Do you guys remember when Elizabeth wrote about her beauty splurges from a trip to the States? One of them was Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.
It's a major cult product in the U.S.—a number one seller on Amazon!—and I totally dig the crazy packaging, don't you? The random image, the festive colour palette, the boasting, the quotation marks and the exclamation point... I love weirdo products like this.
But since I'd never come across it in person here in Canada, I didn't realize what Aztec Secret actually was. Of course, since I have all the "normal" beauty products I'd ever need, when I finally found it on Amazon.ca, I just had to place an order!
What Is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay?
So like I said, I had no idea what I was getting—I assumed this Aztec Secret stuff was some kind of face mask. I'm always up for trying new products, especially cult products, so I just thought "cool."
Then it arrived (very speedily, I might add—only a couple business days after I placed my order) and I realized the contents looked like this:
Basically the container is full of dry, powdered clay. Bentonite clay. Which is something I'm already intimately familiar with, since I've been telling people for ages that it is THE premiere treatment for drying up pimples. I have a container of bentonite powder from Now Foods that has lasted me for, like, five years.
The Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Did you spot the claim on the Aztec Secret label—that it's "the world's most powerful facial?"
'Tis true. There really isn't anything you can put on your face that is better than bentonite clay at drawing out impurities. I swear by it for the times when my skin throws me the curveball of a horrible, juicy pimple that needs drying out. (Like last week when I had to basically pull an all-nighter to get our spankin' new design all set up while all y'all were sleeping! Skin didn't like that much.)
It won't work too well on hardened, underground, cystic acne because the contents aren't soft enough for the clay to get in and soak them up.
That's right—the reason bentonite is so cool is because it absorbs up to 180 times its own weight. That's why they call it a detoxifying treatment. It's soaking up all that bad stuff that doesn't belong.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
How to Use Bentonite Clay For Acne
If you do a search, you'll find all kinds of recipes online for making bentonite clay masks. They're all probably fine, but I'm too impatient for that when I have an immediate problem such as an enlarged, flaming blemish!
What I do is just scoop out a tiny bit of the dry Aztec Secret clay powder (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 tsp—you really don't need much if it's just one zit) and cup it in the palm of one hand.
Then I put the fingers of my other hand under running water and slowly let the water drip off, drop by drop, into the powder hand, mixing until I get enough to make a paste. You could, by the way, use apple cider vinegar instead of water if you wanted.
The mixing is messy work and would probably be easier if I used a spoon and a bowl, but whatevs. As soon as you've got your desired paste consistency, apply it to the target area and then let it dry.
FEEL YOUR FACE PULSING!
That's what the back of the Aztec Secret label shouts, and it's kinda true actually. As the clay dries, it tightens up dramatically, kinda even pulling. I've definitely felt tingles. Leave it on at least until it dries... although I've even just left it overnight and it's been fine.
What you do need to be careful with is washing it off, since it gets so dry that you can accidentally lop off the delicate skin on top of your pimple. It's best to work really slowly and avoid peeling it off dry, or scrubbing when wet... I find it comes off the easiest in the shower under running water.
And then... prepared to be amazed at how much it's reduced the size of your pimple. Maybe even eradicated it completely!
Other Ways to Use Bentonite Clay
FACE MASKS: If you've got normal-to-oily or combination skin, Aztec Secret clay is an excellent—and ridiculously cheap—face mask. It literally sucks the gunk right outta your pores! Plus I feel like I have a bit more of a rosy glow after using it. Apparently that's because it increases blood circulation and removes dead skin cells.
You want to use equal parts clay and water or ACV, so I'd advise mixing that in a bowl... probably a bit easier to manage the larger volume than doing it in your hand like me. (They say one pound of clay will give you enough for 10 to 15 facials, but I think you can stretch it out more than that.) The instructions also recommend leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes if you have normal skin, or 5 to 10 minutes if you have delicate skin. After that, you may get a slight redness that will disappear in 30 minutes.
BATH AND FOOT SOAKS: You can also try adding some Aztec Secret clay to your bath for a heavy metal detox. This article has more info, and recommends using a full two cups! (So you'd have to buy two of these to have enough.) If that's too messy for you to put in your entire tub, it also works as just a foot soak.
INSECT BITES AND STINGS: Same principle here as with the acne—it draws out the impurities and dries up the blisters while it soothes the itching. I can't believe I never thought to try that, but I definitely will this summer, since bugs always eat me alive!
Where to Buy
If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. See our Disclosure for more information.