In most cases, mud packs are used in beauty-related treatments. However, not many know that certain concoctions can also have relaxing effects on one’s joints, and can make a person not only look good, but also feel healthier.
Interestingly, the mud pack’s popularity dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who used some varieties to treat skin ailments. “According to the ancient Greeks, our body is made up of five elements — water (jal), air (vayu), earth (prithvi), fire (agni) and ether (akash). The earth has got great healing properties, and these properties can help detoxify the body, aid digestion and even improve metabolism,” says Preeti Seth, cosmetologist and nutritionist, Pachouli Spa & Wellness Centre, New Delhi.
Certain types of mud are known to have relieving effects on the joints, particularly for arthritis patients. Moreover, these packs can be used to treat inflammation and swelling, as they have a cooling effect on the skin. Ahead of Mud Pack Day (September 30), we get experts to tell us more about the wonder treatment, the various kinds of mud available, and their benefits.
Various kinds of mud and their benefits:
Fuller’s Earth Clay: Known in India as Multani Mitti, this type of mud is very commonly used to make face packs. It works well during the hot Indian summer, as it cools the skin. This is also useful for those suffering from acne, as it acts like a sponge that soaks the moisture off oily skin. It is also good for the removal of acne-related spots and marks.
* Black Mud: This mud comes from the interiors of Canada. As the name suggests, it is charcoal black in colour, and is extracted from the marshes. The mud is rich in both organic and inorganic elements. Additionally, it works well for those who need to treat skin ailments like psoriasis, among others, because of the coal tar present in it.
*Sea Clay: Also called Dead Sea Mud, this clay is extracted from ocean beds, and is known to be extremely beneficial for those being treated for psoriasis. It is the best kind of facial pack for oily skin. It also tightens the pores on your skin and helps smooth out wrinkles. Therefore, this face mask has a great anti-ageing effect on your skin.
*Volcanic Ash Mud: This mud is collected from places where volcanic eruptions have occurred, and the soil is rich in minerals. Remarkably, this mud is also edible. It was traditionally used as a supplement to treat mineral deficiencies.
*Alpine Moor Mud: This type of mud is extracted from the Alpine forests. It comprises a combination of numerous carbon compounds that can cleanse the skin thoroughly. The balm-like effect of this mud makes sure that your skin is not bruised during the cleansing process.
*Rhassoul Clay: Rich in minerals, and extracted from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this is a favourite in many spas across the globe. High in silica, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and sodium, this clay is surely the best when it comes to pampering your skin.
*Green Clay: Green clay treatments stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph, remove dead skin cells and absorb dirt and other surface fats. They also tone and strengthen connective tissues. The mud draws toxins and superfluous fat from the skin. It is chiefly beneficial for dirty and flaccid skin, acne, poor blood circulation, and to soothe eczema and sunburn.
*White Clay: This is a very fine and light clay, which has natural absorbency properties. It is frequently used in powders, body packs and skincare products, and is a versatile and easy-to-apply mixture.
*Red Clay: Derived from rocks that contain hematite (an iron ore) and copper oxide, Red Clay can be mixed with water and a few drops of your favourite aroma oil, or dried herbs, to achieve the desired results. This mud can be used as a detoxifying cleanser, skin conditioner, shampoo, and facial and body mask.
*Pink Clay: This superfine clay is a combination of Red and White clay, which is the perfect solution for easily irritable as well as dehydrated skin. It gives the user a healthy glow, while also maintaining the skin’s pH balance, which gets weakened by pollution.
*Yellow Clay: This mud obtains its colour from iron oxides and minerals. It helps detoxify the skin by removing dead skin cells.
Additives to clay
“Keep adding small amounts of clay to water, or any liquid that you are using, and keep whisking it. Leave it for five to 10 minutes before use,” says Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and laser surgeon, Cutis Skin Studio, Bandra (W). Apart from tap water, distilled water and spring water, the following can be used as per skin type:
*Rose Water: For sensitive skin
*Witch Hazel: For oily skin
*Herbal Tea: To treat skin conditions like heat rash
*Aloe Vera Juice: To soothe the skin
*Egg White: To make the skin more firm
*Egg Yolk: To nourish the skin
*Honey: To add moisture to the skin
Choose The right mud pack
*Green Clay: For skin with rashes
*Red Clay: For normal skin
*Yellow Clay: For oily skin
*White Clay: For sensitive skin
*Pink Clay: For dry skin
*Fuller’s Earth: For acne-prone skin
*Black Mud, Sea Clay: For those suffering from psoriasis
*Rhassoul Clay: For all skin types
*Alpine Moor Mud: For normal skin
* Volcanic Ash Mud: For skin with mineral deficiencies
— With inputs from Dr KE Mukadam, dermatologist and laser surgeon, Laser Cure, Bandra (W); and Dr Madhuri Agarwal, dermatologist and aesthetic physician at Yavana Aesthetic Clinic, Mulund (W).