Have you ever stumbled across a for-sale skin care project that was so simple, yet so expensive, that it made you downright mad? That was my initial reaction to the product that inspired this DIY. $70 for mostly clay, some salt, some inexpensive herbs, and some spices I have in my kitchen. $70!?! And that’s US dollars, too, so that’s nearly $95 Canadian with the exchange rate these days, and… what!? Anyhow, I guess I like to channel my rage into making things (who is surprised?), so I did. I made myself a bunch of Cleansing Mud Mousse for a whole lot less than $95, and now you can, too.

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As usual, this definitely isn’t a total dupe. For starters, the original has more spices in the spice blend—all of them irritating ones. I decided to pare it down to two, and as is I notice a mild, but still pleasant warming sensation after wash-off. I think it might be a bit much with more. I used kaolin instead of halloysite clay (gasp! A clay I don’t have!), and I opted to drop the salt entirely, though you could definitely include some if you want to.

The original touts the vitamin C as being brightening… and vitamin C is, under the right circumstances. I have my doubt that those circumstances include immediately reacting with baking soda (therefore chemically transforming it), and being rinsed off the skin quite promptly. So, if you have citric acid, but no vitamin C, feel free to use the citric acid instead. It’ll still react with the baking soda to make the mud get all moussey and neat, but it’s mucho cheaper.

The herb blend is quite customizable, but I’d really recommend including the marshmallow root. It gives the scrub/mousse/mud a wonderful slip that I’d typically associate with soap, but it’s not at all soapy. It’s pretty cool, really. Definitely feel free to swap out the calendula and rose buds for chamomile, white willow bark, arnica, or whatever you have on hand/your skin loves!

If you’d like to add some essential oils, you definitely can, but I’d encourage you to take a whiff of the powder as-is before adding any. I really like the soft herbaceous notes and the slight pie-spice scent from the cinnamon and cloves. If you want to add some essential oils I’d recommend 5–7 drops; count them into the coffee grinder after the initial blend, and then blend away until the mixture is uniform.

To use, combine about half a teaspoon of the Cleansing Mud Mousse mixture with some water in your palm, and work it into a moussey paste. Massage it into your skin, and rinse it off. My skin was left oh-so-soft and lovely; I was actually rather surprised at how soft it was and kept petting my cheek all night long. The surprise was because the exfoliation was really gentle—so gentle it mostly felt like a face massage. The noticeably scrubby bits of this mousse are pretty sparse, which I really liked. If you include salt the scrub factor will increase, so if you have sensitive skin I’d leave it out. I’d recommend only using this every two or three days; it’s pretty gentle, but all the same, our faces don’t typically need loads of daily exfoliation—especially physical exfoliation.

Anywho, I quite like this Cleansing Mud Mousse—not only because it’s my new go-to exfoliant, but also because I feel like I’m sticking it to the $70 mud industry, and that makes my inner anarchist happy 😝

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Cleansing Mud Mousse

1 tbsp kaolin clay (white or red is fine)
1 tbsp rhassoul clay
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vitamin C powder (L-ascorbic acid) or citric acid

1/2 tsp dried marshmallow root
1/2 tsp dried calendula petals
1/2 tsp dried rose buds

1/32 tsp ground cinnamon
1/32 tsp ground cloves
1/64 tsp ground turmeric

Measure everything into your DIY-only coffee grinder and blend for about 30 seconds. Rap the lid sharply with the back of a spoon and leave the grinder for 20 minutes to allow the powder to settle.

After 20 minutes have passed, remove the lid and spoon the mixture into 60mL / 2oz jar (the one pictured is 100mL and you can see it’s a bit big!).

To use, take about half a teaspoon of the powder into your palm and slowly add water until you have a thick, frothy paste. Massage it into your skin, and rinse off. Follow up with any other facial cleansers you might be using, and your favourite moisturizer.

Because this scrub does not contain any water, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Be sure to keep it dry to ensure it lasts as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container and it should easily last a year.

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