Bentonite clay is so named for the Benton Shale in Wyoming, where most of it is extracted. It’s used for all kinds of cosmetic, medical, agricultural, and even industrial applications.
It’s made of montmorillonite, a very soft silicate mineral named after the region in France where it was first discovered. Bentonite clay has two notable qualities:
(1) it has a high cationic exchange capacity, which means the negatively charged clay it binds to (and pulls out) positively charged toxins from the skin like a literal magnet. For this reason, it should avoid contact with metal before it touches your face (or it becomes less effective).
(2) it swells (a lot) when added to water. If you have any leftover mask, it’s best composted rather than flushed down the drain (we learned that the hard way).
Bentonite clay also helps bring oxygen to the cells and blood to the surface of the skin; after a few minutes, your face will feel tingly and flushed. It might look red and scary for a while, but it disappears quickly (and leaves your skin so much healthier!)
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