Bentonite Clay (also known as Montmorillonite clay) is a naturally occurring element that is composed of hardened ash from volcanos. Much of this clay is harvested from large volcanic deposits in Fort Benton, Wyoming (thus the name), but it is also harvested from the Montmorillon region in France (again, thus the name) and several smaller deposits worldwide.
Healing clays like bentonite have a high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium. It also absorbs and removes toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. Because of this, bentonite clay is a common ingredient in detox and cleansing products including mud packs, detox baths, and skin care products.
How It Works
Believe it or not, it’s all about electricity. Your body is as much electric in nature as it is chemical. Your nervous system, brain, and circulatory system all operate on electrical impulses. This is what is measured when you have an EKG, for example. Bentonite clay produces an electrical charge when it contacts water. This negative charge attracts positively-charged toxins like toxic metals and chemicals. Like a magnetic sponge, it holds onto impurities and carries them away.
It is for this reason that clays, such as bentonite, make excellent, natural face masks. They are especially beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, or acne. Calcium bentonite clay is also a popular ingredient in skincare products. Applying a lotion or cream with bentonite clay in it creates a barrier between your skin and possible irritants. Bentonite clay also helps skincare products adhere to your skin and be more water resistant. Sunscreen that contains bentonite clay has been found to be more effective than some other sunscreens without it.