Both mud masks and clay masks have many benefits to the skin when applied. They're often used in spa treatments, and both types of facial masks can also be purchased in drug stores or specialty shops for use at home. As clay is more of a drying agent, and mud is more for hydrating, it is important to know what type of skin you have and the differences before choosing a product to use on your skin.
Mud masks have many benefits to the skin. In addition to mud, some commercially-made mud masks may also contain minerals from the Dead Sea as well as honey or green tea. 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. In addition to the cleansing, moisturizing and upkeep of the skin, mud masks also serve to repair skin tissue, which improves the skin's natural elasticity, making it appear younger.
Clay masks have many benefits to oily skin, which is prone to breakouts. A clay mask is best for absorbing excess dirt and oil and drying out excessively oily skin. In addition to its drying effect, clay masks tighten sagging skin, exfoliates dead skin cells from the face and refines enlarged or enflamed pores. In addition to masks, clay can be found in many skin care products such as soaps and powders. Clay is high in nutrients which, when applied to your face in mask form, get absorbed into the skin.
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 skin 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 than drying. A mud mask is more beneficial to someone with dryer, more dull 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. Because clay masks are not as gentle on the skin, they should only be used once a week to avoid over-drying.
Living and working out of New York City, Lauren Reinhard has been writing since 2005. In addition to several websites, Reinhard's writing appears in "The Rapscallion Report." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Long Island University, C.W. Post.