Red clay is sometimes recommended for dry skin.  when the clay hardens, it creates a film that may help your skin retain moisture.

However, the researchers found that the short-term use of a clay mask didn’t lead to a significant change in skin firmness.

Overusing clay masks also has the potential to dry out your skin. If you already have dry skin, you may want to limit your use of clay masks to a maximum of once per week.


Clay usually has a negative electrical charge. Research suggests that this negative charge may help it bind to positively charged toxins and heavy metals like mercury and lead found in environmental pollution.

Bentonite is a type of clay derived from Volcanic ash. It’s named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, where a large amount of this clay was discovered.

Many of the studies examining the potential benefits of clay masks have used bentonite clay in their research.

A few ways bentonite may help your skin include:

  • reducing excessive moisture
  • protecting your skin from toxins
  • helping reduce acne
  • improving symptoms of dermatitis
  • improving symptoms of diaper rash

Most of the evidence backing the use of clay for hair health is anecdotal. Although more research needs to be performed, some think that clay may be able to pull out dirt and oil from the scalp to improve hair health.

Some people claim that clay can help your hair grow faster. However, this is a myth,  that found feeding sheep bentonite improved their wool production. There’s no evidence that clay increases hair growth in people.

You’re unlikely to experience serious side effects after applying a clay mask to your skin.

If you leave a clay mask on for too long or use clay masks too frequently, your skin may become dry or irritated. It’s a good idea to limit your use of this treatment to no more than twice per week.

Some clay masks may contain other substances that might irritate your skin, such as glycolic acid.

  1. Scoop out a quarter-size amount of clay from its container.
  2. Spread the clay evenly across your face. Start at your upper neck and work upward.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the mask with lukewarm water or a damp facecloth.