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Struggling With Acne? Wave It Goodbye With A Bentonite Clay Mask

Bentonite Clay

I know what you’re thinking: “Bentonite clay mask? What in the world is that?” Let’s make sure to give a quick and simple explanation of what a Bentonite clay mask is and why should you give it a try.

Bentonite clay masks consist of natural clay formed from old volcanic ashes. It is uniquely fine-grained, helping unclog pores, dry out pimples, balance oil production, and even get rid of bacteria. What’s more, due to its healing action, bentonite clay can help get rid of inflamed zits and breakouts. 

Are you not convinced yet? Check out the post below, in which you’ll find what exactly is bentonite clay and why it’s so powerful in acne-fighting.

Table of Contents

What is Bentonite Clay?

Bentonite clay is a natural clay typically formed from aged volcanic ashes. Although it is common worldwide, you’d find its most prominent source in Fort Benton, Wyoming, hence the name. Consisting mainly of crystalline clay minerals, hydrous aluminium silicates containing iron and magnesium, and either sodium or calcium, the industry recognises two types of bentonite clay, sodium and calcium clay. 

While sodium bentonite can absorb large quantities of water, calcium bentonite is used in cosmetics as it doesn’t swell. It breaks down into a finely granular amass widely used as an absorbent clay.

Abundant, non-expensive and natural, it has been used for centuries by people around the globe to improve their health, well-being and skin (1).

Why is a Bentonite Clay Mask Good for Acne?

Bentonite clay is uniquely fine-grained, which allows the clay to absorb dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin deep down in the pores. So if you struggle with acne, a bentonite clay mask can be a great addition to your skincare regimen. It helps to decongest the skin, dry out pimples, reduce the appearance of pores, balance oil production, and even get rid of bacteria (2). What’s more, due to its healing action, bentonite clay can help get rid of inflamed zits and breakouts a bit faster. 

In addition to clearing up acne breakouts, clay has been shown to increase collagen production (3), improving skin elasticity and tone. So you can wave goodbye to scars and wrinkles.

How Does a Bentonite Clay Mask Work to Treat Acne Zits?

Its acne-fighting ability lies with the molecules. When the clay is wet, its molecules produce electrical charges, drawing bacteria, sebum and impurities out of the skin.

When you have a breakout, the bacteria multiply and cause inflammation, infection, and redness. Applying bentonite clay masks can help clear and shrink clogged pores, reduce inflammation, and speed up healing.

While the clay helps remove excess sebum, it’s not harsh enough to cause skin irritation or dryness. Your skin will be left smooth and poreless as if the blackheads and whiteheads never existed.

What Ingredients Can You Add to Clay Masks to Tackle Acne-Prone Skin?

Natural Ingredients for Acne -Prone Skin

To tackle acne, combining clay with other acne-fighting ingredients is the best way to go. To get the most out of the mask, combine high-quality bentonite clay with active, moisturising ingredients like honey, anti-inflammatory agents like aloe vera, and exfoliating ingredients such as oatmeal. The following are some top-notch acne-fighting ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • Oatmeal is a soothing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help reduce acne by absorbing and removing sebum from clogged pores while exfoliating the skin. 
  • Spirulina powder is an excellent skin conditioner. Valued for its antioxidant and antimicrobial actions, the 2020 study (4) suggests that topical application of spirulina to the skin (in creams) had an antimicrobial effect against C. acnes and S. aureus. 
  • Powder fruit extracts such as papaya are perfect for balancing oily skin and exfoliating it. Vitamin A found in the fruit promotes natural radiance while also tightening your pores. Whereas anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. Another worthy mention is organic lemon peel powder, which will help helps acne by drying up blemishes thanks to the natural fruit acids that kill bacteria and remove dead skin.
  • Herb powders such as aloe vera, fennel seed powder, honey powder and willow bark powder make for an excellent mask to treat acne breakouts. Aloe vera‘s anti-bacterial effect help to reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritations and moisturise the skin. If you’d like to get rid of those stubborn blemishes, adding unpasteurised honey to a clay mask may speed up healing (5) and reduce inflammation, helping to fade acne scars naturally. Willow bark powder is a calming agent, and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness and soothe inflamed skin. 

Wet ingredients:

  • Light carrier oil such as jojoba oil is an excellent emollient for combating acne breakouts due to its light and non-greasy texture. It also adds a layer of hydration to the skin and helps with sebum production. You will need about a drop or two. I’ve coved emollients for oily and acne-prone skin in the post you’ll find here
  • Essential oils such as anti-bacterial tea tree oil is an excellent ingredients for sensitive skin prone to acne, also known for their healing and cleansing properties. Another two you might like to consider are peppermint and rosemary essential oils. A drop will do. 
  • Add a teaspoon or two of hydrosol of your choice. Research shows that hydrosols such as green tea and witch hazel have a strong antimicrobial effect, helping kill bacteria that can cause acne (6). In addition, green tea is an antioxidant that boosts collagen production in the skin and balances oil production while reducing redness and inflammations. Another goodie is witch hazel which helps diminish the appearance of acne by drying out the blemishes and improving the skin’s firmness, texture, and tone. 

Other ingredients to consider:

To make your clay mask even more effective, consider adding BHAs and retinoids. 

BHA’s, such as Salicylic acid, are oil-soluble hydroxy acids used in skincare to exfoliate the skin. They get deep into the skin, drying out excess sebum, removing dead cells and unclogging pores, which make them perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. In addition, salicylic acid can help reduce redness and inflammation, helping to smooth and even out skin tone.  

Retinoids are also oil-soluble substances that encourage cell turnover and promote collagen production. They also help fade age spots, and even pigmentation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

How to Make a Bentonite Clay Mask for Acne-Prone Skin

DIY clay masks are fun to make as they offer the rare freedom of playing with ingredients you use. To make a clay mask for one application: 

Step 1: Use about two teaspoons of bentonite clay. 

Step 2: Add one to one and half a teaspoon of dry ingredients of your choice, such as exfoliating agents, powdered fruit extracts or herb powders. 

Step 3: Mix the bentonite clay and dry ingredient together. 

Step 4: Add wet ingredients of your choice into the clay mixture to activate it. You will need

– about two drops of carrier oil

– a drop of essential oil 

– a teaspoon or two of hydrosol or water to make a thick paste. 

Step 5: Now, you are ready to use your homemade acne mask! Apply a thin layer of the mask to your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes to completely dry out and remove gently using a warm washcloth. For a mess-free treatment, apply the mask right before the shower. 

Step 6: Discard any leftovers of the activated clay mask immediately. 

Note: Use a non-metal utensil to mix the clay. Bentonite clay is negatively charged and grabs positively charged oils clogging pores. Using metal utensils will neutralise clay, making the mask less effective.

How to Make Dry Ready-to-Use Clay Mask Mix

Forget pre-packaged clay masks, as they often shrivel before you can make the most of them. It’s so irritating to open a mask you’ve been looking forward to using all week long only to find that it’s all dried up! Use dry clay powder and mix it with the dry ingredients of your choice instead. It’s cheap, easy to make, and you can prepare a big batch that will keep it in a jar for months. To make:

Step 1: One by one, weigh out the dry ingredients of your choice. 

Step 2: Mix ingredients well together and store them in an airtight jar. The mixture will keep for 6-12 months. 

Step 3: When you are ready to use it, remove one to two teaspoons of the mix from the container and mix with wet ingredients of your choice to activate the mask. 

DIY Honey & Spirulina Clay Mask Recipe for Acne-Prone Skin

Honey & Spirulina Clay Mask

Honey is a natural humectant with antimicrobial action, making it an excellent ingredient for drawing moisture into the skin while eliminating acne-causing bacteria. So, if you are in the middle of a bad breakout, this mask is an excellent choice to speed up the healing process.

You will need:

2 tsp bentonite clay

1 tsp spirulina powder

2 drops of jojoba oil

1 drop of tea tree essential oil

1 tsp raw honey 

1-2 tsp aloe vera hydrosol

  1. Mix the bentonite clay and spirulina powder until well combined. 
  2. Add jojoba oil, tea tree essential oil, honey and aloe vera hydrosol to form a thick paste. 
  3. If the clay appears too dry, add some more aloe vera hydrosol or water. 
  4. Apply a thin layer of the bentonite mask to your face and keep it on for 10-15 minutes until thoroughly dried. 
  5. Remove gently with a warm washcloth. 

Why it works: Bentonite attract sebum and impurities from the skin’s pores. Spirulina is rich in B vitamins, which help with cell regeneration. Jojoba oil moisturises and nourishes the skin. Honey works as a humectant, attracting moisture to the skin, whereas tea tree essential oil is a true anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe vera hydrosol has a soothing effect. So, it is a perfect combo for acne-prone skin where these ingredients can work in harmony to speed up the healing process.


Bentonite has been used thought ought centuries as a skincare treatment. Should you choose to give it a go, bentonite clay won’t disappoint! Thanks to its heavy-duty cleaning properties, you can use it as a facial mask to clear up acne and combat breakouts. 


How often can I apply bentonite clay on my face?

For the best results, try using the clay 1-2 times per week. Personally, I use it as a spot treatment on my face. It’s the perfect mask for any bad breakout, which can come along with redness, inflammation, swelling and pain.

Does bentonite clay remove blackheads?

It does, just as it removes whiteheads by unclogging the pores. It’s a potent facial mask that also can reduce inflammation, and redness and get rid of pimples once and for all. 


  1. Bentonite, Bandaids, and Borborygmi
  2. Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy: A Brief Review
  3. Effect of topical clay application on the synthesis of collagen in skin: an experimental study
  4. Formulation of Creams Containing Spirulina Platensis Powder with Different Nonionic Surfactants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris
  5. Medical Honey for Wound Care—Still the ‘Latest Resort’?
  6. In-Vitro Inhibition of Staphylococcal Pathogenesis by Witch-Hazel and Green Tea Extracts

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