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For some strange reason my teenage son and I, have almost always coincided with our medical ailments. Whenever he’s had a bug, virus or cold, I have too, and strangest of all was when we even had chicken pox at the same time! (Not recommended at the age of 39 yrs!)
So when he began to sprout the notorious teenage spots and zits, I thought due to his age, here would be where our medical paths would part? But no, it seems I am embarking on a delayed adolescence, as I too have had similar eruptions on my face. Now his outbreaks are excusable and even pitied, whereas mine being middle-aged, are just an embarrassment!
Having already used the Montagne Jeunesse, Chantelle ‘Exfoliating’ facemask and experienced good results, it seemed only natural that returning to this range would be my first ‘port of call’. What appeals about this range is that the four varieties come in two, 8g sachets, so if using for the first time, there’s no need to waste a lot of money on something that possibly does not suit. Well… no more than 89p that is!
The Cucumber & Apple Anti-bacterial Mask is the one I chose, as it sounded the most suitable for my present needs. Not being keen on ‘peel off’ masks, the fact that it was a ‘rinse off’ mask, further met with my approval.
Others varieties available are:
Avocado Oil & Walnut Exfoliating Mask
Sea & Herb Mud Cleansing Mask
Vitamin ‘C’ Peel Mask
The name Chantelle is on the top of the rectangular, foil sachets, and the labelling and packaging is in pink and green. A perforated line down the centre of the two sachets can be seen, along with a lady wearing the pink mask centre stage. Other information on the front, states that this facemask ‘clears bugs fast’. This information is repeated in two other languages, French and German, as is an abundance of information on the reverse, which I feel I should mention is in very small print.
Claims are that this product is ‘Healthy. Wholesome. Hard on bacteria for clean radiant skin.’ ‘Suitable for all skin types.’
Not for use on babies or children. Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. If contact with the eyes occurs, wash out with cold water.
*To ‘test sensitivity to natural oils, apply a small amount of neat product to inside of upper arm and leave for 5 minutes. If reaction occurs, DO NOT use.’
Amongst the comprehensive list aside of the natural oils previously mentioned, I see no mention of Lanolin, or anything I personally recognise as a hazard.
Directions for use are also contained on the reverse, along with a footnote saying that that the manufacturers are against animal testing. (Yay!) I also gleaned from their website that they are approved by The Vegetarian Society (Double Yay!).
**Directions for use & Application**
Although my skin type is ‘normal’, I was mindful that this product must have ‘anti-bacterial’ ingredients, so I did a skin test prior to use, which came up as NEGATIVE.
Directions are straightforward enough, simply cleanse your face, and apply using your fingertips, avoiding your eyes and lips.
Having snipped along the top of one of the sachets, the mask was immediately accessible, and a faint fragrance was evident. Although a cucumber and apple mask, I think the smell is best described, as being more like raspberry yoghurt, although I may have been visually swayed by the masks pink appearance. The fragrance being light made it difficult for me to identify anything in particular, but it certainly wasn’t offensive, or synthetic in any way.
Gently squeezing the sachet encouraged a light pink, smooth cream to appear. It was thinner in consistency than I’d anticipated, but sufficiently thick not to create any problems like falling though my fingers, or ‘pooling’ whilst applying to my face. Application was quick and easy, and I was able to establish an even, thick covering with plenty of the mask to spare.
Once on my face the mask felt cool and light. After a couple of minutes it began to dry, and with that came a slight tight sensation, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, nor uncomfortable. As the mask dried the light fragrance seemed to fade more and more, and by the time it came to rinsing, it had vanished completely.
Directions said to remove the mask after 10-15 minutes with warm water, then to pat dry. As I’d had a bad outbreak of spots I decided to go for the latter time proposed. At 10 minutes it looked completely dry, and had turned a lighter, whiter pink. At no point during the drying process did the mask become itchy or irritating, however, a few minutes before rinsing, I experienced a slight warming of my face.
I was able to rinse the mask off quickly and easily, and even though the residue had turned the water a milky white, I was able to simply wash it down the sink.
My first observation, after patting my face dry, was that the area on my face where the mask had been had gone pinky red? Although my face felt warm, it wasn’t sore or hot to the touch, it just looked like I’d been under a sunlamp! I wondered if this was proof that the mask had penetrated quite deeply?
I was mighty relieved to find that this redness paled after about an hour, and within two hours had completely gone. However, my skin tone looked quite ruddy. The troublesome blackheads were still evident, and although my spots looked a little less angry, they were still fairly prominent too. My first impression of this masks’ effectiveness was therefore fairly muted, if not a little disappointing. At this point I would not have recommended this product at all.
**RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS**
After initial disappointment, 48 hours on and I still couldn’t have said I noticed much improvement to the original condition of my skin. Not only were the blackheads and spots still there, but my skin felt drier than usual too. Though I was able to counteract this dryness with a heavier application of my normal moisturiser.
In fact it wasn’t really until three days later that this facemask clawed back some of my respect. By then my blackheads looked markedly reduced, and spots that looked like they’d booked in for a more permanent stay, had obviously checked out prematurely! The tone and balance of my skin had returned, and my complexion looked generally clearer. My face also felt very soft and smooth. These results lasted for a good week.
I have since used the second of the two masks, and experienced the same warming effect towards the end of drying, and pinkie-redness to my face after usage, albeit to a lesser degree. The results on my spots and zits were the same as with the first application.
The ‘warming’ and ‘pinkness’ during usage, was rather disconcerting, although it doesn’t appear to have done any detrimental damage, and both these symptoms for me, have been temporary. I e-mailed the manufacturers for clarification that these occurrences are normal, but unfortunately nearly four weeks on, and I’ve still received no reply. If I should hear, I will update this review.***Please see footnote***
If you are tempted to give this facemask a trial, and want your skin to look at it’s best for a special occasion, I would advise that you use it 2-3 days in advance, to allow your skin to settle and glean the best results. I would also strongly recommend that you do a skin test first!
These facemasks are only available in twin sachets. I bought mine from the shop Wilkinsons, but some branches of the Somerfield supermarket chain also stock this ‘Chantelle’ range, or alternatively you can buy online.
With regards to the star rating, I deduct one * for the slight delay in performance, and for limited accessibility, therefore 4**** from me.
**Would I buy it again?
Yes I would, as I think it is good value, but it won’t stop me searching for a product that has a more immediate and longer-lasting effect.
After contacting the manufacturers again yesterday (29.03.05), I am pleased to say I finally received a reply...
Dear Ms xxxxxxx,
I’m so sorry for the delay in responding to you, I was awaiting an answer for you from our Head of Formulations.
He has said that a slight reddening of the face is quite normal for many people with this kind of product. I believe it is the result of increased blood flow to the skin. This effect is used in testing some cosmetics in a technique known as laser Doppler flow cytometry, and is considered as a proof of the product's beneficial effects.
I hope this answers your question and that you continue to enjoy our full range of products.
Montagne Jeunesse, Eco-factory, Swansea Enterprise Park, SWANSEA. SA6 8AP