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12 Best Mud Masks for Clear, Poreless Skin

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Photo by LaylaBird/Getty Images

If you’re anything like us, mud masks were one of the first masks you ever tried. We can still remember slathering on the goopy stuff at sleepovers and waiting for them to work their magic. But nowadays, after a serious upgrade over the past few years, mud masks are actually a helpful and effective way to reduce pore size, clear out sebum and blackheads, and even target fine lines and wrinkles.

“The ingredients in a mud mask are crucial, as they determine its effectiveness and benefits,” explains  plastic surgeon Vinod Vij, MD. “Look for ingredients such as bentonite clay, kaolin clay, or charcoal, which absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin,” he says. Other beneficial ingredients may include hyaluronic acid for hydration, glycolic acid for exfoliation, and antioxidants for anti-aging effects. If you’re on the hunt for a detoxifying mud mask that can help clear out pores, impurities, and more, here are our top picks.


About the Expert:

Vinod Vij, MD, is a plastic surgeon based in Mumbai.

1. Best Affordable Mud Mask:

AZTEC Secret Indian Healing Clay

AZTEC Secret Indian Healing Clay
Courtesy of AZTEC

Dr. Vij constantly recommends this mask to his patients. “This mask is made of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay which helps draw out impurities and toxins from the skin,” he tells IPSY. “It is suitable for all skin types and is highly effective in reducing acne and pore size.”

2. Best Mud Mask for Acne Prone Skin:

GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment

GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment
Courtesy of GLAMGLOW

GLAMGLOW’s mud mask is iconic for a reason: “With a blend of activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and glycolic acid, this mask is perfect for oily and acne-prone skin,” says Dr. Vij. “It helps control oil production, unclog pores, and exfoliate dead skin cells for a clearer complexion.

3. Best Overall Mud Mask:

FRESH Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face Mask

FRESH Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Face Mask
Courtesty of FRESH

This mask contains mineral-rich Umbrian clay, which helps purify and balance the skin, thanks to its high mineral content from mud sourced in Umbria, Italy. We love it because “it is gentle enough for all skin types and provides hydration while detoxifying the skin,” says Dr. Vij.

4. Best Anti-Aging Mask:

PETER THOMAS ROTH Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

PETER THOMAS ROTH Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
Courtesty of PETER THOMAS ROTH

Did you know that most mud masks not only clear out excess oil, gunk, and sebum from pores and the skin’s surface, but they also have anti-aging ingredients? We love this mask from PETER THOMAS ROTH that uses hijiki seaweed to help hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also packed with purifying moor mud and volcanic ash to draw out dirt from stubborn pores.

5. Best Gentle Mud Mask:

AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask

AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask

Dr. Vij says that while mud masks are generally safe, you should never use one on broken skin caused by acne or other scarring. Whether you need to absorb excess oil or exfoliate clogged pores, the purifying power of this dead sea mask by AHAVA has got your back. With moisturizing jojoba seed oil, skin-firming vitamin B5, chamomile extract, and a host of revitalizing minerals, you can rest assured this gentle purifying mask will leave your skin feeling soft and nourished.

6. Best Hydrating Mud Mask:

GRACE & STELLA Dead Sea Mud Mask

GRACE & STELLA Dead Sea Mud Mask

The Dead Sea produces some of the world’s most mineral-rich mud and this dead sea mask by GRACE & STELLA stands out for its ability to increase blood circulation in your skin—the key to smoothing fine lines, flushing out acne-causing toxins, and boosting radiance.

7. Best Peel-Off Mud Mask:

GLAMGLOW GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment

GLAMGLOW GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment

This innovative anti-aging peel-off mask and mud mask combo from GLAMGLOW turns from white to chrome as it dries, leaving skin feeling supple, firm, and youthful. “OMG. My face was a pearl! Beautiful!” wrote Ipster @anjid22. It also comes with a handy application brush so you can effortlessly paint on the purifying mask and peel away impurities within minutes.

8. Best Splurge Mud Mask:

LA CHLORIS URBAN BOTANICS Ultra Glow Moroccan Rose Mask

LA CHLORIS URBAN BOTANICS Ultra Glow Moroccan Rose Mask

One of the most luxurious mud masks on this list, the LA CHLORIS URBAN BOTANICS Morroccan Rose Mask heals sensitive skin and reinforces its natural protective barrier. It’s all thanks to skin-smoothing pink clay and oil-absorbing kaolin clay joined together with a blissful rose scent. Ipster @Dancejc2791 wrote, “I love this mask, especially the smell. Helped with my redness.” A great choice for combination skin types or easily-irritated folks, the formula packs a purifying punch but goes on silky-smooth. “It’s creamy and soft. Love it!” another Ipster agreed. 

9. Best Cooling Mud Mask:

JJ YOUNG Pore Glow Mask

JJ YOUNG Pore Glow Mask

We love that this mask helps you cool off, thanks to the fact that it’s menthol-infused. This mask is from Korean beauty brand JJ YOUNG. Niacinamide fights acne, kaolin clay de-clogs pores, and fruit extracts (like pomegranate, fig, and ginkgo) illuminate dull, dark areas of your skin. Ipster @shawgrizzle noticed an immediate effect. She wrote, “my skin looked really dull and dry prior to use. After I washed off my mask there was a significant difference in the texture and glow in my skin.” Vegan and paraben-free, pop it in the fridge before using for a guilt-free, extra cooling rush.

10. Best Brightening Mud Mask:

PURLISSE Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask + Exfoliant

PURLISSE Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask + Exfoliant

Stressed? Tired? In need of a mood-boosting pick-me-up? This 10-minute facial mask from PURLISSE has everything you need to feel like you took a mini trip to the spa. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich blue lotus extract soothes your skin, mushroom extract brightens, and white clay purifies your pores. “It's amazing for balancing out redness and shrinking pores. I use it 2x a week and have noticed an increase in glow,” Ipster @adiddy wrote.

11. Best Clean Beauty Mud Mask:

SOO’AE Hemp Dreams Mud Mask

SOO’AE Hemp Dreams Mud Mask
Courtesty of SOO’AE

Hemp seed oil is a super versatile moisturizer, delivering hydration to all skin types without clogging pores. That’s why we couldn’t leave this SOO’AE Hemp Dreams Mud Mask off of this list. Coconut extract hydrates, bentonite clay and kaolin clay detoxify pores, and green tea leaf reduces redness. Apply a thin layer to your skin, let it sink in for 15-20 minutes while you relax, and rinse it off with warm water to reveal newly-smooth, soft skin.

12. Best Mud Mask for Oily Skin:

PÜR COSMETICS Dirty Girl Mud Mask

PÜR COSMETICS Dirty Girl Mud Mask
Courtesty of PÜR COSMETICS

Getting clean, clear skin means getting a little dirty first. That’s where this PUR COSMETICS Dirty Girl Mud Mask comes in. Salicylic acid sloughs off dead skin cells and impurities from your skin’s surface while pascalite clay (a form of bentonite clay) absorbs excess oil from inside the pores for a brighter complexion. Gluten-free and free of parabens, all skin types will love this combination of brightening and firming all-natural ingredients. 

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About the author
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Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated December 22, 2023 12:00 AM