Saturday, 23 January 2016

Clay for Skin: Bentonite Clay | Part I

After reviewing Aztec Secret Healing Clay a couple of days ago, I thought it would be interesting to go through the different types of clays that are being used all over the world. I think everyone needs a pure clay in their skincare arsenal, and depending on your skin type and concerns, one may work better than another.

Since I'm still doing my Tea for Skin series, I thought 'Clay for Skin' was an apt name.

Bentonite Clay: smectite clay, consists mostly of the mineral montmorillonite.

How does it form: usually when volcanic ash formed under ancient oceans evolves through time through many transformations over millions of years. Can also formed through other processes, but always involves water.

Where is it found: mined all over the world: USA, China and Greece are the largest producers

Varieties: two main types used in skincare/cosmetics
  • sodium bentonite: highly active and with a high swell rate
  • calcium bentonite: moderately active, lower swell rate (Enartis Vinquiry, 2012)
Swell rate: bentonite is an expansive clay, it has the ability to swell or shrink depending on the water content. This is why the mask 'cracks' when it dries/'shrinks'.

'Bentonite 1' by penjelly licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Properties
  • adsorbent (binding) of fats, oils, and has a high cation exchange capacity (due to their partners; calcium, sodium etc)
  • which is the basis behind the theory that bentonite 'pulls impurities and toxins' from skin
  • some have antibacterial properties (Williams, Haydel et al., 2009)
Colour: can range from green, grey to beige

What to buy
Calcium Bentonite
Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Bentonite Clay - Pure
Natural Escentials Indian Healing Detox Clay - Pure

Sodium Bentonite
Ultra Pure Clay Harmony Sodium Bentonite Clay (80+ Facials) Bag w/ Scoop 
Molivera Organics Bentonite Clay 16 oz
Majestic Pure Bentonite Clay

Store bought Clays
GLAMGLOW Power Mud Dual Cleanse Treatment - Second ingredient, after water
Lush Mask of Magnaminty - First ingredient


Bibliography
Enartis Vinquiry Website
Williams, L. B., Haydel, S. E., & Ferrell, R. E. (2009). Bentonite, Bandaids, and Borborygmi. Elements (Quebec, Quebec)5(2), 99–104. http://doi.org/10.2113/gselements.5.2.99

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