If you love pampering your skin with a good mask but, like many of us, are a bit confused about the benefits and differences of what's on the market, you are in the right place! Mud masks and clay masks have grown in popularity in the past few years, and the options available in shops and online are countless. Before you commit to a specific product, it is important to know your skin type and its needs, as using the wrong mask can result in breakouts, dryness and other unwanted issues.
Mud masks are known to improve blood circulation under the skin, cleanse skin of dirt and impurities, moisturize and refresh tired skin and make the skin appear brighter, softer and clearer. Other than mud, some commercially-made mud masks may also contain minerals from the Dead Sea or Volcanic regions, honey and green tea, which have numerous benefits for the skin too. Cleansing, moisturizing and upkeep of the skin are not the only properties of mud - it also serves to repair skin tissue and to improve its natural elasticity, while making it appear younger.
Clay masks are the go to product if you have oily and breakout-prone skin. A clay mask in fact is best for absorbing excess dirt and for drying out excessively oily skin. In addition to their drying effect, clay masks tighten sagging skin, exfoliate dead skin cells from the face and refine enlarged or inflamed pores. These properties make clay very popular in other skin care products, such as soaps and powders. Clay is also high in nutrients which, when applied to your face in mask form, get absorbed into the skin.
What's the best option?
Mud and clay masks are similar as they both come from the earth, however the benefits are slightly different. The main difference between the two is that mud is a skin-healing agent, while clay is a cosmetic, drying agent. Clay masks are most useful for someone who has oily skin and is prone to breakouts of acne and blemishes. Mud is water-based, so the product in mask-form is more hydrating and suitable for people with dryer, more dull skin. Ultimately, knowing your skin type and the results you wish to achieve through a mask is of essence, but both mud and clay based products can deliver great benefits to the skin.
Mud masks should be applied to a clean and dry face. Simply spread a thin layer of the mud mask onto your face with your fingers and allow it to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and a soft washcloth to remove the mud. Mud masks should be used two to three times a week for best results.
Clay masks are similarly applied to a clean, dry face and evenly distributed in a thin layer with fingers. Clay masks may need to dry up to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the mask. Bear in mind that because clay masks are not as gentle on the skin, they should only be used once a week to avoid over-drying.
We have our own little gem in the Au Natural range, which has been formulated with a premium selection of natural ingredients for maximum efficacy - Au Natural's Balance Mud Mask uses volcanic mineral white mud from Rotorua combined with Active 16+ Manuka Honey, pure New Zealand Bee Venom and sunflower seed oil. Bioactive ingredients work hard to deliver a deep cleanse, gently reduce open pores and clear away dead skin cells, surface debris and unwanted residues, while nourishing the skin and preserving its natural oils. Active 16+ Manuka Honey encourages good bacteria on the skin to grow and prevents bad bacteria to spread and develop. Pure New Zealand Bee Venom increases blood circulation to the deep layers of the skin, stimulating cell regeneration. This uniquely New Zealand formula will deliver results for your skin leaving it cleaner and resulting in a stronger healthier skin.