A wallop of masks have crossed my path so I thought I’d review them en masse. Are you ready to get masky masky?
The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea pollution clearing mask (R310)
A mix of oil-absorbing clay, antioxidant-rich matcha tea and soothing aloe vera, The Body Shop’s 100% vegan mask promises to help rid your skin of impurities like dirt, oil and the generalised grime you’ll find floating in the air in big cities.
Being oily-skinned I like a good clay mask and this one’s a nice wallet-friendly pick with a super creamy texture (in the pot) that makes it easy to spread around before it dries. I also really like it’s subtle, fresh, green tea scent. (Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is still one of my HG summer scents.) After using it my skin looked more refined but wasn’t left dry and or tight. I also love the fact that there’s lots of matcha in here, not just a tad. Just a word of warning, if you’ve got very sensitive skin the small amount of menthol it includes could irritate. (It stung me for a few seconds the first time I used it after an AHA binge, but when my skin’s not sensitised it goes down a treat.)
Lush FOMO jelly mask (R145).
If you’ve got sensitive, irritable skin you’ll know calamine lotion is your friend. It’s also the main ingredient in Lush’s super calming FOMO mask (another vegan option) along with hydrating glycerine, a dash of clay and neroli and rose oil to give it a yummy scent that reminds me of Turkish Delight.
It’s called a jelly mask because that’s exactly what it feels like – a jelly pudding – but it’s easy to use. Just pinch off a chuck and rub it in between your palms to convert it’s texture to a thick, creamy paste. I put this to use on my chest the other day when it got caught in the sun during a long jog (I changed my shirt at the last moment which revealed an area that didn’t get sunscreen) and it worked nicely to reduce the resultant redness. It will be something I’ll reach for on a day when I’ve picked at my face or gone to crazy town on the retinol/AHAs.) If you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory mask then FOMO is a gem.
Skinceuticals Clarifying clay mask (R1 330, Dermastore.co.za).
A clay mask for those with oily or acne prone skin, Skinceuticals’ option also includes lots of super soothing aloe leaf juice and a mix of alpha hydroxy acids (2%) to help reveal brighter, fresher-looking skin.
Like the other two masks I’ve mentioned, Skinceuticals’ makes use of a kaolin, a good oil absorber, but also includes another type of clay called bentonite. If you’re an grease monster like me bentonite is a gem as it’s able to absorb a lot more oil than kaolin. I’ve really enjoyed using this as it leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean and super smooth. Also, much like The Body Shop’s mask there’s no tightness after use. Just note that the added AHAs are pretty mild so they’ll merely loosen the bonds between dead skin cells making them easier to whisk away using a proper exfoliator. (I’m currently using The Body Shop’s Chinese Ginseng & Rice polishing powder which I’ll be chatting about next week.)
Avene Cleanance mask scrub (R199,95, Clicks).
If you don’t have deep pockets but want something similar to the Skinceuticals mask then Avene’s Cleanance mask is a nice pick. It also contains clay (kaolin) and an AHA in the form of glycolic acid and the soothing aspect is taken care of via thermal spa water and anti-inflammatory zinc gluconate. For good measure, it also contains the teensiest dash of salicylic acid, BHA, which help clean your pores from the inside out – a bonus for anyone prone to blackheads.
While the mask contains scrubby particles you can use to scrub your face (after you’ve left it on for a bit and emulsified it with water) I didn’t find these effective in terms of exfoliating as the particles are too few and far in between. This doesn’t bother me as the glycolic acid takes care of the ‘peeling’ aspect from a chemical point of view, but again you’ll need to use a proper exfoliator to remove the dead cells they’ve helped to lift. If you’ve got sensitive oily-combination skin this is a winner.
See anything you’d like to try yourself?