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What is Bentonite Clay, and How to Use it to Cleanse and Purify Naturally

Posted by The Salt Box on 8th Nov 2019

Bentonite Clay is the new natural beauty product that everyone is talking about. But Bentonite Clay is not a new product, it has been used for centuries by many ancient cultures including Indigenous Australians and North Americans, and the ancient Aztecs. Egyptians even used Bentonite to preserve their mummies. Today, the powerful cleansing and purifying properties of this natural product are still relevant and this has made Bentonite a highly sought-after product for those interested in natural beauty and wellness products.

Bentonite Clay Powder

What is Bentonite Clay?

Bentonite clay began as volcanic ash, which was deposited to the surface of the earth millions of years ago. Gradually, over time, the minute glass particles found in the ash was compressed by either a sea or river bed to form a mineral clay compound. Because of its fine particle size and loosely bound ions, Bentonite is very effective in drawing toxins and pollutants away from the body, and therefore is used in many beauty and wellness products.

Sodium Bentonite vs Calcium Bentonite: What’s the difference?

There are two forms of Bentonite Clay – Sodium Bentonite, and Calcium Bentonite. Both are predominately made up of crystalline clay minerals (Alumino-silicate) as well as either Sodium or Calcium. It is therefore the Sodium or Calcium component that give the 2 Bentonite Clays very different properties.

Sodium Bentonite is extremely absorbent and adsorbent – meaning it has the properties to swell and draw pollutants into its internal structure (absorb), as well at being able to attract positively charged substances (such as toxins) to its negatively charged surface (adsorb). It is these properties that make Sodium Bentonite – also known as Swelling Clay – such a powerful purifying substance.

Calcium Bentonite is non-swelling mineral, which is not as commonly used in beauty and wellness applications.

What is Bentonite Clay Used for?

There are many uses for bentonite clay in the beauty and wellness arena, as this product is highly versatile and can be used on the skin, in baths and even internally. Some common uses are:

  • Powerful Face Mask
  • Deep Skin Cleanser – used in body wraps
  • To tighten and tone the skin
  • Relief from Skin conditions
  • To fight effects of daily pollution
  • As a detox bath
  • As an internal cleanser

Bentonite Clay


How to Use Bentonite Clay:

Never allow your bentonite clay to touch metallic bowls or implements. Always moisturise well after use.

Face Mask: Make a paste from 3 parts water or apple cider vinegar with 1 part clay. Massage into the skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. Let dry for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

Detox Bath: Gradually mix 1-4 cups of clay with warm water in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add to a warm bath. Soak for 20 mins. You may wish to rinse after bathing to remove excess clay from your body. Moisturise well.

Internal Use: 5 grams (approximately 1 heaped teaspoon) stirred into a drink or smoothie.

Is it safe to eat bentonite clay?

Our Australian sourced Bentonite Clay is food grade and therefore safe to consume orally in small amounts. Consuming Bentonite may offer some health benefits including improved gut health by adsorbing oils and bacteria from the digestive tract. However, consuming excessive amounts of Bentonite Clay may increase your risk of constipation, due to its highly absorptive nature. In addition, due to the propensity of Bentonite Clay to attract heavy metals, always ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable brand which is Food Grade tested and approved.