My skin is generally pretty easy - if a little sensitive - but I do have some visible pores, so what I look for in a mask is something that will keep those looking squeaky clean without causing any irritation. Enhanced brightness and glow is always welcome too. With that in mind, here are my first impressions of six masks that have been kicking around my sample pile.
Stark Green Tea Detox Clay Mask
I got this - and the next two - from Fresh Faced's sample program. I really love the idea of this mask - green and rhassoul clays detox the skin and remove impurities, while green tea provides a boost of antioxidants, apple extract (rich in AHA) exfoliates, and lime extract brightens. In practice, I didn't notice anything more than I would with plain ol' green clay, so I likely will not be buying the full size.
Kahina Giving Beauty Antioxidant Mask
With my big love for Kahina's Cleanser, I had high hopes for this mask, and happily, it delivered. A blend of light florals, peppermint and eucalyptus smells fresh and lovely, and the consistency is pretty perfect too - like rich, decadent frosting. It didn't dry super hard or tight, but it still did an excellent job cleaning out my pores, and also left my skin looking glowy and feeling extra soft. At $62, I'm not rushing out to buy it, but it would be a great product to splurge on one day.
May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
Made with raw cacao, bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients, salts, and warming spices, The Problem Solver is a bit of a cult favorite. It's a powder that, with water, foams up into a light mousse and makes for a pretty intense treatment. May recommends leaving the mask on for 45 minutes (or until fully dry), but I only made it to about the 12 minute mark before my face felt uncomfortably hot (using just a small sample, the mask was pretty well dry at this point too.) My skin was red and flushed when I washed it off, but it settled down within just a few minutes, leaving behind only clear pores and soft skin. I'm not sure this was the best mask for my sensitive skin, so I won't be investing the $90 (!!) just yet, but I'd be tempted to try a second sample at some point in the future.
Balm Balm Hibiscus Face Mask
Balm Balm's mask is a three ingredient blend of brown rice flour, ground hibiscus, and rose geranium essential oil that's supposed to gently draw out impurities while deep cleansing and exfoliating the skin. I won't be buying this one as, quite frankly, I didn't notice much of an effect - good or bad - from using it.
Sibu Sea Buckthorn Purifying Mask
Surprisingly soothing and gentle for something called a purifying mask. It was calming and reduced redness while at the same time leaving my pores looking pretty good. There are a couple ingredients I'm not too crazy about - SD alcohol and glycerin are pretty high up on the list - but my skin seemed to like it, so I would, potentially, consider buying it in the future.
Pretty Ginger & Cypress Soothing Beauty Mud
Pretty is great for simple creations that deliver, and this mask is no different. Two kinds of clay combine with aloe, green tea extract, and essential oils to make a gentle, but effective treatment. I'm curious to try the Brightening Mud next, but I might come back to this one at some point.
Have you used any of these? What are your "must try" mask favorites?
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