An Expert Report on Mud as Used in the Professional Beauty Industry
By Barbara Schumann
Even with its worldwide recognition as a
beneficial compound, mud remains an elusive treatment to most consumers. Those familiar
with day spas and skincare clinics are more informed about the healing powers of therapeutic
mud treatments, yet the average consumer still has much to learn. In order to clear the fog,
we offer you ... MUD.
The History Of Mud
Throughout history, mud
has been used as a healing agent for cracks, bites, burns, and other skin afflictions. It has
been used not only to soothe, but also to draw toxins and oils from skin.
Pure mud can be detoxifying, remineralizing, hormonally balancing and
For many years, cosmetic and esthetic manufacturers have researched various muds from across the globe to analyze their
therapeutic healing agents and have incorporated them into their skincare and bodycare product
lines. Today you can find anything from mud masks and mud soaps to mud creams both in spas
and available for retail.
What Is Therapeutic Mud?
cosmetologists and estheticians refer to therapeutic mud, it is not the kind that you find in
your backyard after a heavy rain. The mud used in skin treatments is indeed a natural
product of the earth. However, the mud in traditional American backyards can contain high
levels of toxins, such as lead and bacteria, which can have detrimental effects on the
skin. Every region on earth produces mud with an individual mineral and biological profile,
unique to its geographic and climate conditions. Depending upon where the mud is sampled, it
may contain high concentrations of zinc, copper, selenium, iron or manganese, which can be
used in a variety of combinations to treat different ailments.
What Is The Difference Between Mud and Clay?
Although clay and mud both come from the same earthy ground, mud is promoted more as a healing
agent, whereas clay is more commonly used in cosmetic products, as
it is a drying agent. It is a component found in many cosmetic
foundations and powders. Clay also tends to be used as a clarifying agent in skin products
because of its ability to remove matter suspended in liquid. Because clay's natural
properties are oil balancing, it is especially useful and beneficial for acne prone
Mud is an ingredient that is used not so much
for cosmetic purposes, but for healing purposes. Because of its water solubility, mud is a
substance which allows the skin to absorb nutrients from it or other products applied along
with it. This is a common function of mud in masks, body wraps, and other skin
treatments. In America, mud has not been allowed to be labeled "medicinal" by the
However, in many European, African and Asian countries, mud is considered by healthcare
experts to offer specific medicinal properties.
Confusing The Uses For Mud
One issue that is commonly confused is the actual use of mud in salons and spas. Products are
often labelled as "Mud" for lack of a better term. Some companies develop compounds out
of peat, algae, or other natural substances and call
them "Mud" for the simple purpose of simplifying the product to the consumer. These
formulas may tend to have similar properties to some forms of mud and may offer similar
dermatological benefits, but they may also be truly different.
Estheticians commonly use mud for its ability to facilitate product absorption. In these
circumstances, it is not the mud that contains the healing properties, but rather the
product that is applied to the skin first. The mud forms an occlusive layer, which helps the
skin soak up the beneficial ingredients in the chosen skin care product.
Should Mud Treatments Be Performed?
As esthetic and spa professionals, we know the value
of mud for therapeutic bodycare and skincare. Mud treatments can be performed in the salon,
spa or at home, although there certainly are advantages to having a licensed professional
apply mud for our clients. The mud application process is both messy
and time consuming. Natural and added ingredients found in
most mud products are notorious for staining clothing and fabric. Also, it is difficult for
an individual to cover his or her own body entirely with mud. It is highly recommended
that a client visit a spa professional to receive a mud treatment, especially so that they
are able to enjoy the therapeutic and relaxing effects of the soothing application process.
Most mud treatments are considered "wet treatments", which
means that they require a special wet room or shower treatment in the spa or salon to
thoroughly remove the mud product and flush the skin. Rarely are mud products made that
can be applied and removed without the use of water in one way or another. This is one more
reason why mud treatments should be recommended to your clients as a spa service. Not only
because of the messy characteristics of the substance, but who could pass up a luxurious
vichy shower to follow up their mud wrap?
One of the most
beneficial effects that services like mud wraps offer is their ability to bring positive
influences to one's mind, body and spirit. Body treatments are often enjoyed by people
with high stress or anxiety, to calm the nerves and soothe the soul. The detoxifying
effects of mud on the body leave clients feeling refreshed and clean, often invoking a
general sense of well being. For this reason alone, a visit to a spa or skin clinic may be a
more therapeutic experience than that resulting from a treatment done at home.
Determining The Right Skin Type For Mud Treatments
distinctively unique properties of mud have proven effective in removing oil and impurities
from the skin. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy a mud treatment if you have dry
skin. Because of its healing powers for conditions like psoriasis, mud can benefit dry
skin conditions as well, although it is not recommended as an overly frequent treatment for
people with normal to dry skin. When your clients with dry skin approach the issue of mud
masks and body treatments, a traditional recommendation is the use of a moisturizing
treatment both before and after the application of mud in a spa treatment.
Using and Marketing Mud In A Spa
Even though many mud products can be a substantial investment, mud is still a very cost effective purchase for any day or
destination spa. There are a number of methods to incorporate new mud treatments into a spa
service menu. One method is to begin by creating and offering a special therapeutic mud
bath. This mud is less costly and the mud is not type-cast for specific healing powers, but
can still prove incredibly therapeutic, for both skin and body.
Mud can also be offered as a facial service and a body service. One of the best selling
points for mud in a spa is that people do not WANT to do mud at home. They want to go to a
spa, unburden themselves, and enjoy total relaxation and pampering. Mud offers them just
that. Another idea that comes along with mud is that it is relatively exotic. Most average
Americans have not put mud on their bodies since they were digging in the playground. To
think that mud can be used as such a luxurious service seems foreign to some people, but that
is another reason why mud is appealing.
We suggest that you add an array of various mud treatments,
masks, and bodycare to your salon menu. Consider
various combination spa packages which feature mud, while combining it with other wet or dry
skincare and spa treatments. For example, vichy showers are great when combined with mud
treatments, as they allow for cleansing of the mud, and add on another relaxing and
highly-enjoyable skin therapy. Use artistic photographs in your spa menus, print
advertisements, TV commercials, posters and counter cards to effectively illustrate what a mud
treatment looks like. Combined with a clever headline and a beautiful photograph, you can
dramatically increase your client's awareness, while opening the door for many new
first time users. You can certainly promote all of your mud treatments at full price. You
may also want to offer a "$10 Gift Certificate Off Of Any First-Time Spa Mud Treatment", to
clients who have never tried a mud treatment before.
Make sure that everyone on your staff is well educated on the mud treatments that your salon
or spa carries. Ask your manufacturer and distributor for helpful information, brochures
and if possible, an educational seminar. This seminar should not only teach product
knowledge, it should also teach you and your staff how to professionally introduce mud
treatments to your clientele by using consultative selling
techniques. Finally, make sure that each person on your staff experiences a mud treatment,
so they can personally speak about the specific benefits and luxuries of your mud
Keeping Mud (And Your Business) Alive!
Mud can turn your salon or spa into an exotic and luxurious get-away and can generate a high-end
clientele. The more exotic your mud products the better. A sense of curiosity in the
average client and consumer will bring them in just to experience your newest mud
services. Once you have the treatments in your salon or spa, market them and you will see
your customers coming back for more of this exciting, high quality, skin care service.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Barbara Schumann is Vice
President of Wilma Schumann Skin Care, Inc. Founded by her mother, Wilma Schumann, she has
been influenced by the positive effects of professional skin care her entire life. Barbara
Schumann now makes it her goal to educate other professional estheticians and spa owners
about how to successfully provide quality skin care services and products to the world. The
Wilma Schumann Skin Care Company and the Wilma Schumann Skin Care Research Clinic are
located at 2121 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Suite 530 in Miami Florida. For more information
about therapeutic mud treatments or Wilma Schumann Skin Care Treatments, call 1-800-440-3032
Copyright 2002 Marketing Solutions, Inc.