Mud Is Having A Major Beauty Moment

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As people with extraordinarily elaborate skin-care routines, we pride ourselves on using products with the most effective ingredients around. Of course, this involves actually knowing what those ingredients are. And, boy, are there a lot out there. In Know Your Ingredients, our new ongoing series, we'll be decoding the many oils, acids, extracts, and more that appear in our favorite products.
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It may not sound glamorous, but we've been noticing a serious uptick in the status of mud. Products ranging in type from cleansers to masks to scrubs are all using it and with serious success. It was reported recently that GlamGlow's Supermud Clearing Treatment is the number-one-selling skin-care product at Sephora, officially making this mud's moment.
What is it exactly that makes mud the perfect savior for congested skin? According to Glenn Dellimore, cofounder of GlamGlow, it's actually an ideal delivery system for active skin-care ingredients. "Mud on its own has limited benefits to the skin; however, when combined with specific technology, mud is elevated to incredible efficacy. Its effectiveness depends on the technology used." Wei Brian, founder of Wei Beauty, concurs. "Mud draws out contaminants and impurities, can absorb excess oil, provides skin with valuable minerals, and acts as a delivery system for skin-treatment actives," such as the golden root featured in her eponymous brand's mud mask.
So, when it comes to mud for the skin, is all dirt created equal? Not so much. "There are different types of mud," explains Dellimore. "Some comes from Alaska, Arizona, or the Dead Sea. Dead Sea mud is high in salt and sulfates and can be very drying to the skin." Additionally, the nutrients within the mud itself can vary greatly, according to Brian. "Absorbency and trace mineral content vary among clays used, as do the other ingredients in the mud formulation. A mud with high oil absorption is used to treat oily skin, while a less absorbent clay, possibly with light emollients added, is more suitable for dry skin." Wei's mud mask uses China clay, which makes it creamy and non-drying, whereas GlamGlow uses French sea clay, which is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Brian and Dellimore both agree that the best way to get your mud on is with a mask, which allows time for it to deliver nutrients to the skin as well as purify. So, to get clean pores, turns out you gotta get dirty first. Who knew?
Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask, $42, available at SkinStore; GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment, $69, available at Sephora.
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