This review is for Australian Healing Clay; bentonite clay. I couldn't find Aztec Secret anywhere in Australia. The closest thing I could find in most health food stores was hydrated bentonite (diluted to roughly a few %), but I was fortunate enough to find a tub of bentonite clay powder at Evelyn Faye, a health store in Melbourne CBD.
How it works: Before purchasing, I did plenty of research on how this clay works. Bentonite, sometimes referred to as Montmorrillonite, has a strong negative charge. Therefore, the molecules bond and absorb toxins (which carry positive charges). Hence it is used for detoxification, helps with digestive disturbances/allergies/intolerances. Mine is a cream coloured clay, though I have heard the colour varies between grey, cream and green.
Uses: Unlike Aztec Secret (from what I read), this products is also safe to take internally. Add a teaspoon of clay to a glass of water. It is also used for facials, mud baths, foot baths, hair masks..quite versatile.
Price: I paid $40 for 1kg, which obviously is a considerable amount more than one would be able to get Aztec Secret for. However, this is the only one I could find available in Australian stores, the quality is good (we have strict quality regulations), and it DOES NOT EXPIRE! So this will probably last me for years and years :D
My experience: I tried taking this internally every day for a few weeks, adding a teaspoon of clay to a glass of water. I felt like it helped settle my gut from discomfort or just aid disgestion from a heavy meal but I stopped taking it because it was causing my skin to purge nasty bacteria filled pimples. I tried to push past the purging stage but alas could not take it anymore. Now I use it as a face mask, using a combination of water (many use ACV, but my skin can't tolerate that) and clay once a week. I like to use it as a thick paste consistency, and leave it on until it has fully dried and hardened. It seems to suck out a lot of gunk and after I wash it off I always look forward to checking out whether it's managed to loosen up any of my pesky blackheads. Sometimes I'll do a pore strip the next day and...let's just say the results are simultaneously fascinating and gross :p Please note that it can be a very drying mask, so once a week with sufficient moisturizing after! I don't think that this will end my acne problems (I still get hormonal acne, and this will not prevent acne resulting from poor cell turnover, diet etc) but it certainly will help with cleaning out my pores from bacterial-related acne.
Warnings: Don't store or allow contact with metal objects. This reduces the effectiveness as it affects the ionic charge. If you are using this on your face, it may leave skin red for awhile after usage externally- this is normal and not a reaction, but due to the increased blood circulation that has been promoted. Also, no laughing, eating or talking or you may find yourself in wrinkletown!
Overall, I would highly recommend this for anyone with oily, acne-prone skin, or taken internally for those looking to detox/reduce bowel discomfort.
FYI here's the site of the brand that I purchased: www.healingclay.com.au/
I haven't found this to be very useful for my face because it's a little too drying for my skin type, but I hear that it's great on oily skin. Be warned that it will leave your skin looking red for about half an hour after using it; and it's very important to moisturize immediately afterwards. I would suggest mixing it with organic unrefined apple cider vinegar.
It has worked really well as a scalp treatment for dandruff. I mix it with apple cider vinegar, and a little bit of jojoba oil until it's a watery mixture. I dampen my hair first, and then apply the mixture to my scalp. I then wrap my head in plastic-wrap to prevent it from drying out. Next, sit around looking like a crazy person for 20-30 mins. I then rinse it all out and wash/condition my hair as usual. Your scalp will feel so clean, and completely flake free.
I love this stuff! I originally tried it with raw organic apple cider vinegar, but I HATE the smell of that stuff. It literally makes me nauseous. Then I tried it with water, but it just turned it into a clumpy mess. Finally, I tried it with 50/50 lemon juice and water, and it gave me the same mousse like texture that the ACV did, but with a much better smell. I love how this stuff feels on my face as it is drying. For only $7, this was a steal.
Used this a while ago when I had hormonal cystic acne. I loved the feeling of the dirt getting sucked out. The pimples looked less inflamed but the amount of acne didn't change.
I didn't use this product when I was on vacation for two weeks and I noticed my skin cleared up. I didn't think about it may had something to do with the mask so I used it again when I got back. After the first time I noticed I had more bumps but I thought that was because all the dirt got sucked to the surface so I used it again after a few days. Big mistake. My cheeks are full of red, painful cystic acne again.
Unfortunately, it's is going to take a while to clear up again.
I really think it is because of this mask so I won't use it again
- a lot of product
- better complexion
- dramatically reduces pores
- in store availability
Comments: Wow, this stuff is intense! I was able to find this at The Vitamin Shoppe and have never seen it elsewhere (besides online). Deep cleaning and hardens to make your face feel like stone. Mix with ACV, a little of this goes a long way. Acne may surface as a result of this deep pore cleansing. Skin looks airbrushed because pores are nowhere to be seen!
I've only used this twice and haven't seen any noticeable differences but I'll update as I use it more frequently. I have stubborn blackheads on my nose and chin and I'm hoping this will help with that. I found mine at Whole Foods for around $6.
The greatest mask of all time! This baby takes all the gunk out of my face like no other. I use it about once or twice a week and I always mix with apple cider vinegar. Mixing is a pain and so is removing it but its worth it. I leave it on for 20-30 minutes. I'm an acne prone person so when I skip a week or two you can definitely tell. Love love love
WOW! Ladies and gentlemen, this product is absolutely amazing! Let me start by telling you my skin type: acne-prone, combination and scar ridden face. I have been suffering from what seems to be adult acne, for almost 3 years, on and off. I will have months where I have good skin (i.e. one small active pimple, still a bit of discolouration but can be hidden with minimal effort)...and then, I will have months on end where my skin is beyond gross.
I was sceptical about this product...mainly because I have tried EVERYTHING. I have spent thousands on skin care....PMD, acne meds, creams, lotions and potions...you name it! I bought this on a whim....I've had these tiny under the skin pimples that don't look noticeable until my face hits sunlight....talk about unattractive. I was so upset and some days I didn't even want to walk out the door...long story short, I ordered this from vitacost, slapped it on, and the next day I freaked OUT! I had new pimples, red and swollen....I tried it again the next day and they calmed down and it seems like the under the skin pimples had formed a head...and I tried it again the next. 3 days later, my skin is beautiful! Those pesky cysts are gone!!!!!!! I continue this once a week, in conjunction with a cleanser, organic moisturizer, and a honey mask once a week.
I mixed it with ACV first, but now I just use water since the ACV was a little too strong.
Good luck everyone :) Please, try it out! It's natural and simply awesome! Do not get scared by the initial "purging" stage...just make sure u dont have an important event to go to that week :P
Upon reading all of the hype, I had to give this mask a chance! I have extremely sensitive skin that is acne-prone and even if it is said to be safe and recommended, there is no way I am using ACV on it. I feel my skin begin to burn and turn bright red at the mere thought. So, I have used this mask three times, mixing it with water and applying it with a foundation brush, leaving it to dry for about 15-20 minutes. I do get the pulsating effect that is a bit annoying but not unbearable. Unbearable is when I have applied it to my neck, even just under my jawline and chin, and it gets extremely itchy and tight, very uncomfortable, so never again will I make that mistake. My skin is definitely brighter after use, it does deep clean my pores and minimizes the blackheads on my nose that ordinarily nothing will cure. This stuff is harsh, however, and I do find it to be drying. Also having such acne-prone skin that I **finally** have learned to manage in the last few years makes using this mask less appealing because I know it does purge pimples from beneath the surface, even within the matter of time I use it, when acne appears that wasn't there 20 minutes before. It could be true that the blemish would have surfaced eventually anyway, that this helps you deal with it now rather than later, but I'm not completely sure about that given the success I have had with my skincare routine at keeping breakouts from forming. I feel discouraged when that happens w/ this mask because it is like I'm needlessly tampering with the effective routine I have by using something so powerful that immediately causes breakouts, so with all that said, I don't think this product is for me. Hopefully I can find a different mask with the same good cleansing and blackhead-eliminating effects that this does, that doesn't make me an instant pizza face in the process and dry out my skin at the same time.
UPDATE, 4/12/13: Upped rating from 3 lippies to 4. I tried mixing this with witch hazel (Dickinson's 100%) and now we're getting somewhere! It worked much better than water at making the consistency of the mask easier to work with and my skin was even brighter and actually soft and smooth. Also not drying, which is weird because sometimes witch hazel is on my skin. I still broke out a little but not as bad this time and I recovered from it faster. I recommend trying with WH if water isn't working or if you're scared of ACV like me! :) & I know I swore it off sort of before, but I just have so much of it and it really does deep clean my pores... I have to use it up and if I have success again, I may repurchase.
Update, número dos! 4/23/13: Ok, now I caved with the ACV and have used it with the mask twice. It turned my skin every shade of red that I thought it would and my skin felt the most dry of anything I have used it with, but it seriously cleaned out my pores best. Despite the acne and some redness I have, my skin looks so clean and smooth. With moisturizer and an hour or so, the redness went away, also. I'm a believer.. because I think this will be a good weekly mask to help clarify my skin after a week of makeup, foundation, etc. and such. :D (I think this is the most obnoxious review I've ever written with all of the updates) continued >>