DIY Bentonite Clay and Turmeric Mask For Glowing Skin

Ever since I came back from hot, dry Arizona last week, all I have been thinking about is skincare.  My skin has been red and flaky, and my hyper-pigmentation has been accentuated by that intense sun exposure.  So…I pretty much lost it when I saw  Meghan Markle’s glorious wedding day skin.   Ugh, it was perfect.  In honor of the Dutchess, I give you this easy, DIY bentonite clay and turmeric mask recipe for glowing skin!

I wish I could take full credit for this mask, but I can’t.  In addition to my Indian culture where turmeric is used in everything, my main inspiration for this mask comes from my fascination with Bentonite clay. I learned about this clay and its amazing skincare benefits first from Brittany Lackey’s article on Medium.  More recently, it has resurfaced on my radar from the oh-so-real and fab, Honest Liz, who swears by bentonite clay for her curly hair and skin detoxing. I so, so recommend reading their blog posts (and following Liz on Instagram) for more helpful info!

Who is this mask for?

While many of its ingredients are known to aid acne-prone skin, I personally believe anyone can benefit from this mask.  Why? Because turmeric and bentonite clay create the foundation for a pretty damn egalitarian face mask. Aside from acne and blemishes, it’s great for those suffering from hyperpigmentation (i.e., dark spots and discoloration), sensitive or inflamed skin, environmental damage, dry skin…the list goes on!   

The best thing about this recipe is that you can doctor it up or switch out ingredients based on your skin needs.  For example, I have dry skin, so my recipe includes coconut oil which is easy to access and something my skin tends to respond very well to. If you have oily skin, you can always omit the oil.   A lot of folks also prefer using full-fat yogurt or milk for moisture in lieu of oil.  Basically, the customization options are pretty endless!

What do I need?

  • 1 tablespoon of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (100% Bentonite Clay)  
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of turmeric (not sure of the brand, as I definitely swiped this from my mom’s kitchen!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Vitacoco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 clean mask brush or foundation brush

Note:  These are my go-to brands as they are affordable and all-natural, but feel free to use whatever brands you can access.

What do I do?

  1. First, make sure you are wearing dark clothes. Turmeric stains like whoa, so consider yourself warned!
  2. Next, measure and combine all of the ingredients with non-metal utensils in a non-metal bowl.  Mix with well to form a paste. Note: copper spoons and mixing bowls pictured in this post are just for show because they are pretty:) 
  3. Use brush to apply a thin layer all over the face, being careful to avoid the under eye area as the ACV is quite strong and may sting a bit. I use a clean stippling foundation brush, but you can purchase brushes specifically for clay masking as well.
  4. For sensitive skin, allow to sit on face for 5-10 minutes. I prefer 10.  For normal skin, you can leave it on for 15-20 minutes, according to the Aztec Secret clay instructions.  
  5. When you are ready to remove the mask, you should begin to feel your skin tightening as the clay dries and does its magic.
  6. To remove, use a damp, dark washcloth/any old washcloth you don’t care to stain. This gives you extra exfoliating power, too.
  7. Rinse of any excess with warm water.
  8. Admire how smooth, glowing and even-toned your skin appears and then quickly follow-up with your favorite moisturizer.
Mixed mask. Note: The clay instructions recommend using non-metal utensils.
Mask on…and all over my hair but that’s okay because this stuff is curly hair (and all hair) friendly!!

What does this stuff really do?

Bentonite Clay:  Seriously, what does this stuff NOT do?  Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring substance made from volcanic ash.   It reduces oil and excess sebum production. It treats naturally acne. It minimizes redness and inflammation. It helps with cellular regeneration.  It firms and tightens mature skin. It evens out skin tone and pigmentation issues.  The coolest thing, in my opinion, is that it naturally detoxes the skin by drawing out toxins and impurities. I noticed some redness immediately after using, but it soon faded to reveal smooth, soft and glowing skin. For more information on its uses, check out the Wellness Mama’s take on this powerful substance.

Turmeric: Turmeric powder comes from the turmeric plant which has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries in the Indian tradition of Ayurveda.  I am no Ayurvedic expert, but growing up in an Indian home, I had my fair share of turmeric-based concoctions as a kid to soothe coughs, colds and nasal congestion. Based on my research, what makes this stuff so effective is in treating common ailments is the curcumin, which contains extremely high anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.  For skin health, these properties are essential, as inflammation, bacteria and environmental damage cause our skin to breakout, appear red, flaky or irritated in any way.  Thus, turmeric can help us heal that irritation and its physical manifestations (redness, irritation, acne, scars, etc.) to reveal naturally glowing skin.  For anyone familiar with South Asian bridal beauty traditions, the haldi ceremony makes so much sense now, doesn’t it?

Coconut Oil:  I’m a loose woman when it comes to oils. Sigh. I just love SO many. Yet, for my driest days, coconut oil is my skin savior.  Though it does not absorb as quickly as other oils like Argan and Marula, I still love it for head-to-toe moisture.   What makes it different from other oils? Two words. Fatty Acids. Your skin needs them for so many reasons, and coconut oil is packed with them. Beyond keeping your skin soft and moisturized, coconut oil’s fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant benefits.  Moreover, coconut oil is known for skin-penetrating abilities so that it can deliver these benefits to your skin from the inside out. Shameless plug alert:  Speaking of oil, if you are curious about hydration versus moisture for skincare, do checkout my previous post on this topic.

Apple Cider Vinegar:  ACV packs a serious skincare punch.  Ever heard of the skin’s natural acid mantle? The acid mantle protects our skin from the elements, including bacteria and pollution. Without it, our skin is vulnerable to all forms of radicals.  When we use harsh cleansers or expose our skin to the elements, we strip the skin of its natural pH which ruins the acid mantle.  ACV helps restore that mantle and the skin’s natural pH level.  In doing so, ACV, in turn, is also an effective natural cure for acne caused by bacteria that form once the natural pH or acidity of our skin is destroyed.  An added benefit for those with dry skin is that ACV works to dissolve dead skin cells to reveal young, new skin. In many ways, its working as a natural toner for the skin.


Well…if you ask me, this stuff is MAGIC!  Sans makeup and filters, my skin is soft, smooth and glowing.  Mission accomplished.

Mask off!

Wait…what if I have extra?

This recipe makes enough for about two or three masks, so call over your bestie and have a mask party!  Or, if you’re flying solo for this self-care treat, simply store the remaining clay mixture in your fridge in an airtight container.  It should be good to last for about a week…which is great, because weekly use is ideal.  

Any precautions?

As with anything you apply to your skin, do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts before applying to your entire face.  Also, while this post focuses on some of the topical benefits of these ingredients, all of the above reportedly can be taken orally with additional benefits.  However, I’m a lawyer, not a doctor, so please, please consult your chosen medical practitioner before making a meal out of any of these ingredients, especially that Bentonite clay.   And, last but not least, that ACV smell (though it fades) is mighty strong at first. Honestly, the vinegar stink plus the thick, yellow appearance of the mask had me HARDCORE craving a hot dog with deli mustard. Just putting that out there if you’re trying to avoid foods like that and have no self-control!

And, that’s all I got.  If you enjoy this Bentonite Clay and Turmeric Mask, do let me know in the comments!  Happy masking!

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