If you’re on Reddit or Pinterest you’ve probably run across this mask accompanied by the words “must-have” or “hidden gem.”
I decided to give it a go after trying several other at-home masks in an attempt to brighten skin and clean pores: the oatmeal/yogurt/honey mask, the baking soda mask, and various store-bought masks that make me look like I’m wearing someone else’s face skin ala Silence of the Lambs.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to invest the time and money into a face mask, I want it to feel like it’s working. Call it a placebo effect, but I want to feel like my skin is tightening and my pores are being vacuumed clean.
After an evening of research, the mask that kept coming up as the most recommended was Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. And with the friendly price tag of $6.99 for a 1 lb. jar (I got mine at Sprouts), I figured it was worth a shot.
The first time I used this mask, I noticed an immediate difference. My pores looked clean and minimized, and my skin glowed as if it had been tongue-bathed by an enchanted cartoon deer.
Since then, I’ve used it once a week and have annoyed my friends/family/anyone who will listen by extolling its virtues.
A Little Background
Bentonite clay comes from volcanic ash. It is mainly sourced in the U.S. in Death Valley and Fort Benton, Wyoming which is where it gets its name.
It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of internal and external ailments and was prized for its antibacterial and healing properties.
Bentonite clay carries the unique property of being negatively charged. Why should you care? Because all that negativity acts like a magnet to attract all the nastiness in your skin and pull it out.
“While in its natural state, bentonite clay has negatively charged electrons intact, most toxins and heavy metals have positively charged electrons. This allows the two to bind together easily and stay united while the toxin removal process happens.” – Dr. Josh Axe
It also sucks up bacteria. The tiny clay particles surround the bacteria cutting it off from its source of nourishment, halting its growth, and sucks it out of your skin.
How to Use
Directions say to mix equal parts clay and water or apple cider vinegar. I usually do a tablespoon of both ACV and clay powder.
NOTE: They also specifically note not to use a metal bowl or spoon to mix. This apparently has to do with the potential to disrupt the aforementioned negatively charged electrons. In my research, I found opinions both supporting and dismissing this claim. I’m not willing to do anything to compromise the magic that is this mask, so I adhere to the no-metal rule.
I also choose to use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar rather than water, purely because it touts its own list of skin benefits:
- Exfoliates by “digesting” dead skin cells to reveal new, youthful skin
- Helps restore skin’s natural pH balance
- Soothes irritated skin
Plus, it does this fun fizzy thing when you add the clay to the ACV.
Mix until smooth, and then slather that goodness all over your face avoiding your eyes.
You can leave it on for as little as 5 minutes (for sensitive skin) or 15-20 minutes to let it dry.
I leave it on as long as possible because as it dries it tightens a bit and you get this cool pulsating effect on your face that feels like waves of glowing health.
Yes, I know what I just said, and I don’t apologize.
Once it’s dry, use warm water to wash it off. True to the directions, your skin might be a little red afterwards, but it will disappear within 30 minutes. I recommend not doing this mask right before going out in public.
I use this mask every Sunday night, and I’ve noticed a marked difference in my skin. My pores are smaller, my face is brighter, and there’s reduced redness and an overall evenness to my complexion.
Add this to the short list of things that actually worked from Pinterest, and get you some.