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Facemasks. Let’s face it, although they’re supposed to be good for your skin, most of the time ‘good’ means that it’s going to make you break out into a rash as the impurities are ‘drawn out’. I mean, really – I’d rather leave them where they aren’t bothering me!!
However, I have a revelation: a facemask that does for my skin exactly what I think a facemask *should* do – leave my face looking as ‘perfect’ as it gets ;). It’s a miracle!
¤•¤ THE PRODUCT ¤•¤
This facemask is suggested for use with oily or problem skin. Tea-tree is well known for its antiseptic properties, making it ideal for helping to get rid of spots. Also, this is a peel-off mask – not only is that great fun, but the peeling-off motion can be helpful in lifting ‘gunk’ out of your pores.
The packaging claims: “(the mask) will help to remove the pore clogging debris that can lead to spots and used regularly will leave your skin looking and feeling cleaner and clearer. It contains antiseptic tea tree essential oil which can help control skin blemishes and spots.”
Does anyone ever actually care about an ingredients list? I can never decide whether to just save myself the typing and spell checker meltdown. Still, just on the off chance that there’s a chemist out there who might like to know, here are the ingredients:
Even less understandable that usual, in my opinion – and it’s just as well I can touch-type! One nice omission is lanolin (derived from the oil in sheep’s wool – can we say ‘ick’?); and this product is dermatologically tested.
¤•¤ USING THE MASK ¤•¤
As usual with a facemask, start by cleansing your face and removing any make up. The instructions tell you to spread a thin layer over the skin, avoiding contact with the delicate eye area and also the hairline. After fifteen minutes, the mask should have dried completely – this will not happen if you use it in the bath, however, as the steam will keep it tacky.
Oh, and it’s a transparent gel-like substance with a slight greenish tinge, for those of us interested in such things. The smell isn’t overwhelmingly tea tree, but rather quite fresh and ‘clean’.
¤•¤ MY EXPERIENCE ¤•¤
I almost always do what I’m told (grin), so of course I started by removing my inch-thick layer of slap. Kidding. I’d suggest tying your hair back and/or using a band to keep it out of your face – trust me, you do not want to get this stuff in your hair!
The instructions call for a thin layer to be applied, but don’t make it too thin or it becomes really difficult to peel off.
Avoid like the plague: eyebrows and hairline. When this stuff sets, it’s an absolute pain in the butt to scrape from your eyebrows – something I still end up having to do half the time!
Once applied, sit back and wait for it to dry. The recommendation is 15 minutes, and I’d say that’s about right. It does, however, take slightly longer to dry on any bits that you’ve applied a bit thicker, and also the sides of your nose. It’s really easy to tell when this mask is dry, as you can gently tap with your fingertip – if it’s still tacky, it won’t peel off, so wait a little longer. This is a really handy thing if (like me) you often forget to check what time you put the mask on.
The dried mask is still fairly elastic, so you don’t have to worry about not moving your face. As it’s clear, you’ll just look very shiny rather than like a bad sci-fi film extra. The usual disadvantages apply, though: you can’t really scratch, blow your nose, or wear glasses. Hey, I notice these things – I can’t watch TV to fill those fifteen minutes if I’ve already taken my contact lenses out!
Now the ‘fun’ part: peeling it off! As per instructions, peel it off slowly. It doesn’t say so for this particular product, but a lot of peel-off masks suggest you peel in a downward motion: this seems like a sensible idea to me as this is the direction of hair growth (and I mean the fuzzy little hairs we all have, folks – I *do not* have a moustache, thank you very much!!).
The peeling off isn’t painful, but a little tingly. I never manage to get it all off in one go – in fact, I always find there are little bits left, especially where the mask has been applied a little more thinly at the edges. My tip: take a dry towel or face cloth (the mask is dry, so won’t ruin the fabric), and gently but firmly rub your entire face. This not only loosens any stray remainders of the mask, but is also a cheap exfoliation for your face.
Don’t worry too much if you do miss a little bit – it’s not exactly pretty, but nor is it desperately unsightly. If you’ve used this in the evening as I do, by the next morning any stray little bits will be easy to spot and remove.
¤•¤ RESULT ¤•¤
After removing the mask, I find my skin feels soft and silky smooth. I don’t find I feel the need to apply a moisturiser afterwards, although there is a slight tightening – any more and I probably would prefer to moisturise, and if so I’d recommend an oil-free kind.
Unlike most facemasks, this never brings out those annoying spots as it “draws out the skins impurities”. In fact, the tea tree always calms my face from any red blemishes, but without the harsher effects of a more concentrated tea tree product. It also closes the more open pores on my nose a little, reduces the greasiness of my t-zone (but doesn’t dry out the rest of my face) – you can see why I’m calling it my ‘miracle’!
I always try to use this mask the night before any important events. The morning after use, my skin still feels soft and smooth and non-greasy. And, of course, none of those “it had to happen today” spots! :o)
¤•¤ CONCLUSION ¤•¤
My skin type is normal/combination (i.e. I have a greasy t-zone) and can occasionally be a little sensitive. As this is a mask designed for oily skin, I wouldn’t recommend it if you have dry skin, and obviously those with particularly sensitive skin would be best advised to either buy a product specifically aimed at them or at least to test this on a small area before use.
This is available from Boots, and as it’s from the Natural Collection, you can use your Advantage points to get it ‘free’ – a nice bonus. It costs just £2.50, as well :)
The final word: I ALWAYS buy a new tube before I finish the old one – this is one product I consider an essential in my collection, and absolutely perfect for my skin. In fact, my tube is almost done, so I’d better go get my replacement!
What a great assessment. I had actually avoided the Natural Collection face masks because, as a teenager, I had very temperamental skin and was scared of upsetting it.
I really wish I'd tried it now. I liked your inclusion of details about how easy it is to remove and the effect that humid bathroom air can have on the "setting" time.
the_mad_cabbie 28.03.2002 17:34
Afraid I've got a complexion like old tanned leather.....A result of too many long hours on the golf course.....Ken :)
purebitch 25.03.2002 16:42
I love trying out face masks. Might have to give this one a go. Thanks for the info. At the moment i am using Mudd face mask. it is very good.