Patrick Farno

Clean up your act with a natural mud mask.

Caroline Hallemann

From detoxing oily, acne-prone skin to treating ailments ranging from psoriasis and eczema to rheumatism, the health benefits of clay and mud are well documented—and well-utilized—in the beauty industry. And while a wrap or face mask at a local spa (or a DIY Glamglow treatment) will certainly nourish your complexion, there’s nothing quite like getting down and dirty in a natural mud bath. So when planning a recent trip to St. Lucia, I made sure my itinerary included a trip to the Soufriere Sulphur Springs.

Just $5.50 USD (talk about a beauty bargain) grants visitors access to the spring, a small black pool clocking in at 101.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The product of an active volcano, these opaque, mineral-infused waters are said to have medicinal qualities, making them a favorite of tourists and locals alike. Plus, as my guide told me, “you’ll come out looking 10 years younger.” Now, that’s a claim I’m willing to test.

After slathering my skin with the gray and black mud, and a nice long soak in the steaming pool, I found myself fully relaxed, no longer even noticing that signature sulfur scent. And while I didn’t lose a decade, I did see a noticeable difference in both the look and feel my skin.

I’d recommend the whole experience in a heartbeat (the Instagrams alone were worth it), but nail-art aficionados be warned. One dip in the pool stained my digits a rather unflattering shade of yellow. The spring also comes with a warning—leave any nice jewelry or swimsuits behind, as the mud has a tendency to stain.

For more info on how to visit the baths, head to soufrierefoundation.org. Or, ask your hotel about treatment options. Some resorts in the area—like Ladera, where I stayed—offer full services at the baths.

This story originally appeared on Mimichatter.com

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