Happy Election day! Oh boy. It feels like it’s taken forever to get here and we are just ready for this whole thing to be done. No matter your political standing, we can all agree how stressful this election season has been. We’ve both already voted weeks ago, so tonight we’re just going to try and relax.
You know what helps me relax? FACE MASK! For some reason, I’ve only started face masks within the last year, but it’s quickly become one of my self-care rituals. I’m far from an expert, but I’m always trying out new masks.
My face has been on a constant break out cycle for the past few months. As most of you probably know, it’s incredibly difficult to tell what causes breakouts sometimes, because there are so many factors, from your diet, to your stress and hormone levels, to simply what touches your face throughout the day.
What’s not a mystery however, is what helps keep breakouts in control. Activated charcoal. Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is just normal charcoal that has been heated and processed in such a way that develops a very porous structure. These pores can take in chemical substances and trap them, essentially purifying whatever you expose it to. This is used for a huge variety of purposes, from distilling alcohol to spacesuit life support systems. My favorite use is in face masks though.
Both the Origins Clear Improvements and Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash Off Treatment (what a mouth full) contain activated charcoal and do a great job of clearing out your skin’s pores of oils and other nasty stuff. I do tend to reach for the Origins a bit more than the Boscia, but I love both of these products and would recommend them to anyone.
But face masks just aren’t limited to pore cleansing. Sometimes when I’m having a slow morning, I just want to feel refreshed and awake. The Origins GinZing is a really great line that uses coffee as its active ingredient and have a really great citrusy smell to it. I bought this a few months back, but since then they’ve redone the line a bit and the face mask is now a peel off. Not that that’s bad, just something to keep in mind.
The Pacific Future Youth is something I use a bit less, but still gives great results. Its a resurfacing mask, which just means that it helps clear out any surface debris, like dead skin, that you may not be able to see, but can definitely feel the absence of one its gone. I really love how smooth my face is after this one, and I definitely feel like it has a good, natural glow to it.
Most resurfacers are pretty abrasive, but this one lays on smoothly like a gel and the only downside is a slight irritation you feel while its doing its thing. That being said, this is one isn’t necessarily one to throw into your weekly routine, but a good thing to mix up your face care on occasion and keep your skin very young feeling.
So I’m going to start this one of with: I love Lush. They’re a really great company that is a model of what a skin care company needs to operate like. All of their products are made fresh (many of them even go in the refrigerator), the do no animal testing, their products are 100% vegetarian (no animals died to provide fats for their soaps, etc), and their packaging is 100% recyclable.
So that said, pretty much everytime I’m near a Lush, I pop in and grab something. Their Cup O’ Coffee face mask is one of my go-tos. It’s made with fresh roasted coffee and cocoa extract. Among other things, their website lists every ingredient that goes in their stuff and even provides info on the ones that are hard to pronounce. The coffee in this acts as an exfoliant and buffers your skin. Plus, it smells great. So if you love coffee and great skin, check this one out for sure.
Aztec Secret are a smaller company, and you may need order this one off Amazon. Bentonite clay is used in many dermatological formulas and clay in general has been used as a skin treatment since before the time of Cleopatra. This clay acts as a cleanser and picks up all kind of gunk out of your pores as it dries.
This stuff goes on thick and heavy and can be weird to use if you’ve never done a mask like this. Basically you follow the instructions on the packaging to mix it. Although, I’ve found it better to use apple cider vinegar instead of water; also, be sure to never use a metal bowl or spoon with mixing or applying, as the clay will clump like crazy and you’ll have issues applying it in smooth layers. Use one or twice a week.
Alright! Those are some of the masks I’ve been using lately. What have you guys been trying? There are so many options and applications for masks and I’d love to hear your opinion and favs!