Is bentonite clay worth the hype?
I spend most of my time trawling the internet, researching a multitude of things. See, the inter-web is full of information but there’s cons and pros to it, and whether the pros outweigh the cons depends on the information you seek.
I really can’t say. But what I find, almost all the time, is how overwhelming the information can be. I have been hearing about bentonite clay and its benefits for months. Finally, with a bit of time on my hands, I decided to try it out for myself. Which brings me to the other con, contradiction.
People in general, experience things differently and thus, have different opinions and that’s okay. But when these contradictions are displayed on a platform that we use to seek information, it can be a tricky business deciding which side is more accurate and provides less risk than the other.
Sometimes, I brave things out and go for it, to judge for myself and form my own opinion. Initially, I wanted to use the clay as a face mask, although I’ve heard it’s good for hair as well as many other things.
But in my search for a simple mask recipe, more like a recipe that I can put together with the things I already have so that I don’t have to go to the store, I found that it can also be used for the underarms.
A detox of some sort, the scientists and biologists have, over the years, warned us about detox and how false the claims behind this phenomenon are. They collectively agree, that the human body is well capable of removing or clearing out toxins on its own.
Making the detox only a money making scheme. For me, it wasn’t the detox situation that made me want to try this out. It was simply curiosity. Risky right? But, if it’s safe for my face, neck and internal consumption, it sure wouldn’t be a risk for my underarms.
And so, I started my experiment.
- Bentonite Clay
- Apple cider vinegar
Mix these together with lukewarm water.
I was going to use it on my face, neck and underarms, so I didn’t need to use much. I did learn from my search not to use metal, only plastic or wood as metal would automatically and immediately activate the solution. (fix)
I don’t do well at measuring things, it’s no wonder I didn’t become a good science student. I eyeball measurements, I’d risk the assumption that I took two full tablespoons of bentonite, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, another of honey and the amount of water depends on how thick you want the paste to be.
I made mine double cream yoghurt thick, with similar texture and consistency. I applied on fresh clean skin, washed my face, neck and underarms about ten minutes before.
I kept it on for 25 minutes. It started drying up on my face, as I was applying on neck and underarm. Eventually, it dried up 15 minutes in. The more it dried up, the more it feels like my skin is being pulled apart. The last 10 minutes of the 25 minutes felt as excruciating as watching Thanos vaporising T’Challa and the rest in Infinity War.
None of this in in reference to pain, but rather uncomfortable. After the timer went off, I rinsed off with luke-warm water until all clay was gone and applied moisturizer or you can follow this up with coconut oil (I would have, had I not run out.)
When I removed the clay, my neck was red. I didn’t know whether I should be alarmed but I chose to wait it out and the redness, cleared out within two hours and no itching or rash, as I had expected as a side effect from the redness.
My underarms have not seen a roll on since and I can report clear, smooth underarms with an odour not really worth writing home about. The sweat cells/glands are doing their jobs as intended, so we’re good here.
On my face, on the other hand, I had two pimples building up, those red round ones with some puss in, I’m happy to report that, three days later, they’ve cleared.
In conclusion, I think it’s a good mask and probably regimen going forward, once in two weeks, maybe.
The important thing to remember is to listen to your skin and follow its command before you injure yourself.
UPDATE: I used the clay mask for mine and cousin’s hair. As I mentioned previously, I swapped my beautiful bouncy afro for a short cut and added a vibrant colour to give it the boost I needed. My cousin on the other hand, has black mini afro.
I used the same ingredients as above, only added two tablespoons of olive oil. Kept the mask on for 20 minutes, rinsed with a conditioner (we use Aunty Jackies) and moisturised (with a mixture of Aunty Jackie’s butter and shea butter oil, as well as @Afrobotanics leave-in conditioner.
The results, my hair is happy and shiny, so is my cousins.
July 22, 2020