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How Bentonite Clay can treat your oily scalp and acne-prone skin

Before there were benzoyl peroxide products and salicylic acid-spiked cleansers to help pimples fade, there was bentonite clay. But how does it work? And does it actually deliver on its skin-clarifying claims? Here’s all you need to know about it and how to include it into your routine for the best results.

Here’s why you should add Bentonite Clay to your skincare routine

Bentonite clay is a natural, mud-like substance formed from volcanic ash around 2.6 million years ago. It’s also known as Montmorillonite clay, after the French region where it was discovered. It is well-known as a skin-care ingredient in face masks, but it also occurs in cleansers and scrubs. It absorbs so much that it acts like a sponge, binding to oil and grime on the skin’s surface.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you Google “bentonite clay,” you’ll get two distinct results. You’ll find calcium bentonite clay in skincare because it’s mild and rich in mineral calcium, which helps to enhance cell turnover, boost moisture retention, and maintain an intact skin barrier.

Sodium bentonite clay, on the other hand, is used as a sealant in lakes and ponds to prevent leakage. If you’re looking for bentonite clay to use on your skin, make sure you buy the calcium kind.

How is bentonite clay beneficial for the skin?

Because bentonite clay performs a fantastic vanishing act on grease and other impurities, it’s an excellent choice for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. It controls sebum production, gives a matte finish, and reduces the appearance of visible pores. Its antioxidant elements and anti-inflammatory qualities soothe irritated breakouts while temporarily tightening pores, leaving skin feeling as if it’s been shrink-wrapped.

Bentonite clay for hair

Bentonite clay may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to shinier, healthier-looking hair, but it might be the missing piece of the puzzle. It can exfoliate and deeply cleanse the scalp in the same way that it clarifies the skin on the face. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help in the treatment of certain scalp dermatitis and flaking. Furthermore, its rich mineral content nourishes the scalp skin and hair follicles.

Are there any risks?

Bentonite clay is typically well-tolerated, according to experts. However, you should only get it from trusted brands. Experts nevertheless advise patch-testing by putting a little amount to your inner forearm before using it on your face and discontinuing use if discomfort occurs.

The only caveat is that this clay may be a moisture-zapper. To reduce the drying effects, a mild moisturiser used immediately afterwards should suffice. This clay should not be used in conjunction with treatments that accelerate cell turnover, according to experts, or you may feel redness and sensitivity. Avoid using physical exfoliants on the day you mask since they might cause micro-tears in the skin. To avoid inflammation, avoid acids and retinoids as well.

All Images: Courtesy Unsplash

Anushka Narula
Anushka likes to write about fashion, beauty, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she likes to make her Pinterest boards come to life.
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