisturize. Your face will probably be very red–this is normal! Don’t freak out. Because everything in your pores was sucked out, your face is a bit raw and red. This will go away in about an hour!

8. Repeat about once week.

Have I convinced you to try a Bentonite Clay face mask? It’s super cool guys. Your pores literally get vacuumed out by clay! I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to try that? (If you need clay, buy it here. A face mask brush? Buy it here.)

Have you ever tried a Bentonite Clay facial? Tell me all about it!

This post has been featured on Thank Your Body Thursday & Party Wave Wednesday.

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Howdy! I'm Blair, and I write on this lovely little slice of the interwebs. Thank you for stopping by! I'm a lover of: daisies, coffee, sunsets, Jesus, laughter, New Girl, candles, and warm towels. I don't care for: pessimism, sunburn, seafood, accounting, or the color red. Please comment or email me at blair@blairblogs.com if you'd like to chat!

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Comments

  1. Can we use our fingers? Or does having the brush really make a difference? I’m really curious, this stuff looks like it’s got some super neat science behind it!

  2. Katie Beech says:

    I’m definitely going to try this! But is it safe to rinse out the brush in the sink? Just want to make sure before I mess up anything…

    • Rinse out the brush in your kitchen sink (for the garbage disposal)–but first, get all the clumps off. Rinse as much as possible to avoid clay clogging your sink!

      xo,
      b

  3. If you haven’t already, try washing your face with raw, organic honey. It works great for me and I hear it is also great for acne prone skin. Thank you for the clay information!

    • My best friend swears by washing her face with honey! I’m afraid it will be a sticky mess, but she promises that it isn’t. I have to try it now that you’re recommending it, too! :)

      xo,
      b

    • Do NOT use honey on your skin!! The sugar FEEDS the bacteria, aggravating the situation (acne) and making it worse :( Stick to clay ladies!! Bentonite clay is great, but if you have dry/sensitive/mature skin, try Rhassoul (from Morocco) or French green clay :) Both are wonderful, and my clients swear by it ;)
      (I am an Organic Skin Care Therapist)

  4. Can I do do this like 3-4 times a weeks?

    • I wouldn’t recommend doing it that frequently. 1 or 2 times a week is best, otherwise you’ll suck all the natural, necessary oils out of your pores and break out more because of oil overproduction! Let me know how it works for you! Thanks!

      xo,
      b

  5. Is it ok to use this mask while pregnant?

  6. wow. my face turned bright red after using clay of bentonite. I was totally freaked out untilI found your post. Thanks!!!

    • :-) I had the same reaction! It makes sense, though, after you think about it. If your pores are being sucked out, your face is going to be a bit red! Glad I could help alleviate your concerns.

      xo,
      b

  7. So I used organic raw apple cider vinegar and it kinda made my face itch while having the mask on. Is this normal?

    • Yes, this is normal! It’s because the mask removes all the moisture from your skin, taking all the oil out. Because of this, it can be irritating. Next time, try using water or don’t leave it on as long!

      Thanks for reading, Tyler! :)

      xo,
      b

  8. Did you find it dried your out too much or irritated you? I suffer from combination skin with a really oily yet sensitive T zone :(

    • It isn’t drying if you use a great face wash and moisturizer after the mask! And don’t use it too frequently. I’d recommend using the OCM (oil cleansing method) if I were you…I bet it’d balance out your skin!

      xo,
      b

  9. Aboutclay.com recommends using a hydrated clay mask twice a day for two weeks and then scaling back to twice a week. I mixed mine with rose water which is also very good for your skin. I too have been dealing with hormonal acne (thanks to the starting birth control) and am on my second week and let me tell you; my skin looks great! I still have acne on my chin and neck but it has improved and my pores on my forehead , nose and cheeks which were large are almost invisible! Oh and the reason your face turns red is because it increases the blood circulation to the skin, which aids in the healing process. You can also take the clay internally which is also supposed to have amazing results but I haven’t tried that yet.

  10. Bentonite clay masks can do amazing things, but you should NOT let it dry on your skin. Once it begina drying it becomes ineffective and can actually harm your skin more than it will help it. I mix bentonite clay with raw organic honey and apple cider vinegar and its done a fabulous job at clearing up my skin.

  11. I’ve heard that you should NOT let the clay dry completely on you skin . Any idea about which it should really be?

    • Hey Manda,

      Whenever I do the clay mask it never dries completely in the time I leave it on. There are always a few places where it’s a little sticky…but it works well for me!

      xo,
      b

  12. Meredith says:

    Hi Blair,
    I did this mask a couple days ago, and now my skin is breaking out everywhere. Hoping that this is just the toxins coming out? I’ve heard this can happen when you first do a face mask.

    • I’m not an expert in any way, but I have also heard that these masks can draw out toxins and cause a preliminary breakout. Stick with it for another week or two and if your skin doesn’t look better, ditch the mask and try something else. I bet it’s just all the junk being brought the surface, though! Keep me posted!

      xo,
      b

  13. I’m so glad I found your post! I have tried bentonite clay mask twice now, once with water and the other with acv and I was a bit scared at how red and hot my face was afterwards!!! It looked like I had really bad sunburn. The first few minutes it’s on it stings a little too, not sure if that’s ok. I have actually been putting off having it internally as I thought maybe I was having a reaction, thanks for adding that comment in your instructions. I have also used it recently on one spot and the next day the redness had gone.
    Thanks again

  14. Anonnie says:

    I tried my first bentonite clay mask a few days ago. I used water as the liquid. I have very sensitive combo skin (much more dry than oily), so was hesitant to use anything acidic.

    My comment/question is I couldn’t get the consistency of the mask to be like yours. Believe me, I stirred that stuff in a bowl until my arm was ready to fall off. I ending up having to pour out the excess water. The rest of the stuff was clumpy in some areas and clear liquidy in others. I used the clear liquidy part all over my face and put the clumps right on the blemishes.

    The liquidy part was somewhat thick, so this indicates that there was some blending of the clay with the water, but not as much as I envisioned. I was anticipating the consistency to be more evenly distributed like yours. It was not, despite my laborious efforts.

    However, I will say I still saw somewhat of a benefit. I left the mask on apprx 25-30 minutes. I washed off the mask gently with a wash cloth and warm water. Then washed my face with a gentle cleanser. My face was red and tight, which I would expect it to be somewhat. Yet, I also think I left mine on too long. Didn’t know about not letting it dry the whole way through. After this, I went to bed for the night. I believe the blemishes became less inflamed, shrank somewhat and the overall appearance of my face seemed a little brighter. Then apprx 24 hours later, a small blemish appeared under my lower lip, which makes sense if the mask was pulling toxins up to the surface.

    If you have any ideas of getting a better consistency, please let me know.

    The horror of having severe acne is devastating I used to have porcelain skin, but something occurred internally (hormonal?) about 1 year ago and I’ve been battling severe painful acne that persists and responds little to the vast number of things I’ve been tying. The breakouts were so big, red severe and painful, they were actually pulsating due to the inflammation. Everything seemed to irritate it. I truly look diseased.

    I am a clean person and I take my skin care very seriously. I use only organic and natural products on my face. For the most part, I use natural products on the rest of the skin on my body too. I eat a mostly healthy diet and cut out things that are bad for your skin (coffee, sugar, flour, etc.), I drink 12-16 glasses of water a day, I wear very little make-up (I’m allergic to many of the preservatives).
    There isn’t 1 thing I can point to and say, a-ha!!, that’s what’s causing my severe breakouts!!
    It continues to be a mystery.

    I have hope the bentonite clay will help. I’ve read great things about it. I’m beginning to take it internally as well (a little clay mixed with water & chug it). GROSS!!!!!!!! But I will try to continue to follow through and really give this a fair shot.

    I apologize for the lengthy post. I’ve been up – down – and side to side with trying to find anything that would help my severe acne issues (probably cystic acne – derm MD will tell me today what it is…hopefully).

    Thanks for your blog. You are helping people with something that isn’t taken very seriously. Our skin – the largest organ in our bodies. My belief is skin-care is health-care.

    Thanks, again. :)

    • Hey Anonnie! (Awesome name, by the way!)

      I’m sorry that you’re struggling with your skin. I totally, totally understand how painful and frustrating it is! I will say upfront that I have been on an antibiotic to help with inflammation as well as a topical gel (both prescribed by my dermatologist) and for the first time in nearly 2 years, my skin is clear. I tried every single natural route to no avail, so I decided to try what my dermatologist recommended. It worked! Modern medicine wins this time.

      As far as the consistency of the mask, try using a small ziploc bag and scooping a little clay and some water in the bag. Remember not to use a metal utensil as your scoop!! Then mash the water and clay together with your hands while the bag is sealed. That works really, really well for me. Perhaps you were using a metallic utensil or bowl? Let me know if this works.

      I’m glad to hear the clay worked for you…hopefully with a better consistency, it’ll work even better! If you try everything else and exhaust your options, perhaps a prescription from the dermatologist is your best bet. I love natural remedies, but my skin was so bad that it started to effect my self-confidence and body image. I’m really glad I took my dermatologist’s advice–it worked!

      Best of luck to you! We’re in this together! :)

      xo,
      b

    • When you mentioned that you suddenly started having break outs after not having trouble with them, it reminded me of my skin. Your diet is more closely tied to your skin than most people think. I have Celiac’s disease (no gluten for me), and I’ve also recently discovered I also have a sensitivity to casein, which is a protein found in dairy products (not lactose, which is a sugar). The dairy really sets of my skin, and when I eat it, I can count on a (painful) breakout within 2-3 days. I struggled with acne all through high school, college, and some after, and nothing worked, but when I stopped eating dairy, it was like magic happened on my face. I’ve also noticed that sugar and caffeine also make things worse. I know that a diet change is a huge deal, but it’s so worth it if that’s what works for you (and clear skin isn’t the only benefit!). I hope that you find a solution!

      • Hey Hillary!

        I’ve heard that dairy, sugar, and caffeine, can really help skin. I’m scared to death to cut them out but I’d really like to try!

        xo,
        b

  15. mariela says:

    I have been doing it for two weeks now i use apple vinegar and water… i do it every
    Night and omg i seen a difference my scars are fading and i have less pimples..

    • Crazy how well it works!

      xo,
      b

      • Clarissa Carmona says:

        I’ve been using bentonite clay for several years now , I mix raw manuka honey organic apple cider vinegar and I’m told NOT to let it dry out , this mix has worked wonderfully for me aside from my consption of liquid bentonite clay which also does awesome internal healing

  16. Hi Blair! I found this because I bought some bentonite clay and had the same problem as Anonnie where I couldn’t figure out how to form it into a “clay mask”. I love the ziplock idea! I also read somewhere of someone using a plastic (tight fitting top) tupperware to shake it up.

    I just wanted to say that I found this (and several other clays!) at my local Natural Foods Co-Op in the bulk bins (seemed very cheap per ounce). So, if you’re not into buying it online or just want to try it out, I suggest searching at a natural foods store/ co-op or Whole Foods maybe if you have a similar store nearby?

    Looking forward to finally making a non-lumped up version this week with a baggy!

  17. be careful using a plastic bag because since it absorbs everything, it’s absorbing all the nasty chemicals of the bag!

  18. I love the ziplock bag idea!!!

    I’ve only tried using the clay once or twice on my T zone. I suffer from sweat zits and blackheads on my forhead and roscia on my cheeks.

    I’m going to first try it on my forhead just to be sure i dont have a bad reaction.

    I may try it with my rosewater. I’ll keep you posted :)

    thanks for blogging about this. It’s always nice to have people to relate too :)

  19. Never ever wait for your mask to dry as it sucks the natural moisture from your skin and creates dehydration of skin cells which in turn causes cell damage.

  20. Terri Berry says:

    I have tried one application of clay and ACV. I’ve never had skin problems, I’m 46 and all of a sudden my face is red, itchy and hot. I look like I have a bad sunburn. Great. So I applied the mask and left it on for 30 min. My face was really red afterwards but I noticed it didn’t burn like it did before. The irritation let up. It came back a few hours later, but this was only one application. I am hopeful after time, my redness will go away along with the burning and itching. I also use coconut oil as a moisturizer.

  21. Thank you, I literally just did this and my face is so red! I am relieved to know I didn’t hurt my skin. None of the recipes or blogs I read prepared me for how red my face would be afterwards. I appreciate you being clear about the immediate results!

  22. I love the Bentonite clay mask! I, also, want to make sure everyone knows that you can mix it in water, put it in capsule, etc. whatever your heart desires and it is AMAZING at fighting illness. I have a rather lousy immune system and always, always catch sickness that goes around but since I have discovered Bentonite clay, every time I feel a sickness coming on, I mix a bit in my water and I’m feeling great again! Lovely dirt! It works so well for so many things =D

    • This is AWESOME information! Thanks for sharing, Miranda! :)

      xo,
      b

    • Good point. I was sick earlier this week and made a mixture of bentonite clay, chamomile essential oil, bergamot essential oil, and apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s) with water and added it to a hot bath. Hot steam always helps when a cold comes on it seems though.

  23. I love this mask too. But it leaves my skin so dry so i cant use it on a regular basis or it will leave my skin dryyyy. I love how I can feel like it is sucking the impurities out of my skin. I have hormonal acne on cheeks and it comes back on the same spot :( I am tired of trying to get rid of it :(

    http://www.sarmash.com

  24. I love using bentonite clay on my face and have seen such a great improvement on my acne and pore size. Just a suggestion for those getting a clumpy mask, always add the clay to the liquid not the liquid to the clay and you will find the consistency much easier to work with ☺

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