I’m not much of a beauty buff, but when a bout of severe acne hit me out of the blue in college, you better believe I tried every natural remedy and DIY treatment the internet had to offer.
Years later, my skin is in much better shape, but I still get the occasional bumps and blemishes. You’ll find a trusty jar of coconut oil in my well-stocked bathroom cabinet and I’ve experimented with slathering everything from honey to apple cider vinegar all over my face. Which is why, when I found out that a bentonite clay powder with a cult following called Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay was flying off The Vitamin Shoppe shelves, I immediately hunted down a jar.
Bentonite clay comes from volcanic ash, and is known for its absorptive qualities, according to the Industrial Minerals Association of North America. It’s even used in the food industry to remove impurities from oils and clarify water and honey. In the beauty world, bentonite clay claims to be the ‘world’s most powerful facial’ for deep pore cleansing.
Well, we were about to find out.
After getting home from the gym—and with particularly grubby pores—I hit the bathroom with my jar of Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay, my trusty bottle of apple cider vinegar, a bowl, and a spoon. (Note: The clay jar says to use a non-metal bowl and spoon and I play by the rules, so I used plastic.)
I mixed equal parts of the powdery clay and ACV, as guided by the instructions, and watched some serious chemistry happen. There was much bubbling and fizzling as I stirred. The end result was a thick grayish paste that looked a bit like wet concrete.
I spread a solid coat across my face, avoiding my nose ring, which gets angry easily. I paced around the house for the 15 minutes recommended. (My friend laughed a quick ‘what the…’ at me as I passed him in the kitchen.)
The mask tightened as it dried—brushing my teeth those last five minutes was an absolute fail. When the clay was totally dry and started to crack, I rinsed it off with warm water. My face was a little red (which the jar says is normal) and felt tingly.
I stuck my face right up against the vanity mirror to check out the state of my pores, and the usually problematic dots on my nose looked all but nonexistent. Seriously, I was impressed.