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People have been using clay for centuries to improve the health of their skin and hair.

Clay facial masks are made up of one of several types of clay, such as kaolin or bentonite. It’s thought that these masks have several benefits, like absorbing excess oil, helping manage dry skin, and preventing acne.

Although most of the evidence to back the use of clay masks is anecdotal, several studies have found that these masks may be effective.

In this article, we’re going to examine the potential benefits of clay masks for skin and hair, and cover any potential side effects.

Clay masks have the potential to absorb oil from your skin and prevent mild forms of acne, such as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. These types of acne form when your pores are clogged with excessive dirt and oil.

To treat blackheads, acne, or other acne spots, it’s recommended that you apply a mixture of clay powder and warm water. The heat helps increase perspiration and the amount of oil and dirt your skin releases.

For more severe cystic acne, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about the best treatment option. A clay mask won’t target the root cause of the acne, which may be hormonal.

Applying a clay mask to your face draws excess oil away from your pores. Many people claim green clay is the best for drying out your skin.

If you have naturally oily skin, regularly applying a clay mask once or twice a week may help manage the excess oil.

According to a 2017 review of studies, a lotion containing a form of bentonite clay called quaternium-18 bentonite has the potential to reduce symptoms of dermatitis caused by poison ivy and poison oak.

Applying bentonite to diaper rash was also found to be more effective than a traditional treatment of calendula.

There isn’t any research examining clay masks as a treatment for other skin disorders like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. However, many people claim that clay masks help them manage their symptoms.

Research has found that bentonite clay may help treat ulcers and cuts. Animal studies suggest clay masks might promote the production of collagen fibers, which may reduce wrinkles and increase skin firmness.

Red clay is sometimes recommended for dry skin. According to a 2016 study, when the clay hardens, it creates a film that may help your skin retain moisture.

However, the researchers found that the short-term use of a clay mask didn’t lead to a significant change in skin firmness.

Overusing clay masks also has the potential to dry out your skin. If you already have dry skin, you may want to limit your use of clay masks to a maximum of once per week.

Clay usually has a negative electrical charge. Research suggests that this negative charge may help it bind to positively charged toxins and heavy metals like mercury and lead found in environmental pollution.

Bentonite is a type of clay derived from volcanic ash. It’s named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, where a large amount of this clay was discovered.

Many of the studies examining the potential benefits of clay masks have used bentonite clay in their research.

A few ways bentonite may help your skin include:

  • reducing excessive moisture
  • protecting your skin from toxins
  • helping reduce acne
  • improving symptoms of dermatitis
  • improving symptoms of diaper rash

Most of the evidence backing the use of clay for hair health is anecdotal. Although more research needs to be performed, some think that clay may be able to pull out dirt and oil from the scalp to improve hair health.

Clay masks may help with the following:

Some people claim that clay can help your hair grow faster. However, this is a myth, possibly resulting from a 1992 study that found feeding sheep bentonite improved their wool production. There’s no evidence that clay increases hair growth in people.

You’re unlikely to experience serious side effects after applying a clay mask to your skin.

If you leave a clay mask on for too long or use clay masks too frequently, your skin may become dry or irritated. It’s a good idea to limit your use of this treatment to no more than twice per week.

Some clay masks may contain other substances that might irritate your skin, such as glycolic acid.

The most likely side effects of using a clay mask include:

Here’s how you can apply a basic green clay mask:

  1. Scoop out a quarter-sized amount of clay from its container.
  2. Spread the clay evenly across your face. Start at your upper neck and work upward.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the mask with lukewarm water or a damp facecloth.

Clay masks are widely available to buy online or anywhere that sells cosmetics.

Buy clay masks online.

Clay face masks have been used for hundreds of years to improve skin health.

Modern science has found that clay masks may have several benefits for your skin such as absorbing excess oil and preventing acne.

Anecdotal evidence suggests clay masks for hair may also have benefits.

If you do give clay masks a try, be sure to limit their use to twice a week. Many skin specialists recommend this because overuse has the potential to dry out your skin.