Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay Side Effects on Skin, Hair Detox & Bath Effects

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What are the Bentonite clay side effects? Does Bentonite clay have side effects on skin and hair? Being a medicinal clay, it is easy to overlook the risks and dangers of using it for detox and cleansing as well as for other benefits. Here’s what you should know about the negative effects of Bentonite clay bath.

There is no doubt that calcium Bentonite mud has a long list of benefits. It is used in many ways, both externally and internally. Whether it is Bentonite clay powder or hydrated Bentonite clay that is sometimes applied as a detox and cleansing mask, experts warn that the clay can also have its own side effects on human health.

Some sources indicate that there are no possible side effects of using calcium Bentonite clay, but some sources still claim that the mud may be harmful and risky because it contains traces of other dangerous metals, such as aluminum. It is the impurities, according to many sources, that render the clay a risky home remedy. But what exactly are these Bentonite clay side effects and dangers? Let us start with the clay’s detox side effects.

Bentonite Clay Detox Side Effects

Bentonite Clay Detox Side Effects

Bentonite clay detox side effects: Headaches ,Muscle pain & tiredness, Joint pain & Stiffness

A Bentonite clay detox is touted to be one of the best for cleansing the body system for a clear skin. It also detoxifies the body internally to rid it of internal toxins that may cause quick aging and even blemishes on the skin. So, does a Bentonite clay detox have side effects?

One of the major reasons for using this mud or clay as a detox agent is its ability to draw and react with heavy metals, removing them from the body system. However, in so doing, the clay may cause you intestinal discomfort. You may drink a lot of water to do away with this side effect of drinking Bentonite clay since it will aid pass out the compounds from your system.

In a more summarized way, here are the Bentonite clay detox side effects that you may experience while using it to cleanse your body and rid it of unwanted toxins:

  • Headaches are termed as mild Bentonite clay side effects.
  • Muscle pain and tiredness
  • Joint pain and stiffness, which together with muscle pain, are side effect symptoms of the toxins stored in the joint and muscle fluids being gotten rid of from your body.

These side effects are common in people trying to detoxify externally. If you are trying a detox for the first time using calcium Bentonite clay, you may experience these negative or undesirable effects as more intense than when you will have it for the second and subsequent times.

Bentonite Clay Bath Side Effects

Bentonite Clay Bath side Effects

No reported side effects of Bentonite clay bath

Are there any Bentonite clay bath side effects? You have probably heard of a long list of health benefits of calcium Bentonite clay baths and they are definitely too enticing. It is true that the bath can be very healthy for skin detox, cleansing and relaxing the body and joints. But is that all?

There are no reported side effects of preparing and taking a bath in Bentonite clay. Better yet, there are no health risks and drawbacks that have been linked with prolonged external use of Bentonite mud for cleansing the skin. It is therefore recommended that you take regular calcium Bentonite mud baths for skin rejuvenation and as a topical anti-aging remedy.

However, since it is said that aluminum compounds can be found in traces in any sample of calcium Bentonite mud, side effects of aluminum may be felt. “Aluminum compounds, such as aluminum zirconium and aluminum chloride, have estrogen-like properties…there’s concern that aluminum may have the same effect when absorbed through the skin.” The actual dangerous side effect is increasing the breast cancer tissue growth according to the National Cancer Institute.

Bentonite Clay Cleanse Side Effects

For cleansing purposes, Bentonite clay is used internally. Drinking hydrated Bentonite clay is one of the best ways to cleanse the body and detoxify it. The clay gets rid of free ions, toxin buildup in the stomach and intestines.

It is also used to cleanse the gut of some bacteria that cause discomforts and illness. So, are there any Bentonite clay cleanse side effects? One of the obvious side effects of drinking Bentonite clay is that it absorbs all the beneficial bacteria as it cleanses the intestines, which is why it is not very good to take a lot of it everyday. Other clay cleanse side effects that have been reported are:

  • Nausea after ingesting the calcium clay
  • Constipation, especially during the first time of use. The reason for this is that the clay gets stuck in the intestines and causes indigestion problems.

Bentonite Clay Side Effects on Skin & Hair

Bentonite Clay Side Effects on Skin & Hair

Bentonite clay may cause itchiness on skin

The most common and safe way to use this clay is externally. For this

reason, there are Bentonite clay masks that are applied topically onto

the skin, as well as uses on the skin. So, what are the side effects of Bentonite clay on skin? What are the side effects of Bentonite clay on hair?

The clay is used for washing and conditioning hair. There are some helpful Bentonite clay hair mask recipes with no side effects of any kind reported for hair. On the other hand, you may experience itchiness on the skin if you react to some metals, or have an allergy that may actually not indicate the side effects of normal external or topical use of Bentonite clay on skin.

Hydrated Bentonite Clay Side Effects

Hydrated Bentonite clay has unique characteristics, one of them being its ability to react with water and rise up fast to form a sponge like substance. Since there is water in the gut and in the stomach, you may start to feel side effect changes such as bloating and indigestion or constipation.

Tip: It is advisable to “combine psyllium husks with the clay and increase one’s intake of water.” [Buzzle] This will help prevent most of the side effects such as constipation and nausea, especially when you ingest the clay.

Suggested Further Reading

More on Clay

Montmorillonite Clay

Aztec Healing Clay

Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth) Clay

Rhassoul (Red Morrocan, Ghassoul) Clay

Kaolin (China, White Cosmetic, Kaolinite) Clay


  1. Brianna

    July 1, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Is there any danger in doing a topical mask with this clay if I have a copper iud? Thanks!

    • Charl

      July 2, 2015 at 3:50 am

      Hello Brianna, thanks for visiting DurableHealth. How Bentonite may interact with paragard has not been established meaning that the side effects or dangers are not yet known. However, before trying the topical mask check with your doctor for details.

  2. Lise

    November 10, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Is there any danger in using bentonite clay in a homemade deodorant? Some recipes call for small amounts however is there a risk with the daily exposure?

    • Charl

      November 10, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      There are no known severe dangers of using Bentonite clay in making deodorant at home. But ensure the clay you are using is of good quality. The risks associated with Bentonite clay daily exposure are not well established and they may vary from one person to another. It is a good idea, however, to stick to directions as described on the recipes.

  3. W.Shaikh

    December 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I read that calcium bentonite may have traces of Aluminum and lead. Both metals are carcinogen.
    Shouldn’t we be careful before embracing it as a gut detoxifier?

    • Charl

      December 30, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Shaikh, Thanks for your contribution. We should definitely be cautious. However, according to a number of studies, Bentonite is safe especially for external use. FDA has given all Bentonite clays a certification as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe). Further, the studies state the clay itself does not have any carcinogenic effects: it is the impurities mixed in with the powder that may have negative effects. Depending on the source, it may have some toxins. Here are some tips on how to find quality clay

  4. Glen Gregory

    March 28, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    My wife and I have been using Bentonite clay for some time now, externally and internally, and have found no problem with it
    However today I got an alert through my email, I believe from Amazon saying that the FDA have ruled that the best bentonite clay contains elevated levels of lead, and should not be taken anymore.
    How true is that?


    • Charl

      March 30, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Hello Glen, thanks for your enquiry. It is true. Results from their laboratories have found elevated levels of lead in the product. However,the same FDA has not yet confirmed any cases of lead poisoning associated with “Best Bentonite Clay.”. Note, it is the product but not the pure original clay.

  5. Jade

    August 30, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I put the bento it delay on my skin and and hair and when I washed it off, my scalp was very itchy and I had small hives on my face. Does this mean I should stop using the clay?

    • Charl

      September 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Jade. It seems like that you skin does react well to the clay. The best option is consult you doctor for further details. You can as well do away with clay.

  6. Leslie

    December 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Hello. I have tried using clay a few times in my life (taking a very small amount internally and using in homemade toothpaste) and each time I have experienced a sudden worsening of some mental health issues I have. I have found that immediately replacing minerals and trace minerals after using clay reduces the negative effects. Provided that each time, I have used a high quality bentonite clay, do you know why this may be? Thank you.

    • Charl

      March 3, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Hi Leslie, basing on the available literature or information, it is in fact supposed to boost your mental health, indirectly though. We are yet to find why that is the case. Thank you for your contribution.

  7. sandip gor

    February 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    i wont to know about bentonite clay mask


    March 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm


    I used Bentonite Clay from Majestic Healing Costmeticals over a period of 8 weeks – equating to 4oz of powder in each bath using some of the surplus clay as a mask on my body. I developed swollen glands, itchy skin (that felt like it was burning). I am now concerned I have lead/arsenic poisoning and also have developed respiratory problems as the Bentonite is highly poisonous as it contains Silica which can lead to severe lung problems. This chemical compound carries a health warning so inhaling it in a bathroom environment is surely not safe? I am currently being tested for both lead and arsenic poisoning and have also developed difficulty breathing / shortness of breath. Can anyone who has been taking clay baths advise me if they have had any similar problems or how long they have been taking clays baths etc. I’m looking for some answer/reassurance. Thank you

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