Confusing name, serious results


If you've ever cruised through the skincare aisle of Whole Foods or your local health food store, you've also likely seen tubs of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay stacked on top of each other. But we wouldn't blame you if you've given it a sideways glance and kept moving. The packaging is somewhat alarming with a National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage vibe for the logo, and the name could also stand some rebranding.

There's nothing connecting this powdered clay to ancient secrets of an indigenous Mexican tribe living thousands of years ago. Nor is it in anyway connected to the country of India. In fact, what is inside this tub is dried, velvety silt from Death Valley, California. Specifically, it's Calcium Bentonite Clay, which has a pale, grayish mint color and comes from volcanic ash.

While many are surprised to find that there isn't already a thick paste inside like most pre-mixed masks, the amount of powder in each tub can create significantly more applications than the average tube. Some have trouble stirring the powder into a liquid so it creates a smooth substance rather than a craggy, lumpy mess, but here are the pro tips. One, use a little bit of apple cider vinegar (We're talking Bragg's Raw Unfiltered kind) in addition to water to amplify the brightening and toning effects. Two, use a plastic bowl and a whisk to really whip the components together. You might have to practice a few times to find the right ratio of powder to liquid depending on how much you're making.

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The results? While it takes a bit longer to dry (like two-episodes-of-Golden-Girls long), for the value and ingredient simplicity, it's tough to beat. It leaves behind a radiant complexion with dead and/or dry skin removed and pores noticeably clearer. Although there are reviewers who swear this has healed more severe skin problems like cystic acne, we can confirm that it's more than worth its $14 price tag.