Before benzoyl peroxide creams and cleansers with salicylic acid To remove blackheads, there was bentonite clay, dating back millions of years. This earthy powder – named after Fort Benton, a city in Wyoming, USA, which has some of the world’s largest deposits of this material – stands out for its ability to remove impurities from the skin.
Although it’s relatively easy to find in its pure form, it can also appear in products to treat T-zone shine or skin irritated by breakouts. Bentonite clay purges the pores of dirt, excess sebum and pollution. It’s also great for dirty hair and scalp that have built up products.
But how does it work? We researched this ingredient and how to incorporate it into your beauty routine for best results.
What is bentonite and what is it used for?
Bentonite is a very fine-grained clay of the montmorillonite type, formed from volcanic ash. It consists mainly of minerals and needs to be activated with water so that it acquires a pasty, mud-like consistency.
As a skincare ingredient, it’s legendary in face masks, but it also shows up in cleansers and scrubs for good reason: Bentonite clay is so absorbent that it binds to oil and dirt on the skin’s surface. This clay has a negative electrical charge that attracts impurities. When it comes into contact with the skin, the clay undergoes a change in texture. It thickens and forms a gel matrix to trap oil and traces of makeup and other products so they can be easily washed off with water.
There are two types of bentonite clay: calcium and sodium. The former is used in skin care because it is gentle and rich in the mineral calcium, which helps improve cell turnover, increase moisture retention and maintain an intact skin barrier. Instead, sodium is used as a sealant to prevent leaks in lakes and ponds. If you are going to buy it in its purest form, make sure it is the calcium one!
Editor’s tip: Do you need a deep cleaning? Try the shampoo Y TRESemmé Detox Anti-Pollution Conditionerformulated with aloe vera and coconut to purify the greasy hair of smog pollution. In addition, its infusion of vitamin C leaves the strands soft, nourished and healthy. They do not contain silicones, parabens or colorants.
What benefits does bentonite clay have?
Bentonite clay helps control sebum production, creates a matte finish, and minimizes the appearance of prominent pores. Its antioxidant minerals (known as phyllosilicates) and anti-inflammatory properties soothe breakouts and temporarily tighten pores. It is a good option for oily or acne-prone skin.
Similarly, it exfoliates and deeply cleanses the scalp. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help with some dermatitis and scaling of the scalp. In addition, its high mineral content conditions the skin of the scalp and hair follicles.
It can also be used as a substitute for purifying shampoo to remove residue and product buildup. It is also excellent for adding texture and hold to hair.
Editor’s tip: Bentonite clay is not detoxifying as some claim. While it has absorbent properties and can help remove impurities, dirt, and particles that accumulate on the skin during the day, it does not have the ability to filter out toxins (applied topically). Only your liver and lungs can do that!
Bentonite clay: how is it used?
Make a mask by combining one part powdered bentonite clay with one part water or Apple cider vinegar to create a paste. Clay has an alkaline pH; the vinegar neutralizes the alkalinity to make the mixture smoother. It also maintains the pH of the skin at a normal level of 5.5.
You can apply the bentonite clay mask to the face or scalp, working it down to the ends of the hair.
You can also rely on ready-made formulas, which are more consistent and offer more reliable results. Many are enriched with ingredients such as aloe vera and glycerinwhich replenish moisture, or kaolin clay, for gentle exfoliation.
Important: do not allow the mask to harden on your skin or hair. While wet, the clay soothes and absorbs excess oil, but as it dries it can cause dehydration or irritation. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes, rinse it off, and apply a mild cleanser.
If you use this ingredient as part of an acne regimen, you can apply it two to three times a week. If you have sensitive skin, use it once a week and gradually increase if there is no irritation.
One last trick is to add a small amount of clay powder to your styling cream (or similar product) to give your hair texture and hold.
Where do you get bentonite clay?
Bentonite clay is available in powder form at drug stores, beauty supply stores, or health food stores. However, we suggest buying from reputable brands, as some may contain toxic heavy metals like lead. Also consider that it contains aluminum.
The post How to use bentonite clay to purify oily skin and hair appeared first on All Things Hair Mexico.