Imagine King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Cleopatra, King Herod, Napoleon, and Beethoven all slathered in mud. According to some proponents of mud therapy, these dignified pillars of history weren’t afraid to get a little down and dirty.
Like many modern, most trusted naturopathic body treatments, mud baths have ancient roots—and there are good reasons why this health trend never really dies. Soaking in mud rich in minerals like magnesium, sodium, and sulfur (not just any damp dirt found at the local park after a storm) is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, helping to ease muscle tension and joint pain. The way mud dries on the surface of the skin and traps in heat can also facilitate this process. Not to mention, it’s seriously relaxing—as long as you can get into the fact that you’re covered in gunk.
But most people don’t live with the Dead Sea or hot springs full of volcanic ash in their backyard. And heading to a posh day spa just to get muddy isn’t the most budget-friendly option. No problem—making your own “mud bath" in the comfort of your bathroom is pretty simple.
The secret ingredient: bentonite clay. Used topically, it’s capable of drawing out impurities from the body—toxins, viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria, all positively charged, are attracted to the negatively charged clay, which magnetize and remove them. So “bathing” with bentonite clay essentially means getting a full-body skin detox—and since it contains naturally occurring minerals, it provides some of the aforementioned benefits of a mud bath. Plus it’ll leave your skin glowing.
DIY bentonite clay “mud bath”
Ready to have a spa moment at home? Here’s how.
What you need
- Lay the mat on the bathroom floor. If you’d like, lay a few pillows on top. Cover it all with a sheet, and you’ve got a makeshift spa bed.
- Using a wooden, glass, or plastic bowl and spoon, mix equal parts bentonite clay and water—you want to have enough to cover your body from head to toe. About ½ cup each should do the trick. (Avoid metal bowls and spoons, which can carry a positive charge and render the clay ineffective.)
- Now comes the fun part: smear the “mud” all over, from your face to your toes. Draw a warm bath if you’d like, but don’t get in just yet. Kick back and relax on your spa bed for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the clay to work its magic and dry.
- Finally, slip into the bath and scrub the dried clay off with a washcloth. When you’re done, shower off to help rinse away residue.
- Finish with body and facial oils to restore moisture to the skin—a mud bath can initially cause some dryness and redness, which should subside within an hour or so, and leave skin looking and feeling fresh and plump.
Want to learn more ways to use bentonite clay? Watch this video!
Produced and Directed by: Liza Glucoft
Director of Photography: Naeem Munaf
Editor: Stephanie Provence