Why Bentonite Clay can be BAD for Skin, Hair

What are the Bentonite clay bad effects ? How safe is this clay on your skin, hair, teeth and when taken internally ? 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 and mask.

Calcium Bentonite Clay Side Effects

There is no doubt that calcium Bentonite mud has a long list of benefits and uses. 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 mask side effects on your hair and skin.

Can you have an allergic reaction to bentonite clay?

If you react to metals then there are chances that you may experience allergic reaction when using this clay. Symptoms of metal allergies include an itchy skin rash, redness and blistering. However, it depends on the type or kind of metal. Check with your doctor if you notice any of the above signs

 Effects Skin & Hair

Bentonite Clay Side Effects on Skin & Hair
Bentonite clay may cause itchiness on sk

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. Is bentonite clay safe for 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 , as mentioned ealier, have an allergy that may actually not indicate the side effects of normal external or topical use of Bentonite clay on skin.

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 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 for Internal use -Is it Safe to Ingest?

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.

Drinking Hydrated Bentonite Clay Side Effects + Psyllium Husks

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.

Bentonite clay Psyllium Husks effects
Psyllium Husks

Bentonite Clay Toothpaste Side Effects

Did you know that bentonite can be used as a toothpaste to brush your teeth? It is indeed a toothpaste of its own kind. In terms of side effects, pure bentonite paste comes with little or no side effects. For more details check this article: Bentonite Clay Toothpaste, Recipe & Benefits

More on Clay-Bentonite

Montmorillonite Clay

Aztec Healing Clay

Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth) Clay

Rhassoul (Red Morrocan, Ghassoul) Clay

Kaolin (China, White Cosmetic, Kaolinite) Clay

Other Clays-French Green Clay & Dead Sea Mud



    1. 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.

  1. 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?

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. 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

  3. 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?


    1. 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.

  4. 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?

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. Hi

    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

  7. Clay has been used for CENTURIES safely.

    What CANNOT be done is to continue bad eating and personal care habits and expect this to be a “magic bullet” solution. YOU need to decide what you want for yourself – glowing health or convenience.

    Stop “blaming” everything and everyone for your shortcomings regarding self-education. Yes, it takes time and work – anything worthwhile does and anyone who told you different not only lied to you, they shortchanged you and made you into a mental cripple. You CAN change that however, if you choose to.

    I have metal allergies, I do not wear jewelry or metal framed glasses because of it. Bentonite clay has NEVER produced any problems for me whether used as a mask, used as a dentifrice or used internally. Why? Because I eliminated sugar, grains and dairy from my diet and rarely (once every 2 yrs or so) eat anything processed (not made from scratch but purchased boxed and ready-to-eat) and only if there’s no other choice.

    READ, search the internet and READ. LEARN. Find communities and ask questions. Don’t 100% trust ANY “doctor” as all they are are people who read for hours, were tested and released with a license to … MAKE MONEY, that’s all many of them are. So EDUCATE YOURSELF and stop expecting someone to do the work for you. Even the rich, who may have someone do the research, sit down and read what is found. So get going and may you find the path YOU need for your unique situation.

  8. I started drinking this clay as I’ve read so many good things about it. I use as it says and within a week my body is very sore. I feel like I’ve just done a heavy work out daily! My muscles ache. Is this normal? Wil this go away? And should I do it every other day instead of a tablespoon twice daily? Thanks

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