Does Mud Really Help the Skin?
Many of us may balk at the idea of putting mud or clay all over our faces even though we did when we were little boys. Little did we know it was good for our skin, we just thought it was fun; so before you entirely dismiss the idea, you might want to read on about how it actually impacts the skin.
What does clay do? Does it really affect the skin? In a simple answer – yes. Clays work to draw out impurities and toxins, and absorb excess oils, making them ideal for those who battle acne. So putting mud/clay on your face may actually be counterintuitive to what many think – they detox and clean up the skin, not dirty it up.
There are a variety of clays out there, but I’m going to focus on two that work particularly well – bentonite and kaolin.
What They Are
Bentonite clay is derived from volcanic ash deposits in marine environments and has a variety of uses outside of skin care. It’s often used in cement, adhesives, and ceramics, and has been used to rejuvenate degrading soils in certain areas when their farm industry was suffering.
Kaolin, also known as China clay, is a natural silicate clay mineral and is a primary ingredient in making china and porcelain. It’s also used in ceramics, certain medicines, and toothpaste. Its name is said to have come from Kao-ling, a village in China.
This clay is found in soils that have formed from the chemical weathering of rocks in hot, moist climates like tropical rainforest areas.
How It Works
Bentonite is highly absorptive, and as I mentioned is known for its ability to bind and draw out heavy metals and other toxins from the body. The mineral-rich clay also absorbs excess oil, reduces surface shine, and provides soothing and healing benefits.
Similarly, kaolin absorbs sebum, removes impurities from the skin, and helps prevent pore clogging. It is non-comedogenic and commonly is used in masks for oily skin. Both clays are extremely useful in effectively treating acne, but also work well for dehydrated and aging skin. Typically, these clays will make skin feel stronger and firmer.
So next time you have the opportunity, go ahead and slather that mud on your face (well, maybe stick to the jarred stuff). Your face will thank you.
For more on bentonite and kaolin, check out the Cacti Mud Mask.