There is just something about the sea—its healing powers are mythological; its calming effect on the psyche is profound. The sea refreshes, rejuvenates and transforms. Happiness assaults the senses with the first breath of clean, salty ocean air. A swim in its waters can refresh the body and the mind. The sound of its waves lapping the shore can lull a full-grown man to sleep like a lullaby to a baby. Yes, the sea is a perfect place.
And, of all the seas, the Dead Sea is known as the most transformative and perfect of all. The unique chemical composition and greater concentration of minerals has been known for it’s curative abilities since ancient times. It’s not a stretch, then, to think that skincare products of the sea, particularly the Dead Sea, should have this same perfection, this same ability to refresh, rejuvenate and transform. Many Dead Sea products try to capture this perfection, and one does it exceptionally well. Erno Laszlo’s Sea-Mud Soap really harnesses Poseidon’s potential.
Erno Laszlo himself was a dermatological visionary with a colorful history. Way back in 1927 in his native Hungary, Laszlo caused a commotion by introducing a skincare ritual involving splashing with soap and water instead of the here-to-then accepted use of cold cream to cleanse the skin. It was practically scandalous, but he healed the skin of Belgium’s Princess Stephanie and opened his first Institute of Scientific Cosmetology. Later, a move to the U.S. had Dr. Laszlo an early Hollywood hero with clients from Greta Garbo to—years later—Marilyn Monroe. He soon opened a U.S. Institute on Fifth Avenue in New York City with an elite, referral-only clientele including Jackie Kennedy. It wasn’t until 1962 that the famous Dr. Laszlo had a retail line.
Erno Laszlo created a “ritual” which begins with a water wash technique where splashing the face with “comfortably-hot” water is meant to deep cleanse, exfoliate, flush out toxins, strengthen and soften the skin, stimulate production of collagen, and allow for the better absorption of a moisturizer. It is with this ritual that I first used my Sea Mud Soap.
After opening my simple, almost masculine, marble looking soap dish, I found my Sea Mud Soap to be black in color (Dead Sea mud has a high concentration of Bitumen, a naturally-occurring tar) and immediately was reminded of the Lava soap my dad would keep in his workroom to scrub impossible stains from his hands. But this is definitely not Dad’s harsh, abrasive work-soap.
Sea Mud Soap is amazingly mild. Meant for oily or combination skin, the Sea Mud Soap strips oil from my face like a toner, but leaves my skin extraordinarily soft to the touch. This is the very paradoxical performance that I have always sought in my skincare routine. Some cleansers have come close, but I feel confident in saying that Erno Laszlo’s is the best I have tried. For my face to be oil-free yet not tight or dry is practically miraculous.
My pores also appeared smaller from the first wash. It seems almost like the soap knows how much oil is enough oil to strip. I know from my lifelong bout with oily skin that overstripping the oils from your skin makes your skin produce even more oil, kind of like your body in starvation mode. Sea Mud Soap doesn’t starve your skin of its essential oils; it just seems to remove the extraneous stuff.
A visit to Erno Laszlo’s site will show you how to “get a ritual.” A quick questionnaire and you are just a click away from a recommended routine. Use of the “Laszlo-Matic” tells you your skin type, confirms your individual concerns, and recommends products for day, for night, and for aging.
I can’t wait to find out if there are lots of (formally) shiny, happy people out there waiting to lavish praise on Sea Mud Soap and the Laszlo ritual. Don’t forget to check the comments for the we heart this review team’s thoughts on the Sea Mud Soap.[ratings]
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