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Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera & Willow 'Blemish Mud' Mask
Cheap, seems to improve look and feel of skin
Doesn't smell nice, really difficult to remove
Value for money
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As I'm sure I've mentioned in a few of my other reviews, I'm currently trying to work my way through the large quantity of face and beauty products that I've amassed over the years, which has led to me trying out a fair few products that I've never tested before. I had a few sachets of Montagne Jeunesse face masks lying around (including my favourite, the green tea peel-off mask) and I thought I might as well test out the aloe vera and willow 'blemish mud', which claims to combat imperfections.
The Sachet Design
This mask comes in an oval-shaped sachet which holds 20g of product. The sachet has a picture of a woman wearing the mask on the front of it, along with text showing the brand, the key ingredients and a few of the mask's features (e.g. 'clear and clean, combats blemishes', 'soothing aloe juice'). The back of the sachet includes instructions for use in three languages (English, French and Spanish), along with an ingredient list (with key ingredients highlighted in various colours, which I thought was a nice touch) and a small banner stating that this mask is for normal, greasy and t-zone skin.
Upon opening the sachet, this mask gives off quite a strong - and not particularly pleasant - scent. The fragrance is almost medical and definitely not as pleasant as those of other Montagne Jeunesse face masks in the past. I usually like to relax once I've applied a face mask, but I found the pungent scent of this one quite off-putting and it definitely didn't help me to relax, unfortunately.
Applying the mask
The back of the sachet includes clear instructions for using this product: it recommends cleansing the face with warm water then applying an even layer to the face and neck using the fingertips. You are then instructed to 'lie back and relax' for 10-15 minutes, before rinsing off with warm water.
The mask has a thick consistency and spreads easily across the skin. It has a nice cooling effect when initially applied; I assume that this is caused by the inclusion of aloe extracts. As the mask dries, it tightens quite substantially, leaving you unable to move your face very much. I wouldn't recommend applying this mask if you will need to talk to anybody whilst wearing it, as I was unable to move my cheek muscles very much at all, and found it a little bit painful when I attempted to talk with it on!
The instructions provided on the sachet recommend leaving the mask on for 10 - 15 minutes or until dry, but as there was quite a large quantity of this mask in the sachet I applied it in a thick layer and found that parts were still not completely dry half an hour later. I gave up waiting for it to dry after 45 minutes (by this time, it was largely dry and had cracked in various areas across my face) and soaked a flannel in warm water to rinse it off. Five minutes later, I was still scrubbing! I think this is quite possibly the most difficult-to-remove face mask I've ever used in my life - it took at least ten attempts at soaking my flannel and scrubbing my face before I was satisfied that I had removed all traces of it from my skin. I've had problems removing peel-off masks before, but I've never had such problems with a clay-based, wipe-off mask, so I found the amount of effort needed to remove it surprising, and it definitely made me think twice about buying another sachet of this product.
Due to the elbow grease required to remove all traces of this mask from my skin, my face looked a little red immediately after cleaning it off. However, once the redness had gone down, I noticed that my complexion looked refreshed and that my skin had a nice matte appearance (this is a clay-based mask, which seems to absorb grease and shine). I could also tell that my skin felt noticeably softer and smoother than it had done prior to applying the face mask.
Over the following few days my skin remained smooth, and didn't break out. I'm never entirely convinced that face masks actually do that much, but I can't deny that my skin remained soft, even and spot-free for a good couple of days after using this product.
Price, Availability and Value for Money
I bought this mask from Boots, where they had a wide range of Montagne Jeunesse face masks priced at £1 each. I've also seen them being sold in Superdrug and even in larger branches of New Look. I had a quick look on the Boots website to see if it was still being sold online and couldn't see this particular mask, but I did see that it was in stock in my local (large) branch of Boots a few days ago.
I'm happy to pay up to £1 for a single-use sachet of face mask, even though I know that I'd get better value for money if I were to buy a tub or bottle with enough product for multiple uses. There was certainly enough of the mask in the sachet to cover my face easily, and I was able to build up a thick layer with quite a bit left over. I did feel bad about throwing the sachet away without finishing it, but the small amount that was left over meant that it was not worth keeping the excess.
Overall, I'd say that this is a good quality face mask which is let down, unfortunately, by its scent and the amount of effort that it takes to remove from the skin. I did find that the scent interfered with the relaxing experience I'd usually associate with this type of product, as I was constantly aware of it, although it did become less unpleasant over time as I got used to it. I also much prefer face masks that can be rinsed, peeled or soaked from skin with minimal effort.
Nonetheless, I can't deny that this mask left me with softer, smoother skin that remained largely blemish-free in subsequent days after I used it. I also felt that at £1 for a good quantity of product, this mask wasn't bad value for money. Overall, I'd describe it as average, so I'm giving it a score of three out of five.