Clarifying hair mask: 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 ½ cup apple cider vinegar Mix it all up to paste and slather on your strands from root to tip. It helps with curl definition as well.
Soothing skin paste: 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.
Armpit detox: 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 recommend this mask to aid in the transition as it helps restore a healthy pH and a more pleasant odor.”
Nourishing face mask: 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 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.
Skin-softening clay bath: To reap the skin-soothing benefits of bentonite clay from head to toe, add ¼ 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 helpspromote 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.”
Soothing foot soak: 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 Salt).
Tooth-brushing powder: 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.