How Bentonite Clay Works

Scientists believe that bentonite clay works by adsorbing oils and dirt from the skin. The theory is that bentonite clay adsorbs materials by sticking to their molecules or ions.

As the clay leaves the body, it takes the toxin or other molecules with it. When a person uses it on the skin, bentonite clay may have the power to adsorb oils and bacteria. When they consume the clay, it may adsorb toxins or other unwanted substances from the digestive tract.

Bentonite clay contains natural minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which may provide additional benefits. Bentonite clay forms from volcanic ash.

It gets its name from Fort Benton in Wyoming, where it occurs in large amounts. People can also find this clay in other places where volcanic ash has settled into the ground. Montmorillonite clay, named after Montmorillon in France, is the same type of clay.

The following list looks at the benefits of bentonite clay and what the research says.

Some people ingest bentonite clay with the aim of removing toxins from the body. This may be one of its most well-studied benefits. Various studies suggest that bentonite clay may reduce the effects of toxins.

For example, a study on chicks found that bentonite clay reduced the effects of a toxin called aflatoxin B1, which comes from certain types of mould.

Chicks that received a concentrated bentonite clay product had fewer toxic effects than those who did not receive the clay.

Another study trusted Source looked at the effects of montmorillonite clay, which is very similar to bentonite clay, on reducing toxins in children in Ghana, West Africa. In the study area, aflatoxins in homemade nutritional supplements are linked with poor growth and related disabilities.

The researchers found that children who received a calcium montmorillonite clay product each day for two weeks had fewer signs of aflatoxins in their urine than those who did not receive it.

In a small-scale animal study, rats consumed wastewater that contained cyanide.

Researchers gave some of the rats various amounts of bentonite clay or a placebo. Those that received the most clay had the lowest amount of the toxin in their bodies after three weeks.

Scientists need to conduct more research before they can confirm that bentonite clay is safe and effective for use in humans.

How To Use

  • Mix up to 1 teaspoon (tsp) of bentonite clay with 6–8 ounces (oz) of purified water and drink once per day.
  • People can buy bentonite clay powder in drug stores or choose from many brands online. Be sure to choose a form of clay that the manufacturer has labelled as edible.
  • Take bentonite clay at least 2 hours before or after taking any medications. Because it can adsorb other molecules, bentonite clay may bind to some medications and reduce their effectiveness.

10 Uses for Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is a clay that is mined from the earth. It's composed of volcanic ash that has weathered and aged in the presence of water.

Bentonite clay, as well as other healing clays, are well known for its ability to heal and to help your body get rid of toxins.

Bentonite clay has a strong negative electromagnetic charge, and when it's activated by water, it works like a magnet in and on our bodies.

It pulls the metals and toxins into itself, therefore pulling all sorts of impurities and chemicals.

There are a number of health benefits and uses for bentonite clay…

volcanic ash cream

Use bentonite clay to make your own shampoo.

For soft, voluminous hair, mix 2-3 tablespoons of bentonite clay with an equal amount of filtered water or apple cider vinegar.

Apply the clay mixture to damp hair, leave it on for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

If you mix the clay with water, I recommend following the washing with an apple cider vinegar rinse to avoid drying.

Make a facial mask with bentonite clay.

Bentonite clay tightens and tones the skin, and its absorbing properties can draw out impurities from deep within. To make a facial mask, mix 2-3 tablespoons of clay powder with equal amounts of water or apple cider vinegar. Follow up with this DIY facial serum and homemade facial oil moisturizer.

Apply the mixture in a thick but even layer to the face, and allow it to dry for about 10-15 minutes. It should feel tight and slightly tingly. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. For best results, use once or twice a week.

Use bentonite clay to take a detox bath.

Add 1-2 cups of bentonite clay to your bathwater, and soak for about 20 minutes. This will draw toxins out of your skin.

Because of its electromagnetic properties, clumps of clay may stick to a particular area of the body where toxins have surfaced. If any spots of clay are left on your skin after rinsing, rub gently with a washcloth.

Make a deodorant for sensitive skin.

Bentonite clay helps to absorb moisture from your underarms and eliminate body odour without causing irritation.

Try this DIY natural deodorant solid that's incredibly easy to make.

Use bentonite clay to remineralize your teeth.

After bentonite clay does its work drawing toxins out of the mouth, it leaves behind minerals that are nourishing for the teeth.

Try this homemade squeezable toothpaste by Homemade Mommy to remineralize your teeth.

Soothe burns and cuts

Mix clay and water until it has a paste-like consistency, and apply it to the burn or cut.

Wrap it in plastic wrap or wet gauze after applying to keep the paste from drying. Change the bandages and paste them every two hours as needed.

Get digestive relief

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of bentonite clay into a full glass of water, let it soak for at least 30 minutes and then drink.

Caution: Don't use more than the recommended amount of clay, as a thick, muddy mixture can cause constipation.

It's recommended to follow your clay water with a glass of plain water to keep the clay from settling.

Help with viruses and food poisoning.

Bentonite clay helps to draw out pathogenic viruses, herbicides and pesticides, and heavy metals.

To draw out these toxins, consume 1/2 to 1 tsp of bentonite clay powder mixed with water. Please consult with your doctor or seek medical attention as needed.

Make an anti-itch cream.

Bentonite clay can be used on skin ailments such as insect bites. Mix a small amount of clay powder and water into a paste, and apply to the affected area. Let dry, and leave it on the skin until it flakes off.

Rinse off any residue with water.

Add to your favourite recipe for a cleanse

Headaches, allergic reactions, fatigue, sinus infection, and other health issues are often the result of toxin buildup in the body's organs.

To cleanse your internal organs, you can add 1-2 tsp of bentonite clay powder to a smoothie or your favourite food. Be sure to stay hydrated or take it with fibre to help it pass through your digestive system quickly.

Types of Clay Mask

There are several types of clay masks, and each one has its own mineral components and skin benefits:

  • Kaolin clay, also known as china clay, is a popular component of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. It is gentle on the skin, so it's recommended for sensitive skin or for starting with a mild clay option. Kaolin clay is usually white but also comes in yellow, red, and brown. It gently absorbs oil and provides slight exfoliation of the skin. It may also brighten skin because it is thought to promote circulation. If you have experienced mild acne, kaolin clay could be helpful in gently absorbing the excess oil that leads to breakouts.
  • Bentonite is a swelling clay that expands when it's mixed with water. This ultra-absorbent clay is best for those with very oily skin because it easily absorbs excess oil and bacteria on your face. It is also believed to tighten skin because of its absorbing powers. Bentonite clay masks come in a variety of colours, including white, yellow, red, brown, and black. If you're new to clay masks, try bentonite clay on a small portion of your skin first to see how you react before applying it to your whole face.1  
  • French green clay gets its colour from decomposed plant matter like algae or chlorophyll. It is known for its exfoliating properties and ability to pull dirt and impurities from skin pores. It's also believed to improve blood circulation.
  • Fuller's earth clay is known to be one of the most powerful absorbing clays and is probably not the best option for those with sensitive skin. It strongly pulls impurities and dirt from your pores and should not be used more than once per week. It can also have a slight bleaching effect on the skin.
  • Rhassoul clay is rich in minerals and has powerful absorption properties. If you tend to have skin that's on the oilier side, rhassoul clay may help prevent and help remove blackheads.

7 Benefits Of Using A Clay Mask

volcanic ash cream

Clay is an effective skincare ingredient that's been used by ancient civilizations for centuries, and today, one of the best ways to utilize its powers is by using a clay face mask.

Generally, clay masks have been known to benefit oily skin types, but they can also work well on other skin types, including dry and combination skin. From brightening skin to unclogging pores, clay face masks are amazing skincare products that can help enhance your overall complexion.

If you haven't tried one out yet, keep reading below for our product recommendations and to learn more about the benefits of using clay masks. 


Throughout the day, dirt, oil, and pollution can build up on the surface of your skin, leaving it feeling rough. Dead skin cells also accumulate on the skin's surface and, if they aren't properly removed and can lead to breakouts down the line.

That's why it's important to exfoliate regularly and remove any buildup that may be lingering on the skin's surface.

Reach for the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask.

The charcoal ingredient acts like a magnet to clean out pores and draw out and capture deep impurities. 


If your complexion is looking kind of dull, it's time to brighten things up by using a clay face mask. Overall, skin dullness is often a result of a lack of proper exfoliation and skin maintenance.

But using a clay mask like the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask for just ten minutes a few times a week can help keep your complexion looking fresh and bright. 

Editor's Tip: After you wash off the mask, apply a few drops of the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum to your face 3It will hydrate, brighten and leave you with firmer-looking skin in just one week.

This serum works to hydrate, brighten and leave you with firmer-looking skin in just one week.


Have oily skin? A clay mask can help mattify the appearance of your complexion for a shine-free look. Oily skin can also suffer from external factors like pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing, which can damage the skin's moisture barrier, leading to a loss of moisture.

As a result, your complexion can end up looking overly shiny because your skin will work to overproduce oil to make up for the lack of moisture. 


Over time, harsh cleansing can be drying and sensitizing, leaving skin feeling uncomfortable. Also, in the wintertime, the cold, dry air can leave your skin feeling extra sensitive.

As a result, the skin needs cleaning that is effective yet gentle. The right clay mask can cleanse skin gently without causing any irritation and leave your skin looking hydrated and feeling soothed.


You can't get rid of your pores, but you can help reduce their appearance. If refining your pores is a primary skincare concern for you, using a clay mask, like the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask, can help minimize them.

It's formulated with red algae (an antioxidant-rich plant) and can help address rough skin, deeply clean clogged pores, and polish skin for a smooth complexion with minimized pores.


We've said it a million times, but we'll say it again: letting dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and debris build up on the surface of your skin for too long will lead to breakouts.

It's inevitable—but don't assume breaking out is simply fated. Using a clay mask two or three times a week to remove dead skin cells and purify your skin of excess oil and dirt can work wonders in helping to keep your complexion under control.


If your skin seems to fall on both ends of the spectrum—dry and oily in different zones—then you probably have combination skin.

Using a clay mask can help balance combination skin and, unlike other masks, not leave it overly dry or irritated. We recommend using the multi-masking technique so that you can address all your skincare concerns at once.