Monday, June 27, 2011

Bentonite is Bangin!

When I was five, my skin was awesome. But whose wasn’t? It’s a few years later now (ahem) and my skin is a few years less awesome, but (thankfully) not terrible. A little hyper-pigmentation here, the occasional breakout there, nothing that can’t be handled with proper care, maintenance, diet and general internal health (check out Nia's AWESOME post on her skin if you haven't already where she mentions the internal causes of external skin conditions). I’ve had pretty much the same skin care “routine” for ages. I say routine in quotes because I am not disciplined enough about anything, let alone taking care of my face, to call it a routine. I can regularly be counted on to grab a washcloth, wash my face with some warm water and slap on some moisturizer (always with SPF!). Other than that, my skin care is a fly by night operation. I have used Aveda products for years though, with excellent results. So much so, that I’m mostly afraid to try anything else. The fact that they work well on my skin, coupled with the fact that Aveda works really hard to be environmentally sustainable and as non-toxic as possible makes me ride with them til the end (or til they get trumped by a less-expensive equally conscious competitor). I particularly love the All-Sensitive Cleaser

One of the young ladies who works at the Aveda store in the Braintree, MA Mall hipped me to a new technique for using the cleanser. Instead of following the directions on the bottle and wetting your face before applying the cleanser, she suggested applying the cleanser on dry skin, and then rinsing like you would cold cream. GENIUS! The product works even more effectively this way, really pulling out all the dirt, oil and makeup. 

The Tourmaline Charged Hydrating cream saved my skin this winter. In spite of the epic snowfall and freezing cold temperatures we had this winter, I was outside for much of the day every day with my puppy, who thinks snow and cold are the greatest things since rawhide bones. All of that outdoor time basically made my face crack and fall off. I was walking around looking like a mummified corpse in the Egyptian wing of an art museum. Not cool. I made a trip to Aveda, where the Tourmaline cream was recommended and it made instantaneous improvements. 
During those 5 or 6 days of spring that we had, I noticed that my skin still had some recovering to do from the trauma of winter and so I decided to try a bentonite clay mask. 

I checked out a few videos on YouTube, copped some clay at my local health food co-op and came up with a recipe that made sense for my skin’s needs.
My bentonite recipe was:
(Mixed In a plastic bowl w/ a plastic spoon)

2 TSP Bentonite clay
1 TSP Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TSP Raw Organic honey
4 drops Jojoba oil
4 drops Organic Tea tree oil
2 TSP Water

Mix well to a smooth paste and apply to clean skin that has been dampened with warm water (to open pores). Allow to dry completely (time may vary, but for me it was about 20 min). Rinse thoroughly with warm water, follow with your regular moisturizer and enjoy having skin like a baby’s butt.
(FYI, Moptopmaven has some great info on her blog about which oils might be good for different skin types. Check out: this or this)
Pictures don’t really illustrate the effects of the bentonite mask, but let me tell you, I could feel the difference instantly. My skin felt fresh and super smooth. I also noticed that my moisturizer was more effective with less product.

But let’s be real for just a moment, shall we? There is no miracle product that will drastically change what any of us look like (plastic surgery/botox aside). Genetics, hormones and health play a huge role in the appearance of our largest organ and these are factors over which we have little control (other than the latter). The best we can do is to try to take good care of what we’ve got. I believe that our strongest weapon in that battle is diet, but using quality products which are appropriate for our individual skin is also important. For ME, the bentonite worked well, as do Aveda products, but I’m not endorsing any of these things for anyone else. What I will get behind is the notion that we are all beautiful, flaws and all, and that as long as we are healthy and happy, that beauty will shine. It may sound corny, but that other kind of beauty they sell in magazines and movies is so subjective it’s too silly to even focus on. That said, I’m still interested in what has worked for others in improving the health and appearance of their skin, so share your stories and secret recipes folks!



  1. I use a varying recipe for my hair and I love it! Bentonite clay, for some reason, works as a combination clarifier and deep conditioner. My hair is squeaky clean, super-soft and my curls ultra-defined.

  2. I can't remember if the clay I used to use was bentonite, but these days I use rhassoul clay as a mask, and that's pretty good. It's also amazing (amazing, I say!) as a hair treatment. But my favourite skin pick-me-up is a honey and aspirin mask (sometimes with a little vitamin C powder thrown in). That's my go-to whenever my skin is looking dull and tired, or if I'm starting to break out, and it has never failed me yet.

  3. My mom and I are making face masks with two slightly varied versions of this recipe tonight lol. Girls night!


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