Do you want to try a bentonite clay mask? If your skin has been feeling greasy, clogged and dull, then you might want to make use of all of the bentonite clay skin benefits. This natural clay has been showing up in all kinds of skin care products, although masks reign supreme. It’s a super absorbent ingredient that works really well – just not for everyone.
In this article, I’ll explain exactly what bentonite clay is, and how it works. I’ll outline all of the bentonite clay skin benefits as well as its drawbacks, and make sure you know how to use it properly and if it’s even right for your skin type.
If you are a fan of crafting your own skin care, we’ve given a wonderful recipe for the perfect bentonite clay mask, but if you’re into buying high-end products, then we’ve also listed all of the best bentonite clay masks for gorgeous clear skin.
Best Bentonite Clay Masks for Glowing Skin: Contents
• 17 Best Bentonite Clay Masks to Get Clear Skin
• What Is Bentonite Clay and How Does It Work?
• Bentonite Clay Skin Benefits: Why Do You Need to Use Bentonite Clay Masks?
• How to Choose the Right Bentonite Clay Mask for Your Skin
• Are There Side Effects of Bentonite Clay Masks?
• How to Use Bentonite Clay in Skin Care
• Make Your Own Bentonite Clay Mask
These 17 bentonite clay masks and skin products are the best on the market, when it comes to getting smooth, clear skin you have always dreamed of.
1. Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Mask Acne Treatment Mask
This is a gentle mask with bentonite clay for acne-prone skin. In addition to the skin-mattifying bentonite clay, it also includes the ultra gentle kaolin clay and 10% sulfur, which is a great remedy for treating acne breakouts. To soothe the skin, there is also a bit of aloe vera and zinc oxide, so it’s not totally dehydrating. You can purchase this mask from Sephora.
2. Aveda botanical kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Masque
This is a deep cleansing mask that leaves the skin glowing. It is made up of a blend of clays including the powerful bentonite clay, as well as hydrating glycerin, tightening caffeine, and a variety of skin-fortifying minerals. It’s a great choice for normal and combination skin types that need an extra cleanse. It is available for sale at Nordstrom.
3. Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
Bentonite clay skin benefits are instantly magnified with the addition of other skin care ingredients. In this mask, we also have acne-fighting sulfur, skin-brightening niacinamide, and a whole collection of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical ingredients. No matter your skin type, if you’re dealing with a difficult breakout, this mask is a fabulous choice. You can buy it directly from Sephora.
4. Tula Probiotic Skincare Exfoliating Treatment Mask
This mask combines the super cleansing bentonite clay skin benefits with the gently exfoliating effects of lactic acid. It also contains probiotics to increase skin hydration and repair its barrier functions, so it’s a great choice for oily yet sensitive skin types. If you’d like to try it, you can pick it up from Nordstrom.
5. Caudalie Purifying Mask
When you look past the very pretty packaging you will find a really lovely take on bentonite clay masks. The clays in the mask absorb excess oil, while non-comedogenic botanical oils prevent your skin from feeling dry and stripped. Astringent plant extracts help to tighten the pores for a lovely treatment for combination and oily skin. You can find this mask at Sephora.
6. SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque
This skin-firming bentonite clay mask formula is a great choice for all skin types for a deep cleanse that doesn’t leave the skin feeling too tight. This mask also includes a variety of plant extracts to nourish the skin, and a touch of aloe vera to keep it hydrated. You can buy it online from Dermstore.
7. Anthony Deep Pore Cleansing Clay
This bentonite clay mask gives a deep cleanse without stripping the skin. In addition to skin-purifying bentonite and kaolin clays, it also includes a touch of resurfacing lactic acid as well as replenishing apricot oil and soothing calendula extract. It’s a great choice for combination and normal skin types. You can pick up a squeeze bottle of this mask at Sephora.
8. Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask
This gentle take on bentonite clay masks will give your skin a healthy, beautiful look. It has a lot of aloe vera, so you really will stay hydrated. In addition to deep cleansing clays, it also includes pore-tightening witch hazel and a ton of soothing botanicals. This clay mask is appropriate for all skin types. You can pick it up from Dermstore.
9. Dermalogica Clear Start Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub
This bentonite clay product is a two-in-one face scrub and mask with microbeads that gently exfoliate the skin. It will deep clean your pores and rejuvenate your skin with a collection of botanicals.
It also includes a touch of salicylic acid to really keep new breakouts away. It’s a great choice for normal, combination, and oily skin, but avoid it if you tend to get very sensitive. You can buy it from Nordstrom.
10. Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk
This a unique cleansing formula that allows those with dry and sensitive skin to enjoy the deep cleaning properties of bentonite clay without the risk of dryness or irritation. It includes a lot of moisturizing oils, soothing extracts, and hydrating probiotics to repair and nourish the skin, and just a touch of clay to clear impurities. You can pick it up from Dermstore.
11. Glamglow Instamud 60 Second Pore-Refining Treatment
If you find masking the skin a chore, you can still get all of the bentonite clay skin benefits with the help of this speedy 60-second clay mask. This mask refines the pores and evens the skin with witch hazel and niacinamide. It contains some cleansing agents that allow it to rinse away quickly and easily. You simply apply it to your skin, let it bubble, and then rinse it clean. It can be purchased from Sephora.
12. Indie Lee Clearing Mask
This is a simple name for a simple yet extremely effective product that those with an affinity for natural ingredients will certainly appreciate. The bentonite clay here helps to mattify the skin and clarify the pores, while glycolic and salicylic acid exfoliate the skin thoroughly. The skin remains hydrated thanks to hyaluronic acid, making this an excellent choice for even those with mature or combination dry skin. It is available for sale at Dermstore.
13. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal Cleanser with Probiotics
This is a bentonite clay cleanser that you can use every day to keep the pores clean, the skin matte, and acne far away. It includes 2% salicylic acid, which is a fabulous exfoliating and anti-acne ingredient, along with hydrating probiotics and ultra-absorbent charcoal. It is a great choice for anyone dealing with breakouts, so grab yourself a tube from Sephora.
14. Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare Pore Minimizing Clay Purifying Mask
This gentle clay mask is a fabulous choice for calming down skin that has been irritated by acne. It contains a blend of kaolin and bentonite clays to remove impurities from the skin, along with anti-aging ingredients to reduce environmental damage. It leaves the skin feeling clean, firm, and healthy. You can buy it online from Dermstore.
15. Kiehl’s Since 1851 ‘Rare Earth’ Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
This gentle bentonite clay mask instantly minimizes pores and mattifies the skin, keeping it healthy but not too dry. It contains soothing aloe vera along with a blend of purifying clays including bentonite. It is available for sale at Nordstrom.
16. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
If you’re a fan of playing chemist, then this is the only bentonite clay product you will need. This is simply 100% pure calcium bentonite clay in the form of a finely milled powder. It is ready for mixing, so you can make the perfect bentonite clay mask for your skin’s needs. I even have a recipe, so you can get started just right! You can pick up a jar of this clay through Amazon.
17. Generation Clay Urban Defense Purifying Pink Clay Mask
All natural and totally gentle, this is a great bentonite clay mask for all skin types. It contains a touch of kaolin clay as well, along with hydrating aloe vera, skin-resurfacing vitamin A, and anti-aging kakadu plum extract. It is fabulous for people wanting to combine their deep cleansing with an anti-aging treatment. You can pick it up from Revolve.
Bentonite clay is an absorbent clay with quite a few skin benefits. It is often taken from volcanic ash.
It’s important to note that there are a few types of clay referred to as bentonite, but most frequently it’s the term used to talk about montmorillonite, or at least about a clay that contains mostly montmorillonite.
Montmorillonite is a mineral, or rather, a group of soft phyllosilicate minerals. These minerals have a soft texture, and they’re fabulous for the crafting of bentonite clay masks that blend with water as well as various ingredients that are beneficial to the skin.
For most people, bentonite clay skin benefits come when it’s used occasionally as a mask. This clay is extremely absorbent, so it is able to pull oils and impurities from the skin. That is why those with extremely oily skin love it – it’s an instant mattifying treatment!
It also makes it a phenomenal remedy for anyone with blackheads or a lot of sebaceous filaments. However, those with dry skin should definitely avoid bentonite clay masks, as they’ll end up drying their skin.
There are also some benefits to using bentonite clay for acne-prone skin, especially if the acne is caused by excess production of oil. Bentonite clay masks won’t be as useful if the acne is caused by irritation, dehydration, or hormonal imbalance.
The bentonite clay acts as a vacuum, helping to remove the sebum and impurities that clog the pores and cause blackheads, whiteheads and acne. This, in turn, helps to prevent breakouts especially when done multiple times a week.
Like other clay masks, bentonite clay skin care products should also be picked wisely, taking into account your unique skin concerns and type. Here’s how you pick the right bentonite clay masks for your skin type!
Bentonite Clay Masks for Dry Skin
Chances are the right bentonite clay mask for your skin does not exist, because bentonite clay is very drying. However, if you want, you can try out gentle cleansers that contain a touch of bentonite, especially if your skin happens to be feeling a little clogged.
If you’re really intent on trying a bentonite clay mask, look for one that also has a lot of botanical oils to keep your skin moisturized.
Bentonite Clay Masks for Normal and Combination Skin
If your skin is fairly balanced, with both oily and dry parts, you can use bentonite clay masks occasionally for a deep cleansing. Look for masks that have a combination of bentonite and kaolin clay, along with some ingredients that will hydrate your skin like aloe vera or glycerin.
If your skin only gets oily or congested on certain parts, then only apply the mask to those parts of your skin – you can leave the other parts bare, or apply a hydrating mask.
Bentonite Clay Masks for Oily Skin
Bentonite clay masks are basically made for your skin type! They will do a great job of sucking up the excess oil your skin produces, and keeping it matte.
You will find that most bentonite clay products were made with your skin in mind, and you can’t really go wrong. Some masks are more skin-mattifying than others, though, so the closer bentonite clay is to the top of the ingredients list, the stronger the mask will be.
Bentonite Clay Masks for Acne-Prone Skin
The mattifying, pore-clearing properties of bentonite clay make it a nice addition to a skin care routine meant to fight acne and breakouts, but overdoing it can actually strip the skin, irritate it, and make acne worse. That is why you don’t want to use bentonite clay masks more than a few times a week, and you want to be very gentle with your skin during the process – always moisturizing after, and never scrubbing the skin too harshly.
The best masks with bentonite clay for acne will also include some antibacterial ingredients like sulfur or tea tree oil to help kill the acne bacteria, along with anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea extract or zinc oxide to help soothe the skin.
Another great choice is bentonite clay masks that also have a bit of salicylic or lactic acid in them, because then they also help remove damaged skin by exfoliating gently.
Bentonite Clay Masks for Mature Skin
If you are starting to worry about signs of premature aging, loss of tone, fine lines, and wrinkles, but also still find that your skin gets oily or clogged, then you might find some skin care benefits from bentonite clay masks that also contain anti-aging ingredients.
Look for bentonite clay masks with skin-resurfacing ingredients like glycolic acid or vitamin A, hydrating but not oily ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, and rejuvenating and antioxidant ingredients like vitamin C or green tea extract.
Bentonite Clay Masks for Sensitive Skin
If your skin gets red or irritated easily, the most important thing is that you patch test any skin care product before using it, including bentonite clay masks. Those with sensitive skin may still find that their skin gets oily or congested, so there are certainly bentonite clay skin benefits they can make use of.
The best bentonite masks for your skin will also contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extract, or zinc oxide. Blends of kaolin and bentonite clays will also be much more gentle on the skin.
If bentonite clay doesn’t work for you, masks with mostly kaolin clay or French green clay will be great alternatives.
You definitely want to go into using bentonite clay masks informed. Bentonite clay is a fairly safe skin care ingredient, but it is not without its risks.
• Since it’s a clay taken directly from nature, it can hold contaminants. The FDA has had to give out warning letters to cosmetics companies that used bentonite clay that had high levels of lead in it. While this is not all that dangerous when applied topically, since the skin does keep those kinds of bad things out, it’s still important to only purchase bentonite clay products from companies you trust.
• Since bentonite clay is absorbent of both oil and water, it can severely exacerbate both dryness and dehydration in the skin. It’s better to avoid this clay altogether and opt for a gentler clay like kaolin if you do have dry or dehydrated skin. If you are dead set on using it, however, make sure to moisturize very well afterwards, and to choose a bentonite clay mask that also contains a lot of moisturizing ingredients.
• Bentonite clay can also be a little irritating to those with sensitive skin. Make sure to patch test any bentonite clay skin care products you plan on using, to make sure they won’t irritate your skin or turn it red.
• Bentonite clay masks, if improperly formulated, can disrupt the skin’s pH. This can make the skin irritated, more susceptible to acne, and overall just feeling rough and uncomfortable. Make sure to buy bentonite clay products from reputable brands (like the ones I’ve listed), and if you make your own, make sure to follow my recipe, which helps reduce the pH of the clay.
Bentonite clay is always best to use as a mask! You can make your own mask following the recipe I list below, or use one of the best bentonite clay masks on our list!
This is a routine you should follow once or twice a week at most, and avoid doing it when your skin is feeling dry or dehydrated.
• You’ll want to start by prepping your skin. Cleanse your skin with your cleanser of choice – if you wear makeup, you might want to double cleanse with a makeup remover followed by a traditional cleanser.
• If you’d like to, you can exfoliate your skin before applying your bentonite mask. Any exfoliant can work, but if you’re looking to deep cleanse your pores, use a chemical exfoliant with at least 2% salicylic acid, and let it sit on your skin for 5-10 minutes.
• Apply your bentonite clay mask to your skin in a very thin layer, using upward motions or strokes. You really don’t need to use a lot of the clay mask, and the thinner the layer, the better. You can use a clean foundation brush to get the perfect mask application, although fingers work too.
• Let the mask sit on your skin for anywhere between 5-15 minutes. Longer isn’t better with clay masks, so it’s better to start off with only leaving it on for 5 minutes – if you feel like that wasn’t enough, you can add a couple more minutes to the wait time next time you use it.
• Once enough time has elapsed, and the mask is dry and tight, you should remove it. The easiest way is using facial sponges or a damp face cloth and gently wiping the face until all traces of the mask are gone. You can also steam your face to break loose the mask, although I don’t like recommending it for people to do at home, since overly hot steam can damage the skin.
• After masking it’s very important to infuse the skin with moisture and hydration! If you have the time, it’d be great to apply a hydrating and nourishing mask to the skin, and letting it sit for 10-20 minutes.
• If you’ve used a hydrating mask, remove it as required. Otherwise, delve into the rest of your skin care routine, focusing on hydrating ingredients.
• At the bare minimum apply to your skin a hydrating serum followed by a moisturizer, although it’d be better to apply a hydrating toner, hydrating essence, a serum, and then a moisturizer. If you used the bentonite clay mask in the daytime, finish off with sunscreen.
Bentonite clay on its own can be purchased very cheaply online, so why not experiment with making your own bentonite clay masks? I’ll list a super simple recipe that almost anyone can prepare, and then give you some suggestions for ways to jazz it up!
As always with DIY skin care, it’s better to prepare this bentonite clay mask fresh each time you intend to use it. Skin care products made at home without preservatives will spoil very quickly when compared to commercial products, and spoiled skin care can irritate the skin or infect it with unwanted bacteria. Avoid this problem altogether by preparing just enough for one use.
Please note that some recipes online suggest mixing the clay with water, but this is actually not a great idea. Bentonite clay has a pH between 9.5 and 10.5, which can be extremely irritating to the skin and make it more susceptible to damage. By adding unfiltered apple cider vinegar you reduce the pH of the formula, making it much safer and better for the skin.
For this recipe you will need:
• 100% bentonite clay in the form of a very thin powder – you won’t need more than a teaspoon of it for a single-use mask.
• Unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ideally of the organic variety), to create a creamy texture and to reduce the pH of the mask. Water or other vinegars are not a good substitute!
• A clean ceramic or glass bowl
• A mask brush (or a totally clean flat foundation brush)
• Optional: a couple drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil. You can also add some honey, yogurt, or aloe vera for extra hydration.
In your clean bowl, combine a teaspoon of bentonite clay with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar, and mix with your brush. The blend might foam up a little bit, which is perfectly fine. You can add a few drops of essential oil or a hydrating ingredient as well.
Using the brush apply the bentonite clay mask to cleansed skin in upward motions, following the directions I outlined in the previous section.
Photos via @ellacuthbert, @makeupandmeltingmoments, @mariahlleonard, @tatianaofficial, @honestlykate