Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal: How Are They Different?

bentonite clay for skin and activated charcoal

If you haven’t heard of activated charcoal, you must have been living under a rock for the past two years. However, many people still haven’t heard of the up and coming product to knock activated charcoal off its perch – bentonite clay.


There are some bentonite clay & activated charcoal differences despite the similarities between the two products. Let’s delve deeper into exactly what bentonite clay is, and what activated charcoal is. Then we will explore the differences between the two.

What is Bentonite Clay?

clay mask


First things first, what’s bentonite clay? It is a soft, grey, clay that’s made from volcanic ash. Who among you can say you’ve put volcano on your face?! Actually, there are many benefits of using clay for skin care.

The clay can be turned into a paste by adding water. It’s this paste that’s the reason bentonite clay becomes a hot topic as it has many beauty applications.

This clay is actually already in a myriad of skin products you can find on the shelves at major beauty retailers these days. They are really jumping on board with this product because consumers really find that it works and are craving more.

Bentonite clay works by zapping up the impurities and oils from your skin. It can remove bacteria from your skin – but there are even more bentonite clay benefits than that!

Bentonite Clay Benefits

clay mask


  • Skin detox – this clay can be used as a way of purifying and detoxifying your skin when applied liberally on the surface of your skin. One of the major benefits of using clay for skin care is that it helps your skin get rid of bacteria and impurities.
  • Relief from acne – because it can absorb bacteria, one of the bentonite clay benefits is acne reduction. It can greatly improve acne as well as absorbing excess oils from your skin.
  • Detoxifying your body – some people actually ingest bentonite clay because it may actually be able to detoxify your body. Studies have shown that it can indeed reduce the number of toxins in the human body.


There are lots of bentonite clay facemasks available for purchase both in beauty retailers instore and online. This is one of the most popular ways of applying the clay.

Those who consume the clay generally mix it with water to make a mixture that they can drink to ingest it.

What is Activated Charcoal?

activated charcoal


When you heat wood or coal to super hot temperatures, you get activated charcoal. It is a black powder created through the burning process. However, don’t try to make it yourself. The kind that is suitable for your skin or for ingestion is made in a manufacturing plant.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Charcoal face mask


  • Teeth whitening – activated charcoal is known as a great teeth whitener. It’s also antibacterial, which can help with bad breath and your overall oral health.
  • Skin purification – the activated charcoal uses for skin include detoxification. It can help the toxins in your skin come to the surface, making removing them much easier. Dirt and bacteria can also be drawn to the surface with this product.
  • Deodorant – another of the activated charcoal uses for skin is in a deodorant. As activated charcoal absorbs the smell and is odorless itself, this makes it the perfect deodorant.

You can find activated charcoal in many store-bought deodorants. There is a range of deodorant products containing this.

As one of the activated charcoal uses for skin is detoxification, you’ll also often find it in face masks, sheet masks, and other skin care products. The charcoal is odorless, so it doesn’t add smell, and of the benefits is that it will bring bacteria and dirt to the surface of your skin.

Bentonite Clay & Activated Charcoal difference

clay mask benefits

These products have many similar uses and properties. So, you may be surprised to know that there are, in fact, bentonite clay & activated charcoal differences.

One of the main differences is that when bentonite clay is soaking up all your toxins, it’s also releasing minerals into your body at the same time. These include magnesium, which is great for pain relief and acne reduction. It also releases iron, calcium, and potassium. That’s a lot of minerals!

Another bentonite clay & activated charcoal difference is that the two products feel completely different on your skin. If you’re applying either one in a face mask, you’ll notice that the clay feels heavier and will tend to dry hard on your skin. Charcoal, on the other hand, is softer and less dense. Charcoal is also a lighter hue than clay.

Another difference is that while charcoal has been recommended for teeth whitening, clay will not whiten your teeth. Definitely don’t try that one at home!

Overall, there may be bentonite clay & activated charcoal differences, but these two skin detoxifiers do have similar properties and use. They are both useful and great for skin in their own ways, helping to purify it and get rid of dirt and bacteria. Look for face masks and skincare products containing bentonite clay or activated charcoal to get the cleanest skin you’ve ever had!


Sanchi Gupta

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published