Mommy's Mud Mask - A Quick + Thrifty Home Facial Skin Detox Recipe


(mommy status not required!)


  • 2 tbsp bentonite clay powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp skin-safe oil
    (coconut, argan, almond, jojoba, shea butter, etc) 
  • 1-2 drops essential oil, optional (calming, skin-safe rose, lavender, sandalwood, etc)

Bentonite clay is known to be slightly magnetic, thus prep with metal bowls/ utensils is not recommended.

  1. Spoon bentonite clay in reusable container.
  2. Stir in oil.
  3. Stir in warm water.
  4. Mix well to break up clumps + create spreadable paste. 
  5. Mix in essential oil (if using).

Texture hints:
   +  more water to thin
   +  more clay to thicken



You can apply mask immediately (warm) or place in fridge to chill if you prefer a cooling mask.

  1. Use a steaming washcloth to cleanse + open the facial pores.
  2. Paint mud mask on face with fingers (or brush!), avoiding eyes + lips.
  3. Leave on 15+ minutes, until hardened. You must be in parasympathetic mode during mud mask time for the fullest detox + restorative effect - see section at right.
  4. After 15+ minutes, gently remove mask with hot wash cloth.
  5. Pat skin dry and enjoy detoxed + rejuvenated skin!

Fun variations:
Use on back, chest or feet!


Depending on ingredients and container, your mud mask should keep in fridge for 1-3 months.

I recommend pressing plastic wrap close to the surface.

Subsequent uses may benefit from stirring and/or the addition of water.



I recently found this amazing pure Dead Sea mud mask on Amazon. And, well, I'm in love! 

I keep it in the fridge and use it as a cooling bedtime mask.

It's a wonderful alternative to making your own.

(and no, they didn't ask or compensate me to say so!)


There's something healing and lavish about the experience of a mud mask facial that makes it a wonderfully soothing and restorative way to detox in parasympathetic mode.

We need intentional time spent in parasympathetic mode to get the "Vitamin P" our brains and bodies require to be able to de-stress, detoxify, repair and rebalance.

Mud mask facials can simultaneously draw toxins out through our pores and nourish our skin with nutrients... and supply a bonus dose of Vitamin P!

Just 15 minutes of a mud mask facial applied in parasympathetic mode can:

  • assist our liver and alleviate some of its toxin-removal burden
  • support our adrenal glands by giving them a few minutes of rest from continual demands of stress management and constant (over)production of adrenaline and cortisol
  • allow our brains to relax and lower their need to vigilantly focus on and respond to external stimuli 
  • soothe + settle our nervous system
  • rejuvenate our skin



Unfortunately, many salons, day spas, and pre-made facial products don't use the best or safest ingredients. We shouldn't have to worry about putting more toxins into our skin than we're pulling out!

Those of us with sensitive skin may shy away from facials because of past trouble with inferior ingredients that caused irritation or inflammation post-treatment. I've had this experience and it was no fun!

This mask is safe for all skin types, including very sensitive and acne-prone skin.



Going to a spa for regular facials isn't a feasible reality for most of us.

Making and applying a homemade mud mask facial is a safe, thrifty and convenient way to get the detoxifying + restorative effect of a facial more often.



Mud mask time should be spent in parasympathetic mode or you will not get its full detox + restorative benefit. If you're sweating (a good sign you're not in parasympathetic mode) or doing a lot of activity, the mask may not fully absorb or dry, and may rub off on things you'd rather it didn't.

Time spent in parasympathetic mode doesn't have to be extensive -- just 15 minutes of mud mask time is a great start.

Here are a few parasympathetic activities that pair well with mud mask time: 

> Sitting or laying down.
> Neck, shoulder + foot rubs.
> Sipping ice water.
> Reading a book.
> Taking an epsom salt bath.
> Soaking your feet in lavender water.
> Giving yourself a mani/pedi. 
> Rubbing oils or balms into your skin.
> Praying or meditating.
> Writing or journaling.

See my article on 50 Ways to Get Parasympathetic for more ideas.



Tell your family that your holistic practitioner says you have to regularly employ this therapy for your health!   :)

Schedule mud mask time if you have to.

I recommend a mud mask 3x/week, at night, for 15+ minutes. 

Remember, you should really try to be in parasympathetic mode. Do your best.








Image courtesy of gubgib at