Friday September 30th is National Mud Pack Day, so I am giving you a little advance notice so that you can clear your calendar for the event. It is the perfect time to treat yourself to a spa night at home with a DIY facial. A mud pack is only one element of spa caliber facial – the ritual should include deep cleansing, exfoliation, and rehydration. Of course a Zen relaxation playlist from Spotify, a glass of fruit or herbal infused water, and scented candles can enhance and take your DIY experience to the next level. You’ll also want to have a terry headband and an inexpensive synthetic makeup brush on hand.
Why mud or clay masks you might ask? Because they draw impurities or toxins from the skin, which would otherwise cause nasty things like blackheads for example. They also help to exfoliate resulting in smoother, more radiant skin. Depending on the product, the mask can also help to nourish and moisturize the skin.
Some of the best professional facials I’ve had combine the deep cleansing element with
facial massage. I have regularly gone for facials at Kate Somerville in West Hollywood for over five years. Between pro visits, my aspirational goal is a weekly at home facial using one or more masks, and a separate weekly sheet mask application for a mini facial. When things are hectic, I’d say just getting a sheet mask in during the week is an accomplishment.
For cleansing during my at home facials, I often use Kate Somerville’s Moisture Milk Cleanser which I combine with a facial massage. I recently discovered an instructional video on Into the Gloss, which will help up your facial massage game. You can link to the video here. I keep a supply of inexpensive wash cloths from Bed Bath and Beyond on hand ($6.99 for a set of six by Lasting Color) which I use for cleansing and removal of my masks. This way I don’t have to worry about staining my “good” wash cloths.
Once I complete my cleansing and massage, I typically use my facial steamer to open my pores and some sort of scrub like Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate to exfoliate. I purchased my Mira steamer from Amazon for around $35.
From a mask perspective, I will apply one or two products depending on how my skin is behaving. I have combination skin with enlarged pores, especially around my nose, but other areas can be flaky or dry. I have had issues with extreme flakiness around my nose which I’ve been struggling with for the last several years, despite an arsenal of expensive prescription creams. Just when I think I’ve found the solution, it flares up again so I am crossing my fingers and keeping my mouth shut for now about my latest remedy. For mud, I have two go-to masks that I’ll mention here. The first is the GlamGlow YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment (the one in the black jar). If time is of the essence, I use this one as it exfoliates and helps to clean out the pores, and it is ready to use straight from the jar. You only need to leave this on for 10 minutes for it to work its magic. Ingredients include various clays, volcanic rock, green tea and various herbal extracts. The one downside with this mask is that it tends to dry out once opened, so I add a bit of distilled water to get it back to a spreadable consistency. I will often apply this one to my T-zone with the GlamGlow THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment Masque (blue jar) everywhere else. If I have more time, then I will break out a mask from May Lindstrom called The Problem Solver. This mask is kinda expensive ($90 for a 8.45 ounce jar), although it should last for quite a long time. You mix it right when you’re ready to use it, and combine 1 tablespoon of the powder with 1 tablespoon of water for a single application. The powder contains a variety of clays and spices, so it has a very strong odor and is very finely milled (don’t inhale or it will make you will cough), and it does take quite a while to dry (up to one hour). Despite the time required to mix and let it dry, it is an effective mask for when you have more time. I apply this to my entire face, and it does tingle quite a bit because of the spices.
Once I remove whichever mask I’m using with a washcloth and water, I apply toner and finish with my normal serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. This is the ritual I have planned for National Mud Pack day – how do you plan to celebrate? Let me know in the comments. Remember, you deserve a bit of pampering on a regular basis! Your skin will thank you!
P.S. – If you’re seeing this post after National Mud Pack Day, don’t despair…you can treat your skin at any time. It doesn’t know about the calendar. Sephora carries all of the featured products except for the May Lindstrom Problem Solver which is available at Beautylish.
P.P.S. – I just learned about a nifty website for royalty free images so I am supplementing the photos I take with images from pixabay.com. Check them out if you have a need for stock photography.