How Do You Make a Bentonite Clay Mask Smooth? Step-by-Step Guide (with Recipes and Visuals)

how do you make a bentonite clay mask smooth

If you’ve ever used bentonite clay (such as the popular Aztec brand) then you know how easy it is to end up with a chunky and lumpy mess. Far different from the smooth masks that are advertised! So then, how do you make a bentonite clay mask smooth?

In general, there are two ways to make a smooth and lump-free bentonite clay mask: mix it with apple cider vinegar or with a combination of water and apple cider vinegar. In both cases, it’s also important to add in the clay slowly rather than all at once. This will further help to minimize lumps.

While both methods do produce a creamy mixture, there’s one thing to be aware of: the pH of the resulting mask is different. Since pH balance is important for skin health, you’ll want to keep this mind when mixing your mask.

In this article I’m going to walk you through the exact steps that you can follow to make bentonite clay masks without lumps, as well as:

  • How to ensure that your mask has a skin-friendly pH.
  • Essential oils you can add a bentonite mask.
  • How to combine bentonite and turmeric for dark spots.
  • Additional tips on storing and using your mask.

NOTE: I’ve noticed that bentonite clay can be quite stubborn. I also live in high altitude and I think it might also contribute to some of the issues that I face (with bentonite and other DIY ingredients). So just keep in mind that the tips I provide are based on my high altitude environment 🙂


how to make a smooth bentonite clay mask at home ingredients

STEP 1: Choose your liquids

For a smooth bentonite clay mask add one of the following into a bowl:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) only.
  • Water + apple cider vinegar.

Your choice of liquid will affect the final pH of the mask. Here’s why:

  • Bentonite clay’s pH is between 9 and 10, which is on the alkaline side of the pH scale (source).
  • Apple cider vinegar’s pH is between 2 and 3 which is very acidic.
  • Water’s pH ranges from about 5 – 7.5 depending on whether it’s distilled, bottled or tap water (source).

Now, the our skin’s pH sits in the range of 4.7 – 5.5, which is moderately acidic. So, overall, mixing bentonite and ACV results in a pH that is closer to what the skin prefers.

However, if your skin doesn’t like too much ACV, then you’ll want to do a mix of water and ACV. The resulting mixture will be more alkaline than the ACV-only mixture.

You know your skin so do what works best for it.

STEP 2: Add clay to the liquids (not the other way around)

The one thing that helps me eliminate lumps is to add the bentonite clay to the liquids. The clay disperses better with this approach.

Below are the ratios of clay to liquids that give the best results:

Apple cider vinegarUse equal parts of ACV and bentonite clay.

Stir with a spatula to mix. Once it’s all combined the mixture will have lots of air pockets.

Allow the mixture to sit for at least 2 minutes, then mix again. This time you’ll have a much smoother, creamy mask.
Apple cider vinegar + waterUse equal parts total liquid and bentonite clay.

So, if you’re using 1 tablespoon of liquid you’ll need 2.5 tsp water + 1/2 tsp ACV, plus 1 tbsp bentonite clay.

Whichever liquid(s) you use, keep these two things in mind:

  • Some people like to add in the clay slowly, rather than all at once. I’ve noticed that this approach usually results in a thinner mask. So, if you prefer a thin consistency, then give this a try.
  • A silicone spatula works well for mixing because you can press down on the clay and break up any clumps that may try to form.
how to make a smooth bentonite clay mask at home - no chunks


aztec bentonite clay mask for dark spots with turmeric

Turmeric is well known for its ability to help fade dark spots and improve hyperpigmentation. Add this recipe to your skincare routine to help with brightening and evening out your natural skin tone.

As you can see from the above picture, this mask isn’t yellow like most turmeric-based masks. That’s because I didn’t use a lot of turmeric; it’s a potent spice and I have a “less is more” philosophy when using it in DIY recipes.

However, if you’d like to have more turmeric in it, feel free to increase the quantity.

Also, since this mask doesn’t have too much turmeric in it, you don’t have to worry about staining.


2 tbsp ACV

2 tbsp bentonite clay

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


  1. Combine the ACV and bentonite clay.
  2. Add in the turmeric powder and mix until well combined.
  3. Apply onto freshly cleaned skin. Allow to dry for about 8 minutes.
  4. Rinse off with warm water.


You can boost the therapeutic benefits of your bentonite clay mask by adding in skin-friendly essential oils such as:

  • Copaiba.
  • Frankincense.
  • Clary sage.
  • Lavender.
  • Tea tree oil.
  • Chamomile.
  • Geranium.
  • Sandalwood.
  • Rose.

In my opinion, a combination of tea tree, copaiba, lavender and bentonite is ideal for acne because you benefit from tea tree’s anti-acne properties, as well as copaiba and lavender’s soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.

Here’s a quick recipe.


2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp bentonite clay

2 drops copaiba

2 drops tea tree oil

2 drops lavender oil


  1. Mix the ACV and bentonite clay until well combined and smooth.
  2. Add the essential oil drops and stir to mix in.
  3. Apply to freshly washed face and allow to sit for about 8 minutes (it should start to dry at this point but not be completely hardened).
  4. Rinse off with water.
  5. Follow with a soothing moisturizer or serum.


What happens if you leave Aztec clay mask on too long?

The longer bentonite clay stays on the face, the more it soaks up moisture and sebum. This dries up the skin too much, which could cause redness and other signs of dehydration or irritation.

Can you save a bentonite clay mask?

The only way to preserve a bentonite clay mask is to add in a cosmetic preservative. Without a preservative, the mask can eventually develop mold. In addition, the longer an unpreserved clay mask sits around, the more it loses moisture and dries up.

Should clay masks be refrigerated?

You can refrigerate a homemade clay mask for about a day. However, the longer it sits in the fridge, the more it’s likely to develop mold.


Apple cider vinegar is essential for making a lump-free bentonite clay mask because it evenly disperses the clay particles. In addition, ACV helps to counteract bentonite’s alkaline pH. As a result, the final mask has a pH that is closer to what the skin likes.

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