Magic Healers: Spa Mud Treatments


It may seem counterintuitive to cover yourself in mud to improve your skin, but mud-based treatments have been around for centuries because of their therapeutic benefits (some are thought to help relieve not only tension, but pain as well); today, it’s their skin-perfecting promises that make them popular spa staples.

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Its active volcano days may be over but Northern California’s Calistoga still counts its variation of volcanic ash at the top of its indigenous ingredients list (the area possesses a unique geological composition that includes both the volcanic ash and geothermal springs that, when mixed together, create a totally therapeutic mud that’s been a staple since Native American tribes first inhabited the area). The modern-day version of the mix makes an appearance at the ever-popular Solage’s The Mudslide Experience, a three-step journey where the local volcanic ash blend meets with pure essential oils and serious bath soaks to create a decadent DIY treatment.

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Signature treatments complete with a therapist are great, but Maroma Kinan Mud Bar offers a self-sufficient option for spa-goers looking to go at it alone. With a choice of four different varieties that target skin (and hair) conditions, there’s a solution for everyone; take a seat in the sauna while you apply it to get an indulgent, relaxing session.

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All of the in-water treatments (think hour-long massages performed on floating mattresses) at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon incorporate application of the signature Silica Mud Mask, a supersoftening pure-white exfoliating mud straight from the lagoon’s floor that deeply cleanses the skin. If you’re not in the market for a treatment, stop by one of the lagoon’s silica mud stations or swim-up bars to get a scoop (it’s free for anyone that enters the lagoon).

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Indigenous ingredients take center state at La Mamounia Spa in Morocco. The Royal Hammam Treatment is king, and the spa aims to create conditioned, velvety-soft, silky skin through the two-hour relaxing steam experience, exfoliation, mud mask and massage. With a concoction of soothing black mud, the skin is supplied with a slew of vitamins and minerals that the therapist carefully creates for your skin type.

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Set 70 miles north of Los Angeles, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is an elegant place that has a special energy—the resort and surrounding town are known for their “energy vortex” location, as the town is one of the few places on Earth where the mountains run in both directions. Creativity and customization reign supreme here: The Artist Cottage and Apothecary is a popular choice for guests looking to design their own skin care or tune-in to their artistic side, while unique holistic offerings like Full Moon Yoga and Mandala sessions serve those looking for spirituality. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, try The Kuyam Mud Treatment, which utilizes three blended clays to combine the therapeutic effects of mud, dry heat, inhalation therapy and guided meditation in the Moroccan-tiled Kuyam chamber.

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Combining a classic California resort vibe set amidst the Palm Springs desert, The Spa Las Palmas at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa plays up the healing powers of pure, organic desert botanicals like sage, lavender, verbena, chaparral and cactus. Don’t miss one of the Desert Earth Detoxifying Mud Ritual, a 100-minute scrub-wrap-massage treatment that uses heated mud to drawn out toxins and take you to the next level of relaxation. 

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If you’re searching for a unique experience, look no further than Spa Toscana at the Peppermill Resort. Located in Reno, the three-story spa took its design inspiration from Tuscany. While you take in the Italian-themed interiors, get a taste of the Pumpkin Mud Purifying wrap. This exfoliating and detoxifying treatment uses walnut shells, cinnamon extract, spiced pumpkin, mud and nutmeg extract to improve your circulation and purify your body (you’ll also leave smelling heavenly).

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