Mud has been used as a skin beautifier for thousands of years. Weekly use of an exfoliating mud mask helps clear up blemishes and brightens your skin. Mud is rich in minerals that can help heal and repair the skin.

Many mud masks feature charcoal, which detoxes the skin by pulling out impurities, as well as exfoliates it. Mud sourced from the Dead Sea is particularly rich in skin-nourishing nutrients.


Exfoliating mud masks exfoliate the skin by scrubbing off dead skin cells through physical exfoliants (such as sugar, sand or charcoal) or dissolving them through acids (such as salicylic acid). This leaves skin glowing and radiant.

The mud used in facial masks also cleanses and moisturizes the skin. Mud has skin-healing properties and doesn’t dry out the skin as clay masks do. For this reason, mud is better than clay for dry, dull and sensitive skin types.

A mud mask also improves blood circulation and tightens up the skin as it dries, which can rejuvenate mature skin.

Types of mud masks

There are two types of mud masks: wash-off and peel-off. Wash-off masks are applied with the fingertips, a skin-care spatula or a mask brush. Once the mask dries, it must be rinsed off with water. Peel-off masks are less messy to remove since you can simply peel them off in one piece.

Some mud masks can come in powder form, which needs to be mixed with water in a small bowl before application. This is less convenient than masks that come ready to use in a tub or tube.

Frequency of use

How often you should use an exfoliating mud mask depends on your skin type. Acne-prone and oily skin types can use them more often but not more than three times a week. For sensitive skin types, use an exfoliating mud mask once a week or once every other week. Normal and combination skin types can use a mask twice weekly.

Time required

Leave the mud mask on for the time recommended in the instructions. The drying time required can vary from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the brand. It’s always a good idea to spot-test before using a skincare product, especially if you have sensitive skin, or use it for less than the recommended time at first.

Best exfoliating mud masks

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Made from 9,000-year-old mud harvested from the Irish countryside, this odorless mask shrinks pores, eliminates redness and controls oil. It features activated charcoal to draw out impurities and black Hijiki seaweed to nourish the skin.

Glam Glow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask

Working in as little as 10 minutes, this pore-shrinking mask is a quick refresh for the face when you don’t have the time or finances to get a facial. It clears away dead and dull skin, brightening your complexion with weekly use.

Majestic Pure Dead Sea Mud Mask with Tea Tree Oil

With a combo of Dead Sea mud and tea tree oil, this mud mask powerfully detoxifies and purifies the skin. It helps treat acne-prone skin while its added jojoba oil and vitamin E moisturizes the skin.

Ahava Purifying Mud Mask

This purifying mask made from Dead Sea mud draws out impurities and softens skin. Its non-irritating formula moisturizes the skin and gently exfoliates in a creamy lather when you rinse it off. For deeper exfoliation, you can use Ahava’s mud exfoliator.

New York Biology Dead Sea Mud Mask

This lower-cost Dead Sea mud mask comes in options that are infused with other healing ingredients, such as Manuka honey and tea tree oil. All the options exfoliate and purify the skin. With twice weekly use, people with acne experience improvement in their condition.

Tree Hut Skincare Exfoliating Mud Mask

This gently exfoliating mask goes on easily and comes off just as breezily. It’s infused with activated charcoal to detox and exfoliate your skin, along with scrubby volcanic black sand. Your skin will feel soft and clean after use.

Freeman Detoxifying Charcoal and Black Sugar Mud Mask

Your face will glow after the double action of charcoal and black sugar to smooth away rough and dull skin. The moisturizing mud leaves skin feeling velvety and rejuvenated. This is our lowest-cost pick on the list.

Florence by Mills Clear the Way Clarifying Mud Mask

Formulated with exfoliants, including kaolin clay, charcoal powder and salicylic acid, this mud mask clears up blemishes and even acne scars. The creamy formula soothes stressed skin and the lavender scent calms stressed minds.

Honest Beauty Three-In-One Mud Detox Mask

Containing only clean ingredients, this mud mask features three powerhouse purifying ingredients: charcoal, volcanic ash and white bentonite clay. It glides on easily and doesn’t over-dry the skin, thanks to the addition of Manuka honey.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask

For oily and acne-prone skin, this mud mask infused with tea tree oil and salicylic acid is for you. It’s packed with fair trade and organic ingredients but is affordable. It’s not recommended for sensitive or dry skin.

Worth checking out

  • For mature skin, this Dead Sea mud mask is infused with stem cells and collagen to boost skin vitality.

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