Indian Healing Clay, also known as sodium bentonite clay, has been shown to act as a detoxifying agent and has been used for centuries as a face mask to beautify and refresh. Cleopatra even used it over 1,800 years ago, applying clay from the Nile River and Arabian Desert as part of her self care ritual.
So, what is it?
Indian Healing Clay comes from a soft, light colored rock formed from volcanic ash and found in many parts of the world, including Egypt, Montana, and Wyoming -- where we source ours from! The clay is the consistency of a soft powder; the color ranges from light gray to gray-brown. It's completely vegan.
Bentonite clay has negatively charged molecules. Most toxins and heavy metals have positively charged molecules. When you mix with the clay with water or apple cider vinegar (or any type of fluid), the clay produces an ionic pull that removes toxins -- such as heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals -- from your skin. Sodium bentonite clay is a strong electrical conductor, which means it can attract a lot of those toxins. How cool is that?
Through this detoxification process, bentonite clay can help to energize the body, heal acne-prone skin, reduce the appearance of pores, and create blood flow to the skin’s surface. The result is brighter, softer, more even-toned skin.
What are some of the benefits?
Our Asutra community has reported a variety of benefits of using Indian Healing Clay, including:
- Relieves itchiness from insect bites, hives, poison ivy, and poison oak. Studies have shown that bentonite clay can prevent or diminish rashes.
- Reduces discomfort and appearance of eczema
- Heals acne, minimizes pores, and evens skin tone
- Reduces appearance of scars
- Soothes and minimizes razor burn
- Detoxes armpits
- Makes hair soft, shiny, and healthy
- Defines and adds texture to curly and natural hair
How to make a skin-detoxifying Indian Healing Clay mask
If you’ve bought our Indian Healing Clay, which is from the mountains of Wyoming, you’ll notice it’s a finer powder. Our clay is run through a special grinder to increase the clay’s effectiveness.
1. Do not mix with metal bowls or utensils! Interestingly, using metal removes the clay’s healing powers by stripping out its electric charge, which is the thing that draws out toxins from your skin. We recommend a glass, wood, or plastic bowl.
2. Mix 1 part clay to 2 parts water:
- Put 2 tablespoons of water in a glass, wood, or plastic bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of clay. Use a wood or plastic fork to whisk the clay into the water, as you’d beat an egg or whisk cake batter, until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.
- This should produce enough for 1 full face/neck mask.
- Option to mix with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can dissolve the clay more easily than water and can also help reduce inflammation and breakouts. Keep in mind that ACV tends to make the more clay more powerful in drawing out toxins, and therefore can be harsher on your skin. For sensitive skin, we recommend starting with water. If you want to try ACV, test with a small area of your skin before applying all over.
3. Apply a thin layer to your face/neck with your hands or a makeup brush. Thicker layers take longer to dry and be effective. When mixed with water or ACV, the resulting clay will be gray/brown to light olive green.
4. Wait 15-20 minutes for clay to dry. It’s during the drying process that the clay draws out toxins and impurities from the skin. This is a great time to read your favorite book, meditate, or simply rest your eyes.
5. Rinse: Use warm water and a wash cloth to gently wipe off the clay.
6. Moisturize: For best results, apply a gentle moisturizer after rinsing.
Note: After application, your skin may be red for 30-45 minutes, which is normal – but plan accordingly. You may not want to do a mask right before going out for the night, for example.
- Avoid eyes and sensitive areas such as cuts or wounds.
- Try using the clay 1-2 times per week for great results. We don’t recommend using it more often than that. Everyone’s skin is different so see how your skin reacts and adjust accordingly.
- For very sensitive skin: Use a thinner layer for a shorter amount of time.
- Indian Healing Clay has a variety of uses. Check out our blog post on Indian Healing Clay for hair care.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health,
Global Healing Center,