okay. in my opinion….every girl needs a good clay mask. they are wonderful thick and heavy-duty masks that really deep clean. i tend to use face masks if my face is super oily or prone to a lot of breakouts. in theory it would probably good to do one every 2-3 weeks, just a general deep clean for your face!
i tend to go a step further if i feel my skin really needs it. i will take 2 uncoated aspirin tablets and put a few drops of water onto them. if you begin to push and rub the aspirin with water drops together it will begin to dissolve into a powder. i then take the powder and mix it into my clay mask. the main ingredient of aspirin is salicylic acid which is ALSO the main ingredient in 99.9% of all spot/zit/acne creams. some people advocate just dissolving aspirin and putting it on top of a breakout. i don’t personally only because it doesn’t work. i would say to mix it with a bit of clay mask and THEN put it on your spot. the clay just helps it adhere to your face and the cleansing properties in your clay mask will only help clean the inflamed area!
the second (and most obvious) benefit of mixing your aspirin powder into the clay mask is when you remove it, you will be exfoliating your face! it can definitely feel really intense when your rubbing the aspirin off so maybe start off with 1 tablet and work up to two if you want extra power. i know my face can be incredibly sensitive so i have to be careful what i put on it! it’s one thing to hide a zit with some foundation…but if your whole face is messed up by an allergic reaction? ugh. i just want to hide! it makes me thankful (again) that i never had to wear my head and neck gear (yes, i had BOTH!) during the day!
okay. enough about my embarrassing past, onto the 3 different masks!
firstly i’m going to talk about this mask, “herbal lavender repair mask” by english brand Elemis. i went to Elemis for a facial and ended up leaving with about £100 worth of product because i’m easily convinced. sometimes. they caught me in a moment of weakness! either way, this is a mask i am pleased with. it has a really nice lavender/rosemary smell and is one of the lightest clay masks i’ve ever encountered. it is good if you want a deep clean without the fuss of a heavy mask (and it can feel nice and cooling in the summer!). i probably won’t ever mix this with aspirin because it is so thin. i just feel the aspirin would add weight and overpower the gentle-ness of this product. also unlike the other two masks i’m going to review in this post, this mask doesn’t ever dry completely. it sort of dries to a tactile, rubbery feeling instead of a caked on feeling.
The Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask is a powerful regenerating mask contains antiseptic Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender Essential Oils, which synergistically rebalance and purify the skin, making this the ideal mask for sallow and youthful skins prone to congestion.
Skin Type: Normal/Combination
Kaolin, Lavender, Macadamia Nut Oil, Rosemary, Thyme, Vitamin E
(I couldn’t actually find a full ingredients list so this will have to do!)
All in all, I really do like this mask. It leaves my skin feeling soft, it actually makes a difference. It IS soothing and helps calm my skin.
Verdict: 8/10 (I reserve a 10 for a face product I’ve yet to discover that I suddenly can’t live without!)
origins “out of trouble” is probably my most intense mask. it really packs a punch. it has a very strong smell of eucalyptus/menthol and tingles on your skin. if i mix this one with aspirin it’s because my skin is suddenly a mountainous section of zits. or i want something really deep and need to completely redo the top layer of my skin…because it will feel a bit obliterated afterwards. i mean, your moisturiser probably won’t ever feel this good and your skin is brand new. it makes your skin feel very tight and will dry and cake onto your face. it’s only supposed to be for 10 minutes so it won’t be that extreme. if you put on a thin layer it will (obviously) dry quicker. i like to bathe in face masks, i’m all about applying more than you need. i couldn’t tell you why….but it’s just something i do (it’s like 3 coats. i don’t know why…i just do it).
i break this mask out when i feel like doing some deep cleaning. kind of the difference between sweeping the kitchen floor and going over every surface with the appropriate cleaner and cleaning utensil. i really feel like i’ve cleaned all the gross out of my skin when i use it. i’ve had my 100mL tube for over a year and it’s still only 3/4 empty. i don’t use it that often. sometimes i’ll try to use it as a spot treatment…but it doesn’t really work (i haven’t found a product yet that actually does…but i’m always searching! do you have a favourite!?)). this mask definitely has a cooling effect (i blame the menthol!) and should be used to PREVENT oil and breakouts. it’s no good after the fact. i wish i had known about this product in my teens when i was struggling with acne, it probably would’ve been a big help. this is a good PMS mask for me, helps prevent weird oily breakouts! i would advise against using this on normal to dry skin, it really will remove the oil from your face, so unless your skin reproduces it really quickly (like mine does)…stay away! otherwise you might end up with really dry, uncomfortable skin.
When skin is too-slick skin or when more pressing problems start to pop up, it’s Origins to the rescue to keep skin out of trouble. Nature’s trouble-shooters, including super-absorbent Zinc Oxide and Sulfur, calming Camphor plus skin-sloughing Salicylic Acid (aka ASPIRIN!!!!!), rapidly respond to problem skin’s plight with a three-part plan – sop up oily-shine, slough off sticky, dead cells, and sweep away irksome debris. Together they steer skin clear of slippery situations, refine rough texture and pull the plug on troublemakers to oust potential outbursts.
water (aqua purificata) purified, cetyl esters, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, peg-100 stearate, camphor, ceteareth-20, salicylic acid, colloidal sulphur, butylene glycol, bentonite, methyl and propylparaben.
**WARNING NOTE** THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS PARABENS!
some consumers are very anti-paraben. (Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturisers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives. Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, their long history of safe use and the inefficacy of natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract(GSE), probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, and some organizations which adhere to theprecautionary principle object to their everyday use. [source: Wikipedia]). Some parabens are naturally occurring…the ones most commonly found in cosmetics are not. I am not opposed to parabens but some people are, it’s very subjective. As always, I will advocate not listening to anyone’s opinion before doing your own research and forming your OWN opinion. Don’t trust my opinion or your mum’s opinion or your mate’s opinion. Tune everyone out, learn about it, decide your feelings…then listen to others! (sorry to get preachy!)
100mL, £17 (i believe it is $16.50 in the USA….but don’t quote me on it!)
Verdict: 8/10 (it’s another great mask, definitely useful [IMO!] to have a heavy duty mask around because our skin is constantly changing, you never know when it could come in handy!)
queen helene mint julep masque is the middle sister of the two masks i’ve shown. it’s not the mildest, it isn’t the strongest. it’s also the cheapest (hooray!), but in no way does that make it any less fantastic. this is actually the mask i use on a regular basis. i bought this huge tube in..2008(?) and it’s still half full. one of the best things about this mask is you need SO little. this is the mask i use with aspirin, i feel the incredible thickness of the mask holds the powder bits best and the strength of the mask combined with the aspirin is not overpowering or painful.
strangely enough…it smells a LOT like toothpaste and i don’t know why…but there are definitely worse smells to encounter in a face mask! you spread it on your face and it dries quickly to a very tight, almost cakey appearance (i say almost because it depends on how much mask you want to use. i like to make it really thick, but i used the small amount in these photos to demonstrate how little is needed). my skin feels softer and cleaner after use (especially when combined with aspirin!), it is mild enough for use on a weekly or twice weekly basis (depending on how much time/patience/willingness you have to devote to face masks. for all the ones i buy i certainly don’t use any of them weekly!). this is also quite cooling (clay masks in general [to me] are quite cooling, like applying aloe vera gel after a sunburn, nice and soothing). i would say that just because this isn’t a very strong mask that you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it is good for daily use. all the masks i’ve listed are ones intended to dry out your skin and prevent breakouts. so if you use it too much your skin will get too dry, start overproducing oil and you will breakout. so it’s a delicate balance, but an important one!
Mint Julep Masque is the original natural home treatment to help dry up pimples, rinse away blackheads and shrink enlarged pores. Simply apply Mint Julep Masque to your clean face and neck. As it firms and hardens within minutes, it draws out impurities from your pores. After the masque is removed, your skin will feel clean, refreshed and smooth. Even for individuals who are fortunate to be free of skin problems, Mint Julep Masque is a refreshing facial treatment that helps relax tired muscles and ease tension lines on the face and neck.
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Propylene, Glycol, Sulfur, Chromium Oxide Greens (Cl #77288), Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben
**WARNING! CONTAINS PARABENS!**
2.25 fl oz, £3
Verdict: 9/10 (this one gets a 9 because it’s the one you can use the most, it’s incredibly cheap, effective and a must for every woman…at least in my opinion!)