Mud baths have been used for centuries as a therapeutic treatment, with adherents ranging from the Native American Wappo tribe to the ancient Greeks. They’ve been used for a variety of purposes, including as a treatment for arthritis and as a way to boost relaxation and revitalization.
And they aren’t simply a thing of the past – there are a ton of mud baths still around that you can visit and enjoy if you’d like! But why should you?
While you may find that a mud bath is a unique experience, many people are too put off at the idea of actually spending time submerged in mud to do so regularly. However, while you may not realize it, taking regular mud baths can actually be great for your overall well-being.
1. Stress Relief
Spending time in warm, soft mud can help you relax and de-stress. It has both a physical and psychological effect – it relaxes your muscles and also helps you calm down mentally.
Here’s another way de-stressing can help you out – the reduced stress levels can actually benefit your skin! Stress leads to increased cortisol production, and cortisol can cause inflammation of the skin. Stress reduction means less cortisol production and less inflammation. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from a skin condition like eczema, acne, or psoriasis, all of which can improve when you reduce your stress levels.
2. Treat Skin Conditions
De-stressing is not the only way in which mud baths can help improve a variety of skin conditions. There are other ways in which mud baths can help as well, including:
- Psoriasis: Break down areas on your skin where there is an excess of skin cell build-up, reducing the itchiness you experience. It also helps to soften and hydrate your skin.
- Eczema: A mud bath will absorb the toxins and oil from your skin. In exchange, it will replenish your pores with minerals and hydrate and soothe your skin. Your skin will feel softer, and the effects of eczema will be lower.
- Rosacea: The vitamins and minerals in a mud bath have anti-inflammatory properties and also help improve blood circulation to your skin, all of which can reduce the effects of this condition.
3. Reduce Joint and Muscle Pain
As mentioned above, mud baths have been used for centuries as a way to treat arthritis and similar conditions. This isn’t just a pseudoscientific belief – there’s tons of modern evidence that shows that mud baths can actually help treat joint issues.
Mud baths are considered to be a form of balneotherapy, which is essentially a type of therapy that treats conditions with mineral-rich mud or water. These therapies have been shown to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Delay the further progression of joint damage
- Reduce pain
- Reduce oxidative stress
- Promote and quicken the repair of tissues and organs
All of these factors are shown to help treat joint issues, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune conditions.
Mud baths may not stop or slow the progression of your condition, but they’re a great way to treat the symptoms naturally. They provide pain relief and act as a great complement to whatever treatment your doctor has prescribed you.
4. Skin Benefits
Mud baths benefit your skin in a ton of ways. This includes:
- Exfoliating dead skin cells naturally so your skin looks brighter and fresher. Unlike many beauty products, mud baths do not use microbeads, which are plastic pieces that rub against your skin as a form of exfoliation. Microbeads are extremely harmful to the environment, and mud baths are definitely the eco-friendly way to go if you’re looking for skin exfoliation.
- Drawing out impurities from your skin, including removing the effects of air pollution. As the mud dries on your skin, it pulls out the excess oil and dirt from your skin, helping to detoxify it.
- Reducing oiliness and treating existing skin blemishes. Mud baths can even reduce the risk of you developing future skin blemishes – as the mud draws out the harmful impurities from your skin, it reduces the chance that these chemicals will cause visible skin damage.
- Making your skin softer and smoother
- The natural minerals in mud baths can help treat issues like bacterial and fungal infections.
- Nourishing your skin with necessary vitamins and minerals
- Rejuvenating your skin
- Evening out your skin tone
- Reducing signs of aging. This is because, as you age, your skin no longer produces as many oils as it once did. The minerals in a mud bath help provide your skin with those oils, which can help return a youthful glow to you. Additionally, as the mud dries on your body, it tightens your skin, once again helping you look younger.
- Helping prevent the development of wrinkles
- Enriching your skin by providing it with necessary vitamins and minerals. Different types of mud baths provide different levels of nutrients for your skin. However, in general, mud baths tend to include minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and sulfate, all of which help rejuvenate your skin and make it glow.
5. Is Supported by Ayurveda
Mud baths have been used for thousands of centuries, and plenty of holistic healing practices acknowledge their benefits. This includes the Indian tradition of Ayurveda, which distinguishes five types of mud and clay based on their color, each of which has different benefits:
- Krsna, or black clay
- Rakta, or red clay
- Sita, or white clay (one type of white clay is the popular Fuller’s Earth
- Pita, or yellow clay
- Nila, or blue clay
Aside from its many cosmetic benefits explained above, mud baths in Ayurveda are also said to:
- Help treat blackheads
- Have astringent qualities
- Improve circulation under the soft tissues of the skin. This, in turn, reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation in the body.
- Reduce tension headaches and eye aches when mud from a mud bath is used on the head area and eyelids
- Balances the three doshas in the body. The doshas are what are believed to be responsible for every person’s mental, psychological, and emotional health. The way the mud bath interacts with your doshas depends on the type of mud in the bath, and whether any herbs have been added to it.
Mud Baths at Home
While you may not realize it, there are tons of ways to treat yourself to a mud bath today.
The most popular options are visiting a commercial mud bath. These include mud baths that are available near natural hot springs, like those at Calistoga, as well as ones offered by various spas in areas where there are no natural options.
However, the challenge with these is twofold – it’s a time-consuming process, as you need to travel to the location of the mud baths. Additionally, they can be expensive, especially if you’re planning to indulge yourself frequently (that is, more than once a month).
A great, cost-effective alternative is to make your own mud bath at home. To do so, you’ll need to:
- Fill a bathtub with water.
- Add essential oils or bath salts of your preference. This is an optional step, and you don’t need to add anything else if you don’t want to.
- Add 2 cups of the mud of your choice.
- Use your hands to break up the mud and any clumps that develop in the water.
- Once the mud has spread evenly throughout the water, you can get in and enjoy your mud bath!
Keep in mind that this method – and most other at-home mud bath recipes – require you to have access to a bathtub.
So what if you don’t have one at home?
Don’t worry – there’s a solution for that!
Malibu Mud “Bath”
While you may think of Malibu Mud’s Face + Body Mask as just another mud face mask, the fact is it’s much more than that. As the name indicates, you can use this high-quality mask on both your face and your body!
So what do you do?
Apply the Malibu Mud mask the same way you normally would – but instead of applying it to your face, apply it to the rest of your body. Wait for it to harden, and wash it off.
Malibu Mud is filled with beneficial ingredients, and it dries on your skin within minutes. This means that if you’re looking for a quick, low-stress mud bath alternative, this is the product you’ve been looking for! Additionally, unlike many other mud masks, it comes pre-mixed, again shaving time off of your beauty routine.
The best part? Malibu Mud is formulated so that you can use it as often as you like, without worrying about drying your skin out – even daily!