With all of the beauty trends that come and go, it’s hard to know what really works and what is just a fleeting fad (braided eyebrows, anyone?). It seems like every week a new product or ‘must-have’ ingredient hits the shelves and takes over the blogosphere, only to be replaced with something else the next week. Of all these fads, there’s one that will never go out of style: beautiful skin. To achieve it, we’ll try just about anything, including the newest products being pushed by the beauty market. While certain skin-care secrets come and go, a few have withstood the test of time. These tried-and-true products stick around because they have proven themselves superstars in the skin care world. Let’s examine one of these timeless beauty secrets and discover how it can help you to finally achieve that beautiful, flawless skin you desire: Dead Sea Mud.
What is Dead Sea Mud?
While not the prettiest sounding (or looking-it is mud after all!) skin care secret, Dead Sea mud is pretty much just what it sounds like: mud taken from the Dead Sea! For those of you who may have zoned out during geography class, the Dead Sea is a small body of water found tucked between the countries of Jordan and Israel. It has a surface area of about 233 miles and sits about 1,300 feet below sea level, making it the lowest body of water on the earth. It’s also incredibly salty—sometimes referred to as the Salt Sea—with a salinity of 33.7%. For reference, that’s nearly ten times saltier than regular seawater. This high salt content contributes to the organic makeup of the mud found underneath it, creating a unique, natural skin care superstar known worldwide for its ability to heal, revitalize, and beautify even the most damaged skin.
6 Ways You can Benefit from Dead Sea Mud
Does this mystery miracle mud sound too good to be true? It’s not! Usage of Dead Sea mud dates clear back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it to retain their youth and beauty. Cleopatra herself was known to visit the Dead Sea to partake in its special powers. Even today, thousands flock to its shores each year to take a dip in the salty water and slather their skin in fresh Dead Sea mud.
If you don’t have a trip to the Middle East penciled into your calendar any time soon, don’t worry! Skin care companies have been harvesting and selling Dead Sea mud for decades so even those of us clear across the world can reap its benefits. Still not sure if it’s for you? Here are 6 reasons why Dead Sea mud might be worth adding to your skin care routine today.
1. Prevents Aging
Looking to keep your skin looking youthful without resorting to expensive fillers or going under the knife? Even many topical treatments often contain harmful chemicals that can damage your skin in the long run, not to mention they run a hefty price tag! But don't worry, affordable skin care does exist. Perhaps its most appealing benefit, the Dead Sea is often referred to as a modern day fountain of youth, as its ultra-salty waters and naturally occurring mud are the perfect environment for youth-restoring nutrients and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Dead Sea mud locks in moisture, tightens pores, increases elasticity and smooths out fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves blood circulation and cell turnover, replacing old, tired cells with fresh ones. Many claim that their skin looks more youthful and radiant after just one Dead Sea mud treatment and improves even more with consistent use. When other methods fail, Dead Sea mud can both prevent premature aging and restore to your skin a fresh, youthful glow.
2. Detoxifies and Nourishes
Constant exposure to pollution, free radicals, and bacteria from our everyday lives really takes its toll on our skin over time. Though it does a great job of protecting us from these harmful elements, our skin shows the consequences of this exposure in the form of dark, age spots, blemishes, and an uneven, dull complexion. Because these toxins take residence within our skin and can affect not only its appearance but also our overall health, it’s critical to take steps to detoxify and nurture it often. Deep sea mud can greatly reduce the skin’s toxicity by opening up clogged pores as it dries and drawing out harmful bacteria and pollutants, allowing the skin to breathe. And as a bonus, its makeup of over 20 minerals nourishes and restores struggling skin, leaving a tired, dull complexion looking and feeling soft, smooth, and healthy.
3. Fights Acne
Have unsightly and painful blemishes followed you out of your awkward teenage years and into adulthood? If so, you’re not alone. Acne is the most common skin condition, affecting 60 million people in the United States alone. Even those with seemingly perfect skin experience the occasional breakout. Blemishes have numerous causes, including poor diet, stress, and bacteria. Among its many amazing abilities, Dead Sea mud has been shown to prevent and heal even the most stubborn acne. The same detoxifying and exfoliating properties that rid the skin of pollutants and germs can also prevent unwanted blemishes. After opening and cleaning clogged pores, the mud minimizes them again and makes it more difficult for bacteria to sneak in. As a final defense, Dead Sea mud also has antibacterial properties, so it can eliminate any acne-causing microbes that may have been left behind.
You might think that mud taken from the saltiest water on earth would dry out your skin. But you’d be wrong, because it actually has the opposite effect. Due to its lower sodium chloride content, Dead Sea mud is incredibly hydrating and can soothe even the driest skin. Among its other nourishing minerals, the magnesium content in the mud has been shown to greatly improve skin barrier function, locking in essential moisture and allowing the skin to better retain natural hydration. Dead Sea mud also has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the redness and puffiness associated with rough, dry and irritated skin and leaving it with a refreshed, even glow.
5. Relieves Skin Conditions
Too often we feel the need to turn to medications or chemical-packed creams and ointments to treat painful and stubborn skin conditions. While Dead Sea mud is beneficial for just about any skin type, it’s especially helpful to those who suffer from conditions like eczema and psoriasis. In fact, multiple studies have shown significant improvement in up to 75% of people with psoriasis after treatment with Dead Sea mud. These same individuals did not respond as well to traditional steroid or cortisone treatments.
6. Decreases Cellulite and Stretch Marks
Most of us have stretch marks somewhere on our bodies, whether from pregnancy, weight gain/loss, or natural aging. But just because they are common, that doesn’t mean we have to live with them! Dead Sea mud does naturally what many traditional lotions and creams don’t, which is to increase blood flow and circulation underneath the skin, remove toxins, and hydrate skin to plump up and smooth out those unsightly marks. Best of all, Dead Sea mud contains in ample amounts the trifecta of cellulite reducing minerals: magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These work together to nourish skin and encourage healthy and rapid cell turnover, replacing pockmarks and stretch marks with smooth, firm skin.
Ways to Use Dead Sea Mud
So, are you convinced? Now that we know the amazing ways our skin can benefit from the use of Dead Sea mud, what are the best ways to use it?
Straight from the Source
If you’re lucky enough to be able to visit the Dead Sea in person, you’ll be able to experience the world’s largest natural spa and see the amazing effects it can have on your skin firsthand. The numbers speak for themselves: In 2009, it is estimated that nearly 1.5 million tourists made the trek to take a dip in the Dead Sea, and the numbers have only grown since. Many make it a yearly tradition to float in the salty water and spend days lathering their bodies with the magical mud from head to toe. Dr. Payman Danielpour of Los Angeles made a visit to the Dead Sea and claimed that “after just one day, I could see the difference…and by the end of my two-week stay, it felt like I was literally wearing a younger man’s skin!”
Dead Sea Mud in a Jar
If a trip to the Middle East isn’t in your budget, in recent years Dead Sea mud has been made readily available by beauty companies worldwide who have discovered its effectiveness in skin care and maintenance. You can order Dead Sea mud online or find it in your local drug or beauty store, and it is often an ingredient in anti-aging, cleansing, or other natural skin care products. Since it’s generally a little more expensive than other products, many people choose to use it primarily on their face and neck where the skin is more exposed and sensitive to blemishes, wrinkles, and dark spots. To use a Dead Sea mud facial mask, apply it in an even layer on your face and neck, avoiding your eyes, nostrils and mouth. Allow the mud to sit for about 10-20 minutes until it is completely dry (want to take your at-home spa treatment up a notch? Add cucumbers slices over your eyes and relax while the mud dries). Remove the mask by rinsing gently with warm water until all traces of the mud are removed. Pat dry and follow with moisturizer if desired. Repeat 1-2 times weekly for best results.
Dead Sea Body Wrap
If you want to see improvement on your skin from head to toe, you can try a Dead Sea body wrap. Many high-end spas offer this service to their customers, but you can also make your own at home. To make a rejuvenating mud wrap, mix two parts Dead Sea mud with one part water to get a glue-like consistency. Apply the mixture to your body with your hands or large spatula, beginning with your arms and working your way down to your feet. Wrap your body comfortably—not too tightly—in plastic wrap, warm towels, or a cotton sheet. Lie down in a warm room for an hour to let the mud work its magic before rinsing it all of in the shower. You’ll love how soft and healthy your skin feels!
Final Tips When Buying/Using Dead Sea Mud
When shopping for Dead Sea mud, it’s important to know what you’re getting. For example, some mud masks are made from ‘pure Dead Sea mud’, while others blend it with other ingredients. Be sure that your product comes from a verifiable source to ensure you are getting the best quality for your money.
Even though Dead Sea mud is used all over the world, that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Every skin type is unique and may react differently to certain products. To be sure that Dead Sea mud is right for your skin and to avoid a possible allergic reaction, test it out on a small, inconspicuous area, like the nape of your neck. Talk to your dermatologist before continuing use if you experience any irritation or pain.
Although many report seeing immediate improvement in their skin after using Dead Sea mud, you can’t expect to completely erase years of aging and exposure in just one use. If that were the case, we’d all be on the next plane to Israel! True improvement to the health of your skin will come with consistent use over time, along with a good skin care regimen. If you don’t see the results you want right away, don’t give up.
In the era of Cleopatra, only those lucky enough to live near the Dead Sea could benefit from its healing and restorative powers. Luckily, we live in a time where the healing and nourishing properties of Dead Sea mud are literally at our fingertips! Get your hands on some today to experience one of nature’s greatest secrets to beautiful skin!