Face masks are one of the best ways to rest and relax. If you’ve just gotten home after a long day at work, there’s little you can do that provides the same luxurious feeling as applying a mask to your face, sipping a glass of champagne, and curling up with a book to read.
While there are a wide variety of masks you can use, among the best-loved options are mud and clay masks. People have used these skin-healing masks for thousands of years, and their benefits remain just as strong as ever.
The History of Mud and Clay Masks
The first evidence we have of using clay and mud for healing purposes dates back to a clay tablet that details the effectiveness of mud for healing wounds. This tablet dates back to 2200BC – over 4000 years ago!
Mud and clay face masks, on the other hand, were first used in Egypt, where wealthy ancient Egyptians used clay to create masks to improve their physical appearance. Cleopatra swore by these masks and used a special Dead Sea mud mask twice a week to maintain her youthful complexion and detoxify her skin.
Today, these masks are made using various ingredients that help boost the natural properties of clay and mud. Given the numerous benefits of mud and clay for the skin, they are among the most popular products in the modern skincare industry.
Considerations When Buying a Face Mask
While mud and clay masks are highly beneficial for the skin, not all such masks are created equal. Before you buy a mask, it is essential that you first check the list of ingredients on the package.
Some masks limit the amount of mud they use in their formula, prioritizing other ingredients while still claiming that the final product is a mud mask. For example, New York Biology’s bestselling Dead Sea Mud Mask uses potato starch as its primary ingredient.
You can judge the importance of an ingredient in the formula based on the order in which the ingredients are listed. While potato starch takes center stage, kaolin is only listed as the fourth most important ingredient, and Dead Sea Mud – which is what this product purports to be made of, based on its name – is even further down the ingredient list, at sixth.
Additionally, several mud masks, even higher-end products such as Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay mask, use the preservative phenoxyethanol. This ingredient is a preservative that is heavily used across the cosmetics industry and can be listed as rose ether, PhE, arosol, and dowasol, among other labels.
While phenoxyethanol is FDA approved, it does carry numerous potential health risks. These include:
- Allergies: Human and animal studies have shown that phenoxyethanol can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, rashes, eczema, and hives in some people. In fact, a 2009 study showed that the chemical not only caused hives in a patient who used skin products that contained the ingredient it also led to them developing anaphylaxis.
- Skin Irritation: The danger of skin irritation also applies to animals like rabbits and rats. If you have any products with phenoxyethanol, it is essential to make sure that they are out of the reach of pets.
- Danger to Infants: Like many other dangerous ingredients, phenoxyethanol is significantly more hazardous for young children. Infants exposed to this chemical risk developing central nervous system damage, so it’s imperative to learn more about the risks, and identify products that include this ingredient, if you have a young child at home.
While it is best to avoid the ingredient as a whole, it is especially important to stay away if you:
- Are looking for products to use on children under the age of 3
- Have a history of skin allergies
- Are specifically allergic to phenoxyethanol
- Are currently breastfeeding
Instead, opt for masks (and other cosmetics) that use natural preservatives. Malibu Mud uses glyceryl caprylate and caprylhydroxamic acid.
These ingredients are both plant-based and derived from natural oils - glyceryl caprylate from palm and coconut oil and caprylhydroxamic acid from raw virgin coconut oil. Both products are not only completely safe for you to use, they’re also safe enough to apply on babies, so you can be confident that you’re not applying harsh, damaging chemicals to your skin.
Additionally, they offer unique benefits for your skin – glyceryl caprylate improves hydration and helps preserve and regenerate the skin’s natural protective barrier, and caprylhydroxamic acid boasts antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help protect you against infection.
With the host of ingredients that can be present in cosmetics, it’s essential to check what goes into each skincare product and where the product is made. As far as possible, make sure to opt for formulations that are simple and all-natural so you know exactly what you’re applying to your skin.
Why Should You Use Mud and Clay Masks?
There are several benefits to using mud and clay masks on your body, and especially your face. Some of them include:
- Acne Treatment: Clay and Dead Sea mud remove acne-causing bacteria from your skin, helping prevent future breakouts. Additionally, they detoxify your pores and help prevent the entry of these bacteria. This means that using a mud mask protects against acne on your face over the long term. Clay mask acne treatments also help remove excess oil from your face, which is one of the major causes of blotchy skin and inflamed pimples. The result? Regularly using mud masks leaves you with clear skin that is healthy and gorgeous!
- Circulation: Mud and clay masks stimulate blood circulation beneath the surface of your skin, increasing the amount of oxygen available to your skin cells. This improved circulation helps improve collagen production. Additionally, it also helps mud masks act as anti-aging formulations, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helping your skin heal and regenerate. This, in turn, leaves you with tighter, more youthful skin and a radiant, glowing appearance that is sure to draw admiring comments from the people around you.
- Restores Balance: A number of facial cosmetics, including face soaps, can imbalance to your skin’s natural pH levels. While they can effectively remove oil from your face, they tend to remove too much, leaving your skin dehydrated and dry. Mud and clay masks, on the other hand, can remove excess sebum from your face without removing too much, so your skin is hydrated without being oily. An appropriate level of sebum ensures that your skin is soft to the touch, and using clay and mud masks leaves you with a perfectly balanced complexion.
- Stress Relief: Aside from helping you detox your skin when it’s stressed out, clay and mud masks can also act as highly efficient stress busters for you. Think about it – applying your best clay mask to your skin feels fantastic. More than that, it allows you to take some time out for yourself, sit back, and relax. For best results, don’t forget to pair your mask treatment with a bubble bath, a glass of champagne, or even some chocolate – we’re sure you’ll love the feeling just as much as we do!
- Versatile: Sometimes, you’re not looking for help balancing your face – you just need help with one persistent spot. One of the biggest advantages of clay and mud masks over other types of face masks is that they can be used as a full face mask, as well as a spot treatment in the case of a skin emergency. All you need to do is apply the best mud mask you have to the affected area and leave it overnight – when you wake up in the morning, you’ll find that the pimple is either reduced in size of redness (if it was particularly large) or has wholly vanished (if it was a smaller one)!
Malibu Mud Dark Sea Face and Body Mask
At Malibu Mud, we understand that you only want to use the best ingredients on your skin, so you all the benefits of mud and clay without worrying about the harmful effects of the rest of the formula. This is why we pride ourselves on using simple, effective ingredients.
Each of the ten ingredients we use in our Dark Sea Face + Body Mask has a purpose, and there’s nothing in it we wouldn’t apply to our own skin. Our ingredients include:
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
- Dead Sea Mud
- Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil
- Xanthan Gum
- Glyceryl Caprylate
- Caprylhydroxamic Acid
Additionally, we pride ourselves on the fact that all of our ingredients are responsibly sourced and are either 100% all-natural or certified organic. Our masks are all manufactured in Southern California, so you know you’re shopping local when you buy from Malibu Mud.
Our Dark Sea Face + Body Mask is free of gluten, parabens, and phthalates. It is also cruelty-free, completely vegan, and non-GMO. We believe in transparency with each of our customers, so you can be confident you won’t encounter any hidden ingredients in our formula.
These masks are made in small batches to ensure that each jar is fresh and ready to use when it’s sent out to customers. Additionally, it’s fully premixed, so you apply it straight from the jar without wasting time getting it to that perfect consistency.
We know that many of our customers worry about overusing cosmetics. However, our mask is made using a hydrating formula that doesn’t dry out your skin, so you can use it as often as possible. In fact, you can even replace your face soap with this mask, use it daily as a face mask to help prevent acne, and treat your skin to a rejuvenating detox after a long day at work.
If you’re interested in buying a jar, don’t forget to join our email list. Not only will it allow you to stay up-to-date with all Malibu Mud news, you also get 20% off your next order when you join!