Mud and clay may not sound too glamorous, but these natural ingredients have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits as well as their beautification properties. Clays absorb excess oil and debris, and they also exfoliate dead surface cells for increased circulation and rosy cheeks. Clays can be found in a wide range of colors such as red, green, white, pink, and gray, as well as varying textures from super fine to coarse. The colors usually occur due to the mineral content of the clay. Kaolin, a key mineral component of natural occurring clay, is the main ingredient in many face masks because it can attract the dirt that gets trapped deep in your pores.
Another friend to clear skin, is mud that comes from the earth and the sea. Mud masks, especially those made with mud from the Dead Sea, are rich in nutrients that purify skin, remove bacteria and clear up acne. Many clay and mud masks address issues of oil and blemishes and can dry out your skin if you use them too often. If you have normal to dry skin, look for hydrating masks that will boost moisture.
Before using any mask, remove makeup and apply the mask with a circular motion. Leave on for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the directions, and wash with warm water. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. For a quick home made detox, add 2-3 ounces of clay to your bath water, mix it in with some essential oils, and soak yourself silly.
SAY GOODBYE TO IMPURITIES
Darphin Purifying Aromatic Clay Mask effectively strips away impurities and polishes the complexion to promote healthy and more radiant skin. Use one a week for best results. Lightly fragranced and ideal for all skin types. $122 at www.darphin.com.
Murad Clarifying Mask absorbs excess oil to control and prevent breakouts. If you already have problem skin, this miracle mask can reduce the severity and get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. The mask tightens skin and makes it appear more radiant. $37 at www.murad.com.
DEAD SEA BEAUTY
Powered by energizing Dead Sea mud, Ahava Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask penetrates deep to draw out impurities while purifying skin for a more even-toned complexion. It’s soothing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. $30 at Nordstrom.
NARS Skin Mud Mask utilizes natural botanicals, minerals and the latest technology to energize, moisturize and clarify skin. The magic ingredients include Phytoseed Complex, seaweed and Masada Mud from Israel. This multi-tasking mask helps refresh the skin for a luminous complexion. $45 from www.narscosmetics.com.
FOR PROBLEM SKIN
Clay-based Clinique Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask helps heal blemishes and prevent future breakouts. The medicated formula keeps skin shine-free while unclogging pores and ridding skin of excess oil in just a few minutes. Gentle and non-irritating, $20 nationwide at Clinique counters.
REDISCOVER YOUR INNER GLOW
Minus 417 Recovery Mud Mask is enriched with Dead Sea minerals and mud combined with honey, cacao seed butter, essential botanical oils and vitamins A and B. This excellent product softens the skin, keeping it smooth by nourishing and maintaining moisture balance, which helps diminish wrinkles. $110 at www.minus417.com.
THE PROMISE OF POMEGRANATE
Korres Pomegranate Purifying Natural Clay Mask deeply cleanses and tones the skin to leave a fresh and radiant complexion. Rich in white argil, a natural clay, along with pomegranate extract and zinc, this mask helps absorb oil to leave skin fresh and glowing. $27 at Sephora.
FROM THE SEA
H2O Sea Mineral Mud Mask cleans deep and purifies the skin while stimulating cell renewal. Kaolin naturally draws out pore-clogging dirt and oil while aloe vera gel and sea fennel help hydrate and act as anti-inflammatories. The sea extracts soothe and allantoin stimulates cell renewal. $25 from www.h2oplus.com.
BETA CAROTENE BEAUTY
Just say yes to Yes to Tomatoes Facial Mask. Organic tomatoes combined with Dead Sea minerals provide a deep pore treatment that refines, purifies and delivers a healthy dose of anti-oxidants to knock out the free radicals that cause blemishes. This all-natural product contains no petroleum or parabens. $15 at www.yestocarrots.com.