Mud masks and clay masks have become part of our regular skincare regimen through the last few years. Various brands from high end brands to drugstore brands such as Bare Minerals, Glamglow, Aveda and L’Oréal all have jumped on board with this trend. There are a lot of options out there, each with different properties. Yet, do you know the difference?
I’ve had the chance to repeatedly test out 2 masks over the past few weeks to be able to assess the difference, but most importantly, the effects of each. For the clay mask, I tested out the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Masque ($42). For the mud mask, I tested out the Vo Beauty Manuka Glow Antioxidant Mud Mask ($25).
Buying Tip: You can get 4% cashback on all your purchases from the Aveda website by clicking HERE. Sign up, find Aveda, shop and get money for the purchases your were about to do anyway – and the best, at no extra cost to you 🙂 (although do click on this link to support WithNancy – xoxo)
Just before we dive into each mask’s effects, let’s understand better what mud and clay masks are, and then what distinguishes them.
Back to the basics, mud masks are a mixture of natural ingredients, often derived from soil, to bring out the beneficial properties of the minerals and apply them to our skin. For example, they might contain magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Mud Masks’ Properties
Mud masks are known to have repairing properties for the skin. They improve the blood circulation under the skin, cleanse it of dirt and impurities, and deeply nourish and moisturize it to revive the skin.
Mud masks also help repair the skin tissue and improve its natural elasticity, which is damn perfect to keep looking young – who doesn’t like to look young and healthy anyway? (except when you get carted at the bar…) In other words, this is a good way to start preventing aging skin, without actually jumping into the anti-aging products!
Often, mud masks contain clay – yes, this is a situation of squares being rectangles but not all rectangle being squares (this will be further developed in a second). On top of that, a lot of the mud masks available at the store contain added ingredients for additional benefits. For example, some will have honey, just as the Vo Beauty Manuka Glow Antioxidant Mud Mask ($25).
Clay masks are mud masks as they are also derived from soil, to bring out beneficial properties for the skin. What makes a clay mask a clay mask is the fact that there is the specific ingredient: clay.
Indeed, “Clay is a more defined term than mud in terms of its properties,” says Frauke Neuser, PhD and Olay Principal Scientist at P&G. “In clay, only certain minerals of a certain particle size are, strictly speaking, called clay. Mud is less well defined and could contain multiple types of minerals and soils.” (source: Beauty Geeks)
Now you know that all clay masks are mud masks 🙂
Clay Masks’ Properties
On top of the mud masks properties, clay masks are well known to absorb excess oil and dirt. This drying effect also helps tighten sagging skin, get rid of dead skin cells and refine enlarged of inflamed pores.
This makes the skin free again, and firm, which helps your skin appear younger. Paired with the mud mask’s elasticity property, this is perfect as a preventive mechanism to aging 😉
Let’s look young forever just like the Asians (and I!) can 😉
The popular types of clay in beauty products are kaolin, which has “a very small particle size and is therefore ideal to draw oils and dirt from and out of the skin’s surface [… ] rhassoul from Morocco, where it’s been used for centuries as a cleanser for hair, face and body; and bentonite, which is mostly composed of a creamy clay” according to this article from Beauty Geeks.
I don’t know for you, but as soon as I learned that, I verified with the ones I had and indeed, they often have at least one of these 3. For example, the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Masque had both the kaolin and bentonite. And the Vo Beauty Manuka Glow Antioxidant Mud Mask the Rhassoul clay (as we remember, there is sometimes clay in mud masks).
Don’t forget: You can get 4% cashback on all your purchases from the Aveda website by clicking HERE. Sign up, find Aveda, shop and get money for the purchases your were about to do anyway – and the best, at no extra cost to you 🙂 (although do click on this link to support WithNancy – xoxo)
Which to Choose Then?
Generally, clay masks take longer as they need to fully dry before removing it, which may go up to 40 minutes! Yet, rest assured, some of them are much faster, such as the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Masque which is only 5 minutes – there is always an exception to the rule 😉
As well, both masks can be put with your fingers, but it is more often recommended to apply mud masks with a spoon than for clay masks.
Further than that, this will depend on your own skin, and on the added ingredients that the brands put in your mask. If natural, clay masks would be drying the skin more and mud masks – often water-based – more on the hydrating side.
However, it is very possible to counteract the drying property of clay with Vitamin E or Eucalyptus. Similarly, some mud masks have clay to absorb the excess oil.
What would be good is to combine mud and clay masks. In drier seasons such as winter, use mud masks more often to add moisture to your skin. In warmer or more humid seasons such as summer, use clay masks more often to control the oil (and remove the salt from the sweat) from your skin.
So, use both!
Still, as a reference for combination skin, I would recommend using a clay mask on your T-zone and a mud mask on the rest of your face. Just make sure then that you follow the time of each properly.
Now you know how it goes. Gather your best friends for a fun mask night and you’ll be the expert 😉
Next, I will share with you my experiences with testing out the Vo Beauty Manuka Glow Antioxidant Mud Mask ($25) and the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Masque ($42). Stay tuned as these will be up in the next 2 weeks!
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