In my bathroom I have about 7 small paper bags filled with an identical substance. Bentonite clay. They’re basically… everywhere. (Note to self: consolidate their contents into a single glass jar.)

Needless to say, I’m kind of, sort of, definitely obsessed with the stuff. It’s more than an obsession, really — it’s a dependence. I’ve grown to need it. No no, the stuff isn’t addictive, but it has become a staple in both my health and beauty routines that I can’t live without.

First things first, what is bentonite clay?

Bentonite clay is sedimentary clay composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash, the most active deposits of which are in Wyoming and Montana.

It is a “healing clay,” a clay that absorbs impurities such as toxins and heavy metals either when ingested or applied topically. According to Mountain Rose Herbs,

Bentonite is very unusual in the fact that once it becomes hydrated, the electrical and molecular components of the clay rapidly change and produce an “electrical charge”… When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.

It is for this reason that bentonite clay should never be stored in a metal container or stirred with a metal spoon (hence the bamboo spoon in my photos) since the clay absorbs the metals and becomes less effective.

Bentonite clay also has a high concentration of minerals such as silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

A good quality bentonite clay is grey or cream in color, and white bentonite clays should be avoided (since they are likely not actually bentonite). It is very fine, has a velvet feel, is odorless and non-staining.

How do I use bentonite clay?

I have yet to take bentonite clay internally. However, I use it topically in three different manners:

Everyday…

Bentonite clay is the ingredient that puts the “detox” in my DIY all-natural detoxifying deodorant. Not only is it all-natural, but it helps pull toxins from the skin. This is important since we have lymph nodes near our armpits. In essence, it is the anti-antiperspirant.

Every week…

Because of its ability to absorb impurities, bentonite clay works wonders for clogged pores. Pair it with activated charcoal — a medicinal charcoal that also works to absorb impurities — and a little water and you’ve got the Blackhead Busting Blackout Mask. I use it once a week to help maintain a clear complexion.

Every month…

I apply a detox clay foot mask. Yes, a mask on my feet. It’s definitely the best reason to sit back and prop your feet up for 30 minutes! Detoxing your body via the feet is considered to be one of the safest forms of detoxification. I do it once a month to help decrease my body burden.

This is just the beginning…

There are so many uses for this great healing clay! Now I know that 7 bags is a little excessive (I have a habit of buying more before I actually need it!), but it is a great staple for every medicine cabinet.

Do you use bentonite clay for anything in particular? I’d love to hear how!

bentonite clay what is it how to use it

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