If you struggle with constant blemishes or clogged pores, there’s a good chance you’ve come across bentonite clay at some point. Also referred to as montmorillonite clay, this popular skincare ingredient has been used for centuries, dating back to many ancient cultures. In this Kiehl’s ingredient guide, we’re exploring the plentiful beauty benefits of bentonite clay, as well as its unique properties, historical uses, and our top tips for incorporating this amazing clay into your skincare routine.
What Is Bentonite Clay?
This popular clay is made up of layers of silicates that form from seawater-exposed volcanic ash over many years. Because of this, bentonite clay contains a number of beneficial minerals—including magnesium, iron, and calcium, just to name a few. Originally discovered in the Montmorillon region of France, bentonite clay is named after Fort Benton, Wyoming—where the largest amounts of this clay were first located.I The super fine, soft texture of this ingredient is usually mixed with water to create a paste that is added to various nature-inspired foods, drinks, and cosmetic products.
What Is Bentonite Clay Used For?
The unique properties of bentonite clay have made it a highly sought-after ingredient throughout history—dating back as far as Aristotle’s records in 384-322 BC.II Bentonite clay has been used to address numerous skin concerns for thousands of years, similarly to other natural clays like Amazonian white clay and kaolin. Mineral-rich and naturally detoxifying, these clays are often used in makeup and skincare products. In some parts of the world, bentonite clay hair masks are widely used to help cleanse and soften hair—although more research is needed to substantiate the purported benefits of bentonite clay for hair.
What Are The Benefits Of Bentonite Clay For Your Skin?
The benefits and uses of bentonite clay are pretty extensive, to say the least. But naturally, the focus here at Kiehl’s is on this ingredient’s rightful place in your skincare routine. You may already be aware that bentonite clay is used in a huge array of skincare products formulated for common concerns like blemishes, large pores, blackheads, and excess oiliness. What you may not know: Bentonite clay is a key Kiehl’s ingredient in a number of our must-have products. We use it in three of our favorite face masks—and for good reason. Keep scrolling to discover the top bentonite clay skincare benefits.
1. It’s great for oily skin types
Using bentonite clay in your daily skincare regimen can be particularly beneficial for oily skin types, because it works to help reduce excess sebum (oils) on the skin through a process known as adsorption. All this means is that, rather than being absorbed, bentonite clay is able to bind to unwanted dirt and oils and, therefore, help eliminate them from your skin’s surface.
2. It may help minimize the appearance of clogged pores
Bentonite clay’s ability to draw out pore-clogging dirt and debris and may also help congested skin appear cleansed and refreshed. As such, you’ll find bentonite clay in skincare formulas specifically aimed at reducing the appearance of pores and blackheads.
3. It can help improve blemishes
Since bentonite clay helps remove excess oil and impurities from the skin’s surface, it also has the potential to help keep blemishes at bay. For those with blemish-prone skin, bentonite clay can be a highly useful tool for managing the appearance of skin imperfections associated with blemishes.
Kiehl’s Products With Bentonite Clay
From combination to oily skin, our range of face masks with bentonite clay are formulated to gently and effectively enhance the appearance of your skin. These Kiehl’s masking essentials address multiple skin concerns, whether you’re looking to smooth the appearance of your skin or reduce the look of pores. Keep scrolling to discover which of these clay-inspired masks is the right choice for you.
Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
If you’re looking for a purifying mask with multiple clay ingredients, we recommend Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask. In addition to bentonite clay, this mask stars sustainably-sourced aloe vera and Amazonian white clay from the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. Using this mask consistently as part of your skincare routine can help reduce excess oil and detoxify skin for a smoother-feeling and visibly more refined appearance. Plus, it can even help reveal pores that appear visibly minimized, unclogged, or tightened.
How to use: Use this mask once or twice per week by applying a light layer to clean skin. Allow the mask to dry for about 10 minutes, then remove with a warm, wet towel. This formula is best suited for normal to oily skin types.
Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque
Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque is one of Kiehl’s top picks for managing skin that appears dull, fatigued, and in need of a pick-me-up. Suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin), this invigorating, brightening mask is equal parts face mask and face scrub, offering you an “instant facial” feeling. It’s formulated with turmeric extract, cranberry seeds, and, you guessed it, bentonite clay. Using this mask regularly will help leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, renewed, and radiant.
How to use: To enjoy the full benefits of this radiance-boosting mask, apply a visible layer to your skin (avoiding the eyes) and allow it to dry for 10 minutes. Next, rinse off with warm water and massage in a gentle circular motion—this will help effectively exfoliate your skin.
Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask
If a nourishing, creamy mask sounds more like your style, give this Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask a try. In addition to bentonite clay, the hydrating mask is also formulated with avocado fruit extract, avocado oil, and evening primrose oil. Treat your skin to this luxurious treat up to three times per week to seal in moisture and reveal skin that looks more supple and replenished.
How to use: Simply apply a thick, visible layer to clean skin, wait for 15 minutes, rinse with warm water, and massage gently in a circular motion. Once your skin is clean, pat dry with a soft towel for best results, avoiding the eye area. To give your eye area a bit of TLC, we recommend applying Avocado Eye Cream next as an eye mask for extra hydration.