Dead Sea Mud Gentle Body Exfoliator
6.8 fl. oz. for $26
Last Updated:10.21.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This is an OK body scrub that's closer to a body wash with scrub particles added for a bit of extra cleansing. The cleansing agents are fine and this contains ingredients to soften skin, too. What's not so great but acceptable is the choice of abrasive (scrub) ingredients, apricot seed powder and pumice. Both scrub skin, but tend to be more aggressive and gritty than standard polyethylene or rounded jojoba beads, among other gentler options.

In no way can this measure up to what a good AHA or BHA leave-on body exfoliant can do, but it's an OK scrub if you don't find the price objectionable. Dead Sea mud isn't present in this product, making the name misleading. It does contain Dead Sea water, but that additive is useless in a rinse-off product like this.

  • Polishes skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
  • Cleanses so you don't need to use an additional body wash.
  • The scrub agents are among the more abrasive choices available.
  • Doesn't contain Dead Sea mud as claimed.
  • Cannot work as well as a leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant (especially for those with sun damage or breakouts).

This unique, body scrub, enriched with the natural anti-inflammatory properties of Dead Sea mud, offers a tender exfoliating experience for soft skin with no irritations. It gently polishes away roughness and leaves body, hands and feet feeling supple and refreshed.


Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Aqua (Water), Hydrogenated Castor Oil, CI 77891, Cocamide MEA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Pumice (Volcanic Lava), Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum (Fragrance), Nylon 6, PVP, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), Mica, CI 77499, Silt (Dead Sea Mud), Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Limonene.

Brand Overview

Ahava At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the cleansers are good.

Weaknesses: Expensive; several of the daytime moisturizers with sunscreen do not list active ingredients; Dead Sea mud is not the cure-all for anyone's aging skin; disappointing toners; lackluster moisturizers and serums; jar packaging; no AHA or BHA products; no products to manage acne; no products to lighten skin discolorations; average masks; irritating men's products.

Ahava is the Hebrew word for love, and this group has adopted it for these skin-care products imported from Israel. Other than the endearing title, the point of difference for Ahava is that their products contain salts and minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel. So, you ask, is your skin going to love these products because they contain Dead Sea water? Supposedly, Cleopatra did, and, of course, she must have had skin to die for, or else Mark Antony wouldn't have risked everything for her. Is that a good enough reason to consider these products for your own skin-care routine? We hope not. Aside from the folklore, there is little truth behind the hype—why would anyone believe that Cleopatra knew any more about skin care than she did about computers or cell phones—and skin care in this millennium is indeed akin to rocket science.

Keep in mind the Dead Sea in Israel is called "dead" because nothing can live in it (technically, there are some bacteria and fungi that can). There are many environmental factors that contribute to making the Dead Sea one of the saltiest lakes in the world, but we won't get into that discussion. A comparison should give you an idea of just how salty it is. The seawater in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has a salt content of 3–4%, while the Dead Sea has a salt content of 32%, as well as a large concentration of minerals such as sulfur, magnesium, calcium, bromide, and potassium. If you haven't been to the Dead Sea, we can tell you the aroma of the sulfur in the water is overwhelming. It is hard to imagine that anything so noxious would be considered a desirable beauty treatment.

Despite the smell and the high mineral content, there are no clinical studies or research showing that Dead Sea minerals have any effect on wrinkles, discolorations, sagging skin, or acne. There are, however, several studies demonstrating that Dead Sea minerals can have a positive effect on psoriatic skin, a practice known as climatotherapy (Sources: International Journal of Dermatology, October 2007, pages 1087–1091; Journal of Dermatological Treatment, May-June 2005, pages 308–313; and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, September 2003, pages 451–457). Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by rapidly dividing, overactive skin cells. How the Dead Sea minerals and salts affect psoriasis is still being debated. One of the more popular theories is that the mineral content of the water slows down the out-of-control cell division. Some research indicates that the benefit is cumulative and that the results can last for up to five months. Immersing psoriasis-afflicted skin in Dead Sea minerals is also a treatment that is better-tolerated than many conventional medical options.

Studies by the Department of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Dermatology at the Soroka Medical Center of Kupat-Holim in Israel and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on psoriasis and other skin rashes noted that "improvement [in skin] was found when patients soaked in two pounds/one kilo for three baths per week, for a period of six weeks." Now that's a lot of Dead Sea water, and certainly not the amount you would get by using these products. Most important, however, if you are looking for Dead Sea water to heal wrinkles, think again, because wrinkles are completely unrelated to psoriasis or other skin rashes.

Even if Dead Sea salts could benefit normal skin in some way, the amount you'll find in the Ahava products and products from other Dead Sea–oriented lines are infinitesimally small in comparison with the amounts used in the published studies, and your skin deserves so much more than these one-note products can deliver. For more information about Ahava, call (800) 366-7254 or visit www.ahavaus.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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Not sure about the reviews

I spent a LOT of money on Ahava products once and I'm not saying they are worth it, or even any good. But the Dead Sea is renowned for its medicinal benefits, and does NOT smell like sulfur as PC claims. I've had lower back pain forever. After soaking in the Dead Sea it went away for a couple of weeks, I swear. Also animal testing is ILLEGAL in Israel, so I don't see how Ahava could be tested on animals.

Reviewed by
Andrea E.
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello!  We have Ahava listed as a brand that “does test on animals” in Beautypedia due to their presence in mainland China.  As indicated by Chinese governmental regulations, companies must submit their products through the registration process (part of which involves animal testing).  Despite the fact that this is not Ahava directly testing on animals, their products are submitted for third-party testing with their knowledge and thus, the reason for the classification in Beautypedia.  We’re always happy to take a second look at a brand when their situation changes, but for now due to Ahava's sales in mainland China, their status as a brand categorized as on the “Does Test on Animals” remains as is.  Please let us know if you have any questions. 

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