What Is Bentonite Clay? 4 Benefits You Should Know

May 16, 2018
Margaret Fisher
By: Margaret Fisher | skincare.com by L'Oréal
What Is Bentonite Clay? 4 Benefits You Should Know

It would be disingenuous to say that clays are newcomers to the world of beauty. According to the National Institute of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), humankind has used different kinds of clay for maintaining body health for years and years. While originally clays may have been slathered straight onto the skin, or ingested, nowadays the market is brimming with facial cleansers and masks formulated with clay. One clay in particular has started receiving an increasing amount of attention—and that is bentonite clay. Read on to find out what bentonite clay is and how it can benefit your skin! 


Before you can decide whether or not bentonite clay lives up to the hype and is worth adding to your skin care routine, you need to know what it is. The NCBI shares that bentonite does not refer to a mineral but rather is a generic term for rocks derived from ‘altered volcanic ash beds.’ Bentonite clay is one of the clays available to us in nature and has been used for traditional habits in many cultures. Additionally, ethnic skin expert, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. William Kwan says bentonite clay contains a high amount of a substance called montmorillonite, a common clay mineral.

bentonite clay mask


A study published by the NCBI found that bentonite clay has a “broad range of action on different parts of the body.” Find four of bentonite clay’s most noteworthy properties, below: 

Benefit #1: Has a Soothing Effect

Dr. Kwan lists one of the most significant benefits of bentonite clay as its soothing properties—something everyone, but especially those with sensitive skin, can benefit from in their skin care products.

Benefit #2: Provides a Protective Barrier

Taking care of your complexion doesn’t only involve addressing your concerns, it’s equally important to protect your skin. According to the NCBI, bentonite clay can act as a barrier and provide a protective action for your skin. 

Benefit #3: Offers Healing Properties

The NCBI says bentonite has antibacterial properties and can help in the healing of skin lesions. Dr. Kwan also offers up that bentonite clay can be used to help with acne—a process in which these properties are surely helpful. 

Benefit #4: Improves Skin Inflammation

According to the NCBI, when formulated in lotions, bentonite clay can help improve various types of dermatitis—a general term for skin inflammation. 


Convinced your routine could be improved by bentonite clay? Try the popular ingredient for yourself with a face mask. Bentonite clay can often be found in face masks—as clay masks are a major beauty trend at the moment. Have your pick from three of our favorites from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands:

clarifying clay mask

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Mask: This clarifying mask combines natural earth clays—including bentonite—with a hydroxyl acid blend and can decongest pores, lift impurities and oils, and exfoliate the skin.

Vichy Mineral Pore Purifying Clay Mask: In a matter of minutes—only five minutes to be exact—this face mask, which is formulated with bentonite clay and aloe vera, helps to purify pores.

deep pore cleansing

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask: Remember, facial cleansers aren’t your only method for getting clean. This thoroughly cleansing masque, ideal for normal to oily skin types, helps eliminate oil accumulation that can clog pores and leave skin dull-looking. The unique formula is rich in bentonite clay, aloe, and Amazonian white clay.  

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