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Using Calcium Bentonite Clay to Clear Problem Skin and Acne: The Process With Mask Recipes

Updated on January 6, 2020
P FOR PEONY profile image

Having worked in the beauty industry, Peony's interest in skincare peaked. She loves discussing about K-beauty and science-based skincare.

 A mask even Cleopatra herself had used.
A mask even Cleopatra herself had used. | Source

Suffering from acne and oily skin is something I used to fret about, I write more about the initial condition of my skin in this page: How I Cleared My Back and Face Acne Naturally

It talks in depth about how I make use of natural, every-day household ingredients to heal my skin and fade blemishes. This article is an expansion of that, predominantly talking about using Calcium Bentonite clay (with other easy to find ingredients) both for treatment and maintenance. There is just too much to rave about, I had to dedicate another page for it!

Bentonite clay deep cleanses and clarify, great in reducing the inflammation in acne-prone skin.
Bentonite clay deep cleanses and clarify, great in reducing the inflammation in acne-prone skin. | Source

What It Is

Calcium Bentonite clay is basically, in 3 words, aged volcanic ash. It can be both ingested for health purposes (depending on the brand) as well as applied topically.

It contains negative electro magnetic charge that draws out positively charged toxins from our body. Cleansing and purging impurities as it does so. When you use it in a mask, you will feel a throbbing feeling and that is actually the clay at work!

⬆ This is what I use for all my detoxing clay mask, AZTEC SECRETS Indian Healing Clay. A small price for a whole lot of product, it lasts forever. A god-sent and very wallet-friendly for when I was a broke student!

I do not use this internally by ingesting, this particular brand of Bentonite clay is intended for "External Use Only". Please read labels and be acutely aware of what you put in your body.

When I make a mud pack with this, I get a little kick out of the tingly, pulsating feeling from the mask. I think it is really satisfying to imagine all the toxins being drawn out! After using the mask for a few times, I realized that the deeply embedded junk from my comedones (clogged pores) where starting to surface as pimples. Now, ladies (and gents), not everyone is going to experience this purging stage. Some people find that their acne simply dried up and flaked off. However, if you find that you are breaking out a bit after masking, do try to stick with it cause you are almost there. Unless you feel really uncomfortable, use your better judgment and stop using it if you feel better that way.

How to Pop Pimples (if You Really Have To)

This is what I do — you can definitely omit this step — before everyone goes on to say leave your pimples alone. Let me put a disclaimer here that I am merely relaying the things I did during my acne healing process.

After these comedones-turned-pimples start to appear; I will give it a day or two to fully ‘develop’. Do not harass the pimples prior to that, no picking too.

After which, I would clean my face with warm water (to soften skin) and a gentle facial cleanser. Next, I'll use two clean cotton buds dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently squeeze out the gunk, I do not use my fingers. Regardless of how much my itchy hands want to.

Firstly, I realized when using my trusty fingers, I tend to apply way too much pressure and bruise the entire area around the pimple. Not so trusty after all.

Secondly, nails are dirty because even when you wash, sometimes you just cannot get to the little cervices and it is germ village there. (Not to mention, my heavy handedness occasionally caused my nails to scrape off some skin. Yikes.)

Finally, I disinfect the area and follow with an antiseptic gel to prevent any infection.

Basically, what I'm saying is: just be very careful of the following points——————————————————————————————————

- Make sure that your pimple is ready/ripe/comes to a head
- Be gentle, easy does it

⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒

REMEMBER: Popping a pimple is, essentially, breaking/wounding your skin. If you are unsure, just leave it alone. That is better than creating a bad scar. Do not apply too much pressure on your pimples, if you find that you require a huge deal of effort to squeeze it clean, it may not be ready to be handled.

Clay Mask / Mud Pack Recipes

Calcium Bentonite can be mixed with various hydrosols and even honey or aloe vera to be made into DIY mud packs, find a mix suited for your skin type!

NOTE: Because of the electro magnetic charges in Calcium Bentonite clay, ALWAYS use utensils and mixing bowls made either of:

- Plastic
- Wood
- Paper (cups)
- Porcelain
- Ceramic
- Glass

Do not use metal utensils. This de-charges the clay minerals, causing it to lose it is effectiveness and potency.

Apple Cider Vinegar : CBC
1.5 : 1
Dry or Mature
Honey : Rose Water : CBC
1 : 0.5 : 2
Dry or Mature
Rose Water : Jojoba oil : CBC
1 : a couple drops : 2
Sensitive or Damaged
Chamomile Water : CBC
1.5 : 2
Sensitive or Damaged
Aloe Vera Gel : CBC
1 : 1
Oily or Acne-prone
Witch Hazel : CBC
1 : 1
Oily or Acne-prone
Neroli : CBC
1 : 1
Yogurt : CBC
1 : 1
Milk : CBC
1 : 1

CBC = Calcium Bentonite Clay ★ Some of the masks dry like a film, read below for details.


1. To avoid clumps, add clay first, then liquids bit by bit — mixing well after each addition.

2. Use a mask spatula or mash gently with the back of a spoon to break lumps.

⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒ ⭒

Leave masks on for approx. 15 mins (depending on humidity in your area) or till it dries. Then wash off with warm water and follow with your usual skincare routine.

Peel-able Masks

Some of the masks dry off like a film (meaning, instead of cracking and crumbling, they peel off in sheets), especially for masks that do not have liquids added to them — such as honey/aloe vera. These proved to be helpful with removing blackheads like a pore-strip!

At the beginning, I started off my skin detox by masking once a week to see if my skin could take it. When there were no dryness or sensitivity, I increased the frequency to twice a week. Just remember to moisturize your skin sufficiently as clays are meant to be slightly drying. Some natural oils you can use for moisturization are Apricot kernel oil, Sweet almond oil or Hemp seed oil.

Do you like DIY masks or store-bought sheet masks?

See results


1Why is my mask lumpy?
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Bentonite clay masks tend to mix lumpy, unless you are using Apple Cider Vinegar as the liquid mix, then it should mix beautifully into a mousse-like texture. Please read the tips above, those help!

2Can I tweak the recipe ratios?
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Of course you can! The ratios listed are what worked for me, or methods I have felt were optimal in terms of viscosity/runny-ness and texture. But if you would like a thinner mask then by all means, up the ratio of liquid. Similarly, if you want a thick paste, up the amount of clay used instead.

(If you have more questions, please leave a comment in the comment section below.)

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Peony


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