Are Mud and Clay Masks Better for Skin Than Face Soap?

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Many people still use face soap to clean their faces, especially when they first wake up in the morning. However, they don’t realize that they’re often doing more harm than good to their skin. 

If you’re looking to transition away from face soap, you’re probably wondering what a better alternative is. The simple answer? A mud or clay mask. 


What are Mud and Clay Masks?

Mud and clay masks are precisely what their names imply – face masks made out of mud or clay. Most people think that they’re the same thing. However, there are some differences between them. The biggest difference is that while mud acts as a skin-healing ingredient, clay helps dry out excessively oily skin.

That said, both of these are great for treating acne and breakouts and help your skin look younger, softer, and healthier. Other benefits include:

  • Removing environmental contaminants, like dirt and smoke, from your skin
  • Act as exfoliants, removing dead skin cells and allowing clear, healthy skin to show
  • Tighter your skin and your pores, giving your face a fresher look
  • Some types of mud, especially Dead Sea mud, can help inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Dead Sea salt (found in Dead Sea mud) can help reduce inflammation of the skin, especially if you have dry skin.


How Do Face Soaps Work?

The effect of face soap is relatively simple – it dissolves any dirt present on the surface of your skin. Additionally, it lifts away the layer of oil that forms when sweat and dirt mix with the natural oils on your face. If the layer stays in place, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so the soap also lifts any existing pathogens from your face.

We’re sure this sounds like a positive – after all if the soap is removing dirt and bacteria from your skin, why is it bad? To help you understand, let’s look at the pros and cons of face soap.


  • Cost-Effective: Bar soaps are undoubtedly the most cost-effective option when it comes to cleaning your face. They’re readily available at various prices, so finding one that fits your budget shouldn’t be an issue
  • Variety: You can find bar soaps in several different scents, so you can smell good all day. They’re even available in fragrance-free options, perfect for people who are super sensitive to perfumes and fragrances. Aside from scent, you can also find them in various shapes and colors, allowing you to personalize your soap to fit your personality.
  • Hydration: Bar soaps are primarily made of a ingredient called glycerin, which helps your skin retain moisture. If you’ve got a skin condition like eczema or rosacea or simply have extremely dry skin, this ingredient is highly beneficial for you. 
  • Texture: While rubbing bar soap straight onto your face may not feel great, you can create a soapy lather on your hands and then apply it to your skin. With this method, you don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable during application – the foam feels smooth, and it washes off easily and quickly. 



  • Abrasive: While bar soap can have a nice texture when you apply it after lathering your hands, it’s a different matter if you use the bar directly onto your skin. Not only can it be uncomfortable if the soap has an uneven shape, if it hasn’t been moistened properly before using, it can also be extremely rough on your skin.
  • Strip the Skin: One of the most common ingredients in bar soaps is sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient can strip the skin of the beneficial layer, causing it to dry out quickly. Additionally, it can cause dermatitis, rashes, irritation, and other such issues.
  • High pH Levels: Bar soaps tend to have higher pH levels, which can lead to dry skin. While some options have a neutral pH level, you have to be extremely careful to check when buying.
  • Bacteria: Bar soaps are usually left to sit on the counter or soap dish and aren’t housed in a protective container like a mud or clay mask is. This allows it to become a storehouse for bacteria, especially if the soap is sitting in a pool of soapy slime water, where much of the bacteria congregate.
  • Environmental Issues: Bar soaps tend to come complete with a whole host of packing, including a plastic cover and a box in which it is stored for sale. This packaging isn’t reusable, and the excess means it’s even worse for the environment. 


How Do Mud and Clay Masks Work?

While there is a little difference between how mud and clay masks work, in general, they work by detoxifying the skin. When applied to your face, they draw out the impurities and toxins within your skin, which are then washed away from your face when you wash away the mask. 

If you’re looking to make a switch away from bar soap from your face, clay and mud masks are a great option. There are numerous benefits to using these masks over bar soap, including:

  • All-Natural/Organic Option: It’s extremely easy to find mud and clay masks made of all-natural and organic ingredients. This ensures that you’re not applying unnecessary chemical formulations to your skin and are instead getting the most out of every ingredient in the formula.
  • Detox Without Overdrying: Mud is a naturally hydrating ingredient and nourishes your skin from the inside out by providing it with a combination of beneficial salts, minerals, and other elements. Clay, on the other hand, is better for dry skin, as it helps absorb excess sebum from your skin. At the same time, it doesn’t affect the necessary hydrating elements that keep your skin fresh and glowing. The result? A balanced complexion and detoxed skin that isn’t excessively dry!
  • Types of Clay and Mud: Clay and mud masks aren’t a monolith – there are various muds and clays available, all of which have their own benefits. Depending on your skin type and particular needs, you can find one that is tailored to provide you with the most benefits. For example, bentonite clay is most often used in formulas for acne-prone, oily skin, while Fuller’s earth is highly effective at removing impurities from your skin and evening out your skin tone. On the other hand, French green clay helps exfoliate your skin, tighten pores, and boost circulation. And these are just three examples – there are many more options available on the market!
  • Daily Use: One of the biggest reasons people are afraid to switch to face masks is that they worry that masks cannot be used daily. However, this isn’t the case with mud and clay masks – there are various skin-safe formulations available on the market that can be used daily for those who consistently have to deal with stressed-out skin due to work or a long commute. 


Making the Switch?

If you’ve only ever used clay and mud masks as an emergency relaxation treatment previously, shifting to using them on a daily basis may seem intimidating. Instead, you should start slowly. 

Use mass twice a week to start with instead of daily, using your regular bar soap during the rest of the week if necessary. This will also allow you to compare the effects of bar soap and clay and mud masks on your face first-hand. 

Keep an eye on the ingredients so that you can notice the difference in what you’re putting on your face. Additionally, you should also be able to discern a difference in results right after you wash your face – consider which feel better on your skin, bar soaps, or face masks. 

An important factor that you have to consider is how your skin will be affected if you use the same product for the next few decades. What will be better for your skin – a face mask or bar soap? 

There is a lot of evidence showing that clay and mud face masks are good for your skin, even in the long term. For example, ancient Egyptians used masks made of clay from the Nile to maintain a youthful experience, and the famous beauty Cleopatra applied a dead sea mud mask twice a week for clearer skin. With these masks, you don’t have to worry about long-term effects the same way you do with bar soaps. 


Try the Best!

Of course, when it comes to clay and mud masks, it’s essential to always use the best for your skin – and that’s Malibu Mud’s Dark Sea Mineral Face Mask. This mask is made using only the best quality, freshest ingredients. 

Additionally, the simple formula uses just ten ingredients, each of which has a dedicated, beneficial effect on your skin. These include lavender, which can help reduce acne and wrinkles and lighten your skin, and glycerin, which hydrates your skin, refreshes the surface of your skin and helps soften your skin.

The beneficial ingredients mean that the Dark Sea mask can be used daily without drying out your skin. Aside from hydrating your skin, it also helps treat acne, so you have the benefit of clearer, fresher-looking skin.

For constant convenience, this mask is pre-mixed, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time mixing it to the perfect consistency – you can start applying as soon as it arrives in the mail!

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