This pore cleansing clay face mask by Aztec Secret is definitely a mysterious product. However, the ingredient list for this product is certainly straightforward. Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay is made from one ingredient: Calcium bentonite clay. This short ingredient list qualifies the product as an all-natural one, but not necessarily a sustainable one. Calcium bentonite clay is praised in the beauty world for its skin-clearing abilities. However, despite this all-natural ingredient list, Aztec Secret has virtually no transparency about any other aspect of their product: how the clay is sourced, what the container is made of, where the product is manufactured, how the product is manufactured, who is involved in this process, etc. It would certainly benefit Aztec Secret to be more transparent about these many aspects of their popular skincare product. Without this information, it is hard to measure the true sustainability and ethicality of this brand.
100% Natural Calcium Bentonite (Green) Clay - Sun Dried - No Additives No Fragrances
This deep pore cleansing beauty mask is truly made from just one ingredient: 100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay. The product contains no additives or fragrance and is vegan, cruelty-free, vegetarian, and paraben free. Calcium bentonite clay is an absorbent clay that is found all over the world. It usually forms from volcanic ash. This clay has been used for centuries as a skin care product because of its detoxifying qualities. Aztec Secret even references Cleopatra as a famed user of calcium bentonite clay from the Nile River. However, despite the fact that calcium bentonite clay has been widely praised, there are reasons to be skeptical of this ingredient. This serves as a reminder that just because something is natural does not mean that it is inherently safe. In 2016, the FDA warned consumers against using a product produced by the company Best Bentonite called “Best Bentonite Clay.” The FDA found that this clay contained a concerning amount of lead that could potentially lead to lead poisoning. Given that Best Bentonite sourced their 100% pure bentonite clay from Oklahoma and Aztec Secret sources their bentonite clay from California, it is possible that Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay also contains abnormal levels of lead. This risk factor is a significant one. It means that this product, though made from a naturally existing ingredient, is not guaranteed to be safe for human use. This is especially concerning given that Aztec Secret neglects to inform their customers of this risk factor.
Aztec Secret does not disclose what their packaging is made of. The product comes in a plastic container which the brand does not confirm as recyclable or not.
Aztec Secret sources their calcium bentonite clay from Death Valley in California. The company does not disclose information about how their product is manufactured, but this process likely does not involve much given that the product contains just this singular ingredient. Aztec Secret does not provide any information about where they manufacture their product or exactly how the calcium bentonite clay is sourced. Typically, bentonite mining occurs by way of quarrying. Quarrying is not a sustainable process. Quarrying results in large amounts of waste material. Additionally, the quarrying process pollutes the air with pollutants such as sulfur dioxide.
Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay can be found at various drugstores and retailers. Amazon is a popular distributor if this product as well. The lack of information provided about this product, where it is made, and how exactly its ingredients are sourced is peculiar. It is thus hard to be confident that Aztec Secret manufactures their Indian Healing Clay in a sustainable manner.
Aztec Secret is quite a mysterious brand when it comes to their transparency and business practices. The company dos not disclose where they manufacture their product or what this process involves. Aztec Secret distributes their product largely through outside retailers. Amazon seems to be the most popular distributer of this product, which is disappointing in terms of the sustainability of the online market. Aztec Secret does not seem to have any philanthropic involvement, nor does the company provide information about where it is based beyond the fact that their mailing address is listed in Nevada (PO Box). Cheryl Wischhover, a writer for Vox magazine, was able to determine who created and now allegedly runs Aztec Secret. According to a tip she received on Twitter, Wischhover determined that Aztec Secret was founded by a woman named Mary Roman in 1986. Roman was born and raised in Indiana. She passed away in 2012. Her daughter Denise and son Patrick supposedly now run the business, but Wischhover said she was unable to contact either of them nor get solid confirmation of their involvement with the company. Aztec Secret certainly lacks transparency on all fronts.