At some point, somewhere, you’ve probably come across the Indian healing Aztec clay mask—particularly if you’re a beauty fanatic. For years now, this $15 jar of calcium Bentonite clay has been touted as a miracle product for just about everything. Have acne? Beauty bloggers swear it will clear up your skin. TikTok, meanwhile, loves it for their curls. It’s got just shy of 60,000 glowing Amazon reviews—and counting. Even Mindy Kaling can’t get enough of it! So, after spotting it on the shelves of Whole Foods while picking up my Sunday night groceries, I could resist the temptation no more—I had to try this stuff out. While I expected to be in for a night of astonishingly radiant skin, however, my experience took a rather...surprising turn.
My mission was seemingly doomed before I even started, as the instructions left much to be desired. “Mix clay with equal parts of raw cider apple vinegar and/or water (works best with apple cider vinegar).” OK, great…but how much of each? A tablespoon? 3? I needed specifics! Naturally, I turned to the internet for a good old fashioned mask recipe.
What I found instead, however, was advice from plumbers. Yes, my friends, you read that right—plumbers, like the kind who deal with drains, which can apparently take quite a beating should this miracle clay be rinsed down the pipes (as I had fully intended). According to Lancaster Plumbing Services in Pennsylvania, the same clay that hardens on your face does a real number on your pipes, coating them before hardening and causing clogs that may require a professional to handle. Uh, come again?
With no warning on the label, I had been unprepared to handle the clean up. Rather than abort my entire mission, however—I had come this far, after all—I decided that I would go ahead with the mask using a ¾ teaspoon measurement for the clay and apple cider vinegar both before removing the mask with warm paper towels and disposing of them in the trash can. I made my mixture, applied what I thought was the recommended ⅛-inch to ¼-inch to my face and awaited my skin transformation.