By: Lydia Crist
Being immersed in a world of pollutants, skin stressors and often harmful chemicals, we have become all too familiar with the term detox. Detoxification refers broadly to the removal of toxins from a living organism (in our case, the human body) or the process of an organism returning to its natural state of homeostasis.
Delving into the world of detoxification for me thus far has meant eating foods such as beetroot and garlic, drinking lemon water and going for a prolonged period without alcohol. While our liver and kidney do play a significant role in giving us that pure, healthy glow, the skin (our body's largest organ) is a vital player. Thus, there is one form of detoxification with which we should become far more acquainted. Clay baths.
Clay baths, a form of whole-body detoxification, have been used for centuries throughout Europe and Asia for their ability to improve the state of the body and spirit. Working by extracting toxins through the pores in our skin, the clay draws out pollutants and impurities built up in our bodies. Clay most commonly used for this type of bathing is Bentonite clay.
Bentonite clay, composed of mainly smectite minerals from volcanic ash, contains a variety of metals including calcium, copper, magnesium, silica, sodium, iron, and potassium. It is often the primary ingredient in clay face masks used to assist with the reduction of acne. Given its positive benefits for the skin on our face, it seems logical to apply it to our whole body.
Making a case for adding clay baths into your routine is no difficult feat. With the plethora of benefits this particular clay provides, we should all need little convincing.
In addition to working like a magnet to draw out harmful metals and substances through our pores, it also works to balance the bodies pH levels. When we eat certain foods such as meat, too many raw vegetables and greasy, processed foods— our stomachs work harder to produce more acid to break these down. This rise in acid throws off our bodies pH and can lead to weight gain, inflammation and fatigue. Alkaline-forming substances such as bentonite clay counteract this acid and assist our bodies in returning to homeostasis.
The properties of bentonite clay also assist in healing scars, rashes and wounds externally. Similarly, they help to fight inflammation in our skin, reducing redness, swelling and pain. The clay itself contains large amounts of silica which is crucial in the production of glycosaminoglycans. Glycosaminoglycans work to increase cellular turnover, form connective tissue and keep our skin hydrated. The amalgamation of these benefits results in overall improved texture, hydration and softness of the skin.
To enhance your next detox, add 1 cup of pure bentonite clay to your bath water and let your body and mind reap the benefits.