Hacking Your Skin With Clay Mask

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Struggling with Skin Appearance

Ranging from pimples, comedo and a bit of acne, I have been struggling with keeping my face skin flawless for the past few years. I have rather smooth skin for a 23 year old guy but it seems that there are always one or two spots on my face that keep it from looking pimple-free.

I have always been of the opinion that the body’s outer appearance is influenced by our nutrition and gut biome to a large extent. Recently, I had suspected that an allergic reaction to dairy may be causing some of the flaring up on my face. I cut out dairy for 5 weeks – with no positive results on my face. I have my nutrition pretty dialed in so I was suspecting less and less that it may the contributing factor for my pimples.


Medicinal/Bentonite Clay


I have been looking for other biohacks and it seems that I have found something very powerful – Medicinal/Bentonite Clay. The mixture I am using (German: Luvos Heilerdeconsists of loess which is a mixture of sand, clay and silt. There is a wide range of benefits to be had from ingesting or externally applying bentonite clay. The benefits go from anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties very helpful in disruptions of the digestive tract.

Clay is chock-full of trace minerals (up to 75 minerals). The most dominating and interesting mineral is definitely Silica. In 1939, Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, Prof Adolf Butenadt, proved that life cannot exist without silica. Silica plays a vital role in regulating the delicate calcium-magnesium balance. It also acts as a catalyst for assimilating phosphorus which is crucial for strengthening bones, connective tissue, hair, nails and important in my case: SKIN.


Let’s Get Muddy: Clay On Skin

DSC_0022Previously, I had experimented with dissolving clay in water and downing this sandy beverage. The effects of drinking clay are similar to Activated Charcoal. Clay has a negative ionic charge and it binds to things that have a positive charge, i.e. heavy metals, mycotoxins, harmful bacteria etc.

A few days ago I decided to do a face mask by topically applying the muddy clay on my face and seeing what happens. I let it dry on my face for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

The results so far are very promising and visually evident right away. My skin feels a lot more smooth and silky, and my previous dry patches are gone. I will keep doing a face mask each day for the next few days. After that, I will probably dial it back and keep doing it once a week for maintenance.

It may seem weird for a guy to be experimenting with face masks. That’s usually stuff women do, right? To be honest, I couldn’t care less what others think about this practice and don’t give a crap either. Right now, it’s delivering very noticeable results by cleaning up my face. By the way, there are many guys out there whose pimple-covered and faces could benefit from regular clay face masks.


Next Challenge: Killing Dandruff

The package insert of the Luvos clay I bought mentions how it is effective at binding excessive sebum present on the scalp. Clay also seems to be opening up clogged skin pores and thereby preventing the production of dandruff.

More than 2 weeks ago, I have completely cut out soap & shampoo for 4 weeks. The experiment is still running and I will give a more detailed update once the 4 weeks are over. However, one negative side effect I can share is that I have been getting more dandruff than usual. To get rid of it, I will massage the clay into my scalp and see if the dandruff will start receding.

People for centuries have have sworn by the efficacy of clay and in today’s world it still remains an incredibly cheap biohack (500 g clay = 5 Euros). I urge you to give it a shot before reverting back to chemical-rich anti-pimple lotions and commerically available anti-dandruff shampoo. The chemicals inside them probably do more harm than good in the long term.

Kudos go out to Andy Nhilo who has amazing skin and who first brought up the idea of clay masks in a recent podcast.

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  • Justine

    Good article! Lately I’ve been using tea tree oil and I highly recommend it, though knowing you and your primping you’ve probably already tried it 😉 Apple cider vinegar is tops too – except my skin is too oily to use it all the time.

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      Yeah, Justine. I have used tea tree oil before. I find it works well for very local spots. As for, apple cider vinegar is a bit too harsh for me because it dries out the skin too much in my case.

  • John

    Hey Stephan,

    I have a decent amount of acne in my face and my shoulders, and don’t really know why. Probably nutrition play a role, but as I’m trying to bulk at the time, I can’t change my diet right away. I’ve been looking for ways to clean inflamed pores without going bankrupt. How did this biohack do in the end?

    Also, I wax my chest/stomach, and as expected, it stresses my skin and I end up with inflamed pores. Do you have any suggestions to reduce skin irritation/pore inflammation? (Even if I had to wax.)

    • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

      John, I think you have a conflict of goals right here. You are trying to bulk with foods that are likely causing your acne AND trying to fight the acne at the same time – doesnt make sense to me. Why are you bulking in the first place? Take a more long term approach to building serious mass.

      As for the clay mask, I love it. Doing it once a week. Spending a lot of time in the sun + taking 5-6 g of cod liver oil per day has cleaned up my face a lot and I am really pleased with the results. You may think about using apple cider vinegar to rub on the acne spots.

      • John

        Hey Stephan,

        I’d love to take a long term approach. But I can’t. If you ever was 130 lb at 6ft tall, you know why I want to bulk so badly. It sucks to be a man in this fairly girly physique. I actually managed to build 10 lbs in a little more than a year – laughable, right?

        I never did things that people who don’t seem to build muscle do – all the time I lifted heavy and progressively heavier, 3-4x per week, and logged the food I ate for a while to be sure that I wasn’t eating 2000 kcal per day thinking that I was eating much. In fact, I was eating close to 3000 at 140 lbs and for a period of time gone to 3200, but had no results and after several months of that shit, my willpower was completely gone. (I actually outeat any huge guy I know. I can eat 2500 kcal pizzas like a breeze.)

        I never took sups, but now I got creatine and ordered whey. I’ll go balls to the walls as my last attempt to build muscle. If it doesn’t work this time, I’ll probably be small and weak for my entire life.

        • John

          I just sat down and logged everything I will eat in a typical training day from now on: 4000-4300 kcal. That’s 1500 kcal over maitenance (should be around 2300-2600 kcal considering my size). And I swear to god that if I ever gain weight eating 4000+ kcal, it’ll be lean muscle. I don’t think I can eat myself to double digit body fat even if I wanted to.

          • http://www.biohacks.net/ Stephan R

            That’s a lot of calories for a guy your size. I also had to eat a lot to put on mass. It seems now that once you build a certain base of mass, it’s easier to maintain it.
            A 1500 kcal caloric surplus is very large. If you can’t grow on that, I would suspect you have a physiological problem – anybody would grow on such a huge surplus.
            Also, check out Dan John’s articles and his book „Mass Made Simple“.
            Don’t frustrate and keep grinding away – you will grow eventually.