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Best Exfoliating Mud Masks

Updated March 2023
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Best of the Best
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
Peter Thomas Roth
Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
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Most Powerful
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A vitamin- and mineral-packed charcoal mask that only requires a small amount to be effective.


Shrinks pores and eliminates redness. Fragrance-free. Goes on smooth and washes off easily. You get a lot of product for the money. Volcanic ash is effective at controlling excess oil.


Some users have claimed it didn't work on their blackheads.

Best Bang for the Buck
Freeman Cruelty-Free Dead Sea Mud Mask
Cruelty-Free Dead Sea Mud Mask
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Bottom Line

Detoxify your skin in less than 10 minutes with this pre-formed, fast-acting mud mask.


Handy to have when you're looking for a single-use mask that boasts immediate results. The formula detoxifies, hydrates, and revitalizes your skin with nutritional vitamins and minerals.


You only get 1 mask for the price.

Majestic Pure Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask
Majestic Pure
Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask
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Pure & Natural
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A pure and natural way to renew your skin without any harmful chemicals and filler.


This option works on a wide range of skin problems, from acne to dark spots and other blemishes. Great on oily, dry, and sensitive skin, too. It's easy to smear on, with a satisfying aloe vera scent.


Some find the tingling sensation painful; check the ingredients for potential issues. Doesn't peel.

Shea Moisture Cruelty-free Clarifying Mask
Shea Moisture
Cruelty-free Clarifying Mask
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Great Value
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Shea earned its reputation as an excellent brand in skincare with products such as this mud mask.


Those with acne- and blemish-prone skin will appreciate its fast-acting tea tree oil and tamarind extract. You get enough for many exfoliating cleanses for 1 affordable price.


Some were left underwhelmed by its moisturizing capabilities.

GlamGlow Anti-Oxidant Mask for Oily Skin
Anti-Oxidant Mask for Oily Skin
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Easy to Use
Bottom Line

Get a 10-minute facial with satisfying results with this easy-to-apply mud mask.


The volcanic rock lifts dead skin cells, while the clay blend and green leaf feed your skin and absorb its worst impurities. It smooths your skin and easily wipes off when you're done.


It's a little too pricey, though you get enough for many applications.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best exfoliating mud masks

Exfoliating mud masks are a great way to detoxify and brighten your skin, so you can put your best face forward. Plus, who doesn’t like to relax with a nice face mask at the end of a busy day?

The good news is there are tons of options from which to choose. The bad news? With so many products on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to find the exfoliating mud mask that’s right for your skin type, concerns, and budget.

At BestReviews, we make it easy to find your best products with our recommendations and shopping guides.

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Your skin repairs itself at night, so the best time to use your exfoliating mud mask is just before bed.

Benefits of exfoliating mud masks

Mud face masks are very similar to clay face masks, but they’re water-based, so they don’t dry out your skin as much. They’re a popular choice for face masks because they effectively remove dirt and other impurities from your pores, which leaves your skin looking clearer and brighter.

Mud masks are suitable for almost every skin type, but they’re most beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin. The mud mask will absorb some of the excess oil that would otherwise clog your pores, leading to fewer breakouts. Those with dry skin will want to be more careful about which mud mask they choose because some tend to be more drying than others, and the wrong mask could end up making dryness worse.

Exfoliating mud masks provide the additional benefit of gently scrubbing away dead skin cells. The buildup of these skin cells often causes skin to appear dull and can contribute to excess oiliness and clogged pores. Dead skin can also make it more difficult for moisturizers and other skin care products to penetrate deeply into your skin. By exfoliating, you’re removing this layer of dead cells, enabling your new skin cells to shine through. This often results in a brighter, healthier glow, as well as a smoother complexion.

If your skin is especially sensitive, you may find some exfoliating mud masks to be too rough for you. It’s a good idea to read through customer reviews before you purchase an exfoliating mud mask to see if this is a common complaint with the product you’re interested in.

Features to consider for exfoliating mud masks


Mud masks, as the name implies, tend to have mud as their primary ingredient. Often this mud is black or volcanic mud, both of which are said to be rich in nutrients and helpful in improving your skin’s elasticity, which keeps you looking younger. Mud is often rich in minerals as well, especially mud that comes from the Dead Sea.

Some mud masks may also contain activated charcoal. This ingredient is known for being especially absorbent, so it can draw all manner of impurities from your skin. If you’re looking for a product that’s going to provide a truly deep clean, make sure you choose an exfoliating mud mask that has activated charcoal as one of the first ingredients.

In addition, you may find skin-nourishing ingredients in your exfoliating mud mask to prevent your skin from getting too dry. Some of the most common are:

  • Aloe vera: Anyone who’s ever had a sunburn knows the soothing and healing effects of aloe vera. It can also help dry skin retain moisture, which can in turn boost your skin’s elasticity.

  • Shea butter: Shea butter is a powerful moisturizer and can help fight the signs of aging. However, those with oily skin should stay away from mud masks containing shea butter as it has a tendency to clog pores.

  • Green tea: Green tea is a potent anti-aging ingredient, and some research suggests that it may help protect your skin against damage from UV rays.

  • Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil helps soothe and moisturize your skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to look for an exfoliating mud mask that contains this ingredient. However, those with acne-prone skin should avoid face masks with oils, which can clog pores.

Mask type

Exfoliating mud masks come in two main types: wash-off and peel-off masks. Wash-off masks are more popular. You simply put the mask on, wait the required amount of time for it to dry, and then wash it off. However, these types of masks tend to be messier when you remove them.

Peel-off masks make less of a mess, but they can irritate your skin, causing redness, inflammation, and dryness. For this reason, they’re not ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Time required

Some exfoliating mud masks only require about 10 minutes to fully dry, while others may take up to half an hour. Find out how long you need to leave the mask on by consulting the instructions on the packaging.

Think about when you plan on using your exfoliating mud mask, and how much time you’ll have to do it. If you’re someone who’s constantly busy, you’ll probably be better off going with a mask that has a shorter dry time.


Most exfoliating mud masks come in a small plastic or glass jar. You just scoop out the amount of the mask that you need. However, if you use your fingers to scoop the mask out, you can inadvertently introduce bacteria into the jar. This can contaminate the mask. You can avoid this by using a skin care spatula or the end of a makeup brush to scoop the mask out of the jar.

Other exfoliating mud masks come in squeeze tubes. This packaging is more hygienic than jars, but it’s not always easy to get the mask out of the tube, especially as you get toward the end.

Prices for exfoliating mud masks

Exfoliating mud masks can cost less than $10 or more than $50. Much of the price difference is due to the quality of the ingredients. You also have to consider the size of the container when looking at the price. Paying twice as much for a mask is often worthwhile if you’re getting three times as many uses as you would from a smaller jar.


While it is possible to get a good exfoliating mud mask for under $10, many of these products don’t perform as well as their more expensive counterparts and can leave your skin feeling dry.


If you’re looking for a natural exfoliating mud mask with high-quality ingredients, we recommend spending at least $10 to $20.


If you go with a mask that costs more than $20, it may contain more skin-soothing oils and ingredients, but the mud will probably be the same type found in cheaper masks.


  • Remove any makeup and wash your skin before applying the exfoliating mud mask.

  • Applying an exfoliating mud mask after you get out of the shower works best because the steam will open up your pores, enabling the mask to better penetrate your skin.

  • It’s a good idea to apply moisturizer once you’ve washed off the exfoliating mud mask, especially if you’re prone to dry skin.

  • Some exfoliating mud masks have stronger odors than others. If you’re sensitive to smell, you should read customer reviews carefully, and go with a mask that doesn’t have much of a scent.

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If you don’t exfoliate your skin regularly, other skin care products may have trouble soaking in, and your makeup may look uneven.


Q. How often should I use an exfoliating mud mask?

A. You should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific mask. But in general, you can apply exfoliating mud masks once or twice a week without irritating your skin. If you have sensitive skin, however, you may want to limit your use to once a week or once every two weeks.

Q. Will an exfoliating mud mask work on combination skin?

A. Exfoliating mud masks work well on almost all skin types. However, some formulas can be drying, and this isn’t ideal if areas of your face are already dry. In that case, you should either choose a formula with moisturizing ingredients or only apply the exfoliating mud mask to the oily areas of your skin.

Q. Will an exfoliating mud mask help my acne?

A. Many users with acne report improvement after using an exfoliating mud mask. This is because the mask cleans away dead skin cells and removes excess oil that causes breakouts in the first place. However, those with acne-prone skin should steer clear of any face masks with comedogenic ingredients like heavy moisturizers and oils, which will make acne worse.