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Terrell Thao
Terrell Thao

Bentonite Clay Where To Buy HOT!

Bentonite clay has many uses in personal care products from detoxifying face and hair masks to mineral rich toothpastes. Download our free Easy Zero Waste Beauty Guide for a guide to making everything from simple cleansers and toners to mouthwash.

bentonite clay where to buy

But does it actually work? History certainly makes a compelling case, as does some compelling research. While this is all encouraging, it still doesn't mean that bentonite clay delivers on every one of its head-to-toe, health-boosting claims or that it's safe to consume. So we dove into the research to help set the record straight.

Bentonite clay is part of the "smectite" group of clay that's known for an ability to expand when exposed to a liquid. It's rich in minerals, including silica, magnesium, calcium, sodium, copper, iron, and potassium.

"Both kinds can be used for facial masking," says Samantha Story of Studio Britta, a holistic skin care clinic in NYC. "Sodium bentonite draws more toxins out of the skin, and calcium bentonite is gentler and provides the skin with more minerals. While both types have their benefits, I prefer calcium bentonite for facial masks or using a mixture of the two for more congested skin."

Calcium bentonite clay, particularly green calcium bentonite clay, is also the type that's typically preferred for consumption (in small amounts, of course) when used for detoxification purposes, as it seems to be a bit gentler on the body.

Bentonite clay certainly has a history of medicinal uses, along with plenty of anecdotal accounts to suggest that it's effective for external and internal uses. But is there proof that it really works?

While human clinical trials are scarce, a few do exist, along with some impressive lab and animal research. It's important to note, however, that many of these findings need to be validated before they can become true recommendations. That said, here are some of the most promising potential benefits of bentonite clay to date:

The basis for many of bentonite clay's proposed benefits is that it is highly adsorptive which makes it attract positively charged particles like a magnet, both when it's applied topically (that's why your face mask is so effective!) and when taken internally. What makes it so? The clay's particles carry a negative electric charge2. Heavy metals, and free radicals are said to carry a positive charge, and some research2 suggests that negatively charged bentonite is able to attach to these substances and help remove them from the body.

Some animal research does seem to support this. Bentonite clay could help bind aflatoxins in the body when ingested and reduce their toxicity, according to several animal feeding studies. If you're not familiar, aflatoxins are a family of cancer-causing toxins produced by fungi found on agricultural crops such as corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts. People can be exposed by eating contaminated crops, and research shows that aflatoxin exposure is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer.

In one study3, adding bentonite clay to aflatoxin-contaminated corn partially restored pigs' liver function, and it did not impair their absorption of other minerals, and in another4, rabbits eating an aflatoxin-contaminated diet experienced an improvement in reproductive function once their feed was supplemented with bentonite.

In particular, bentonite clay may hold promise for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one small clinical trial7, patients with constipation-predominant IBS who took 3 grams (a bit less than a teaspoon) of bentonite clay twice a day for eight weeks experienced improvements in bowel movements compared to a placebo group. No reduction in pain was noted, however.

Scientists at Arizona State University wanted to test out the antibacterial potential of smectite clay minerals10 (a group that encompasses bentonite clay) on a variety of bacteria that were both resistant and nonresistant to antibiotics. When they exposed this bacteria to the clay minerals in the lab, the clay exhibited antibacterial properties that were effective at killing MRSA, various types of E. coli, and Salmonella. While the researchers haven't pinpointed the mechanism by which clay kills bacteria, they do believe it holds promise for the development of treatments to fight antibiotic-resistant infections.

In one study, a lotion containing bentonite clay was shown to be effective at preventing or reducing the severity of poison ivy11 when applied to skin before coming into contact with poison ivy's itch-inducing compound urushiol. The same lotion featuring bentonite effectively treated chronic dermatitis12 (irritated and inflamed skin, like eczema).

The reasons for these benefits aren't exactly clear, but they may have to do with the fact that bentonite clay particles form a physical barrier that protects the skin or that clay can absorb a significant amount of water and be an effective way of drawing out skin-irritating substances. The minerals in bentonite clay may also have skin-soothing properties.

Beyond healing irritating rashes, bentonite offers up some beautifying perks for your skin. If you've ever used a clay mask, you know firsthand the oil-sucking, pore-clearing powers of this mineral-rich sludge, which seems to draw out every impurity from your face.

Bentonite may even improve the look and feel of your hair. Countless natural beauty bloggers swear by bentonite clay hair masks, as the clay supposedly moisturizes and draws out excess dirt and oil simultaneously. While there haven't been studies on this, bentonite clay is used in various parts of the world16 to cleanse and soften hair.

A quick Google search reveals countless ways to use bentonite clay to reap its skin, hair, immune-boosting, and detoxifying perks. But we've pared down the list for you. Before you dive in, just keep in mind that most brands recommend mixing your clay and liquid solutions in a glass or ceramic bowl with a wooden or plastic spoon, as metal may react with clay and minimize its benefits.

Another pro tip: While bentonite clay is sold as a powder, you may want to keep a jar of paste on hand, since several of the uses below call for a paste. According to Redmond Clay, you can do this by combining 1 part bentonite clay with 2 parts water in a Mason jar and mixing or shaking well.

For minor burns, bug bites, and rashes, combine bentonite clay with water to your desired thickness (a water-to-clay ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 is usually good), then slather onto skin. Leave the paste on until it dries, and wash off when you're done.

We know, this one might sound a little crazy, but armpit detoxes are a thing now. The idea is that most conventional deodorants are loaded with aluminum and other ingredients that prevent you from sweating, which interferes with one of your body's most natural detox mechanisms. Applying a paste of bentonite clay and water to your pits (with the consistency of yogurt), however, helps pull some of these potentially harmful substances from your skin.

"As bentonite clay draws out heavy metals, it frees up the lymphatic system, a key component to good health," says Story. "We have lymph nodes in our armpits as well as detoxifying sweat glands, making this a great place to aid lymphatic drainage by doing an underarm mask. If you're considering switching to natural deodorants I recommend this mask to aid in the transition as it helps restore a healthy pH and a more pleasant odor."

You can simply combine bentonite clay and water to form a paste and spread over your face, but for a boost of hydration, Story recommends a combination of 1 teaspoon bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon Manuka honey, and enough water to create a paste. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes; remove it when it begins to feel tight (don't let it dry on your skin). Hydrate and moisturize right when you're done.

If you want a more natural approach to hair care, especially if your strands tend to be on the oilier side, consider applying a bentonite hair mask once or twice a week. Many recipes call for this combination: 1 cup clay, 1 cup water, and cup apple cider vinegar. Mix it all up and slather on your strands from root to tip. Several beauty bloggers claim that it helps with curl definition as well.

To reap the skin-soothing benefits of bentonite clay from head to toe, add cup of bentonite powder, 1 cup of Epsom salts, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils to warm bath water. "The heat boosts the circulatory system, and the clay draws toxins out of the body," says Story. The magnesium in the clay and Epsom salts helps promote relaxation. "These baths can be intense," cautions Story, "so make sure to hydrate and listen to your body in terms of how long is right for you."

Not up for a whole bath? Fill up a bucket with warm water and a couple of tablespoons of bentonite clay, and give your feet a good soak. Not only will your feet feel softer, but the magnesium content in clay can do wonders for sore feet (just like Epsom salts).

Ever hear of The Dirt? It's a trace mineral tooth-brushing powder featuring extra-fine bentonite clay along with essential oils for flavor. Because of clay's naturally abrasive and antibacterial properties, it may be able to make those pearly whites shine even brighter. If you want to go the DIY route, simply dip your wet toothbrush in bentonite clay powder and start brushing. Consult with your dentist first if you have any concerns.

Let's get one thing straight: Bentonite clay naturally contains trace amounts of heavy metals, including lead. While it sounds scary, the amounts found in bentonite clay products sold to consumers are likely too low to cause problems. Levels per 1-teaspoon serving of clay are typically lower than those you'd find in a serving of some vegetables and plant foods, like sweet potatoes or mixed nuts, due to the natural presence of lead in soil.

Additionally, the lead present in bentonite clay is bonded to other molecules, which means it may actually be safer than the isolated forms of lead you'd find in lead paint or contaminated cosmetics. One brand describes it this way: "The lead atoms in bentonite clay are so tightly bound in a matrix with other atoms that they do not break away from this matrix as the clay travels through your body or interacts with your skin. In fact, these clay molecules have an unusually large surface area with such a strong negative charge, they act like a strong magnet to draw the positively charged lead out of your body." 041b061a72


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