Is volcano mud good for your skin?

Text: Haoyi Yao, Featured image: Giuliana Panieri.

Mud volcano has a shape of volcano but is erupting cold mud instead of hot lava. The mud is cool to the touch. But it is not good for your skin.

During our field trip we visited mud volcanoes at Salse di Nirano, one of the most impressive phenomena in Italy. Here are some fun facts about the mud volcanos. You don´t have to run away when the mud volcano erupts. A mud volcano is much smaller than the lava volcano, and it’s cold. Here’s a cute little one bubbling.

Methane release creates bubbles in the mud of the volcano.
Mud bubbles in the volcano are created by release of the greenhouse gas methane. Photo: Maja Sojtaric

The bubbles in a mud volcano are mainly methane: The notorious greenhouse gas.

The mud is smooth and rather pleasant to the touch. Are you also curious to know if the mud is beneficial to the skin? We can compare the components in the mud from the volcano with GlamGlow Exfoliating Mud Mask.

The pH of the mud in the mud volcano is basic – 7.9. . But our skin is slightly acidic (pH~5.5). The organic ingredients are in addition extracted from the bacteria in the mud from the volcano, as opposed to plant material in the mud mask. We are not familiar with the species of the bacteria and their effect on human skin. The plant material has been approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So my conclusion would be that the mud from mud volcano is not good for your skin, even though it feels pleasant.

This blog post was created at a field trip to the Apennines in the fall of 2015. The field trip was a part of Trainee School in Arctic Marine Geology and Geophysics, and was partly funded by ResClim

Photo: Maja Sojtaric
Photo: Maja Sojtaric

Haoyi Yao is PhD candidate at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Her field of study is geochemistry.


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