While at the Blue Lagoon, I used a mud mask for what may have been the first time in my life. They had these giant buckets of silica mud at various points of the lagoon, and we were able to scoop (shovel?) out the mud and smear it all over our faces and upper bodies. We looked silly, sure (I can’t say I’ve ever seen a group of grown men with mud masks on their faces before!) but MAN, did it feel nice! My skin felt smoother and exfoliated afterwards. Ah, bliss.
The mud mask was a runnier consistency than I was used to, and it was more moisturizing than the clay masks I’ve always used. Honestly, I hadn’t even been aware that there were differences between clay and mud masks… which is pretty stupid, now that I’ve said (written) that out loud. I started reading up on the differences between them in an effort to learn more about both. When Pure & Essential Minerals sent me their Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask*, I decided to compare it to the most similar item I had on hand in my collection, The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask.
Mud masks are said to improve circulation, get rid of impurities, add moisture, refresh and brighten the skin. They’re also meant to repair skin tissue, which can improve the skin’s natural elasticity. AKA make the skin appear more youthful, which explains why the Blue Lagoon boasted their silica mud mask would make me look 16 again! (You be the judge of whether or not that’s the case…)
As a general rule, mud masks are hydrating, especially in comparison to clay masks. It’s generally classified as a skin healing agent.
Clay masks are great for acne prone and/or oily skin, as they absorb excess dirt and oil. It also tightens, exfoliates and refines the skin. Often clay masks will boast of sucking all the gunk out of congested pores and expedite the healing of blemishes.
In contrast to mud masks, clay masks are drying. They’re not water based like mud masks, so they aren’t as gentle on the skin as mud masks are.
It’s funny, because lately I’ve been feeling like my go to clay masks have been TOO drying on my skin. These masks have been go to’s since my worst breakouts, which THANKFULLY I haven’t had any of in recent memory. I’m starting to switch out my clay based masks for mud based ones, and my skin is all the more thankful for it. The more you know!
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