Ahh the Organic Pharmacy. There’s just something so magical about it for me, I’m not sure what. It just has a certain je ne sais quoi which makes me want to grab all the natural goodies and run for the hills.
I was really excited about trying the Flower Petal Deep Cleanser and Mask. With rose, chamomile, lavender and geranium this brighten home treatment sounded just up my street. I do love a good floral beauty product, mmhmm.
The tub is a hearty size and the cleanser/mask comes in a powdery format. The idea is, you mix it up with a bit of water, apply it to the skin in a patting motion, leave it for a bit then rinse away.
Cor blimey, this isn’t easy to get right and can be quite a mess. I really struggle to get the consistency right. It either seems to fluid and it just dribbles off my face, or too solid and it just sticks, in clumps, to my hands.
That said, when I do manage to get it right I always find that my skin glows the next day and feels incredibly smooth.
If you like your beauty routine to be quick and easy this isn’t for you, but if you enjoy a bit of faux DIY with your skincare then go for it. Once you’ve got your technique down your skin really will come up roses.
£26.30 from The Organic Pharmacy.
I’ve got another gorgeous product from B Never too Busy to Be Beautiful for you.
Myddvai Face and Back Pack comes in a big jar full of thick green, gritty clay. It smells absolutely divine thanks to the peppermint and spearmint oils inside. It’s a strong aroma which really awakens the senses.
The kaolin purifies, honey hydrates and calms and ground walnut exfoliates. It’s a great mask for oily or congested skin. It makes you tingle while it works and when you wash it off the skin feels amazingly fresh. I always find my complexion looks brighter, moisturiser sinks in better after I use it and my skin looks glowy and radiant.
If you’re a Eve Lom Rescue Mask devotee but are looking for a cheaper alternative then this is probably as close as you’ll get. Top marks!
I do love a moisturising face mask: the act of applying a nourishing cream to my skin and letting it sink in is a no effort way to feel virtuous. And relaxing for ten minutes while it gets to work is hardly a hardship either. After all, who has time to be truly high maintenance? The smell of Neal’s Yard White Tea Enriching Facial Mask is herby and delicious, although the kaolin clay base comes as a bit of a surprise in a moisture-giving mask rather than a cleansing, purging one. Still, I slapped it on and waited for it to do its thing.
Upon removal, my face was soft and smooth, except for a few stubborn dry patches, which to be fair, resist most of my efforts at exfoliating and moisturising. Maybe my parched winter skin was a bit too much for this mask, but as a product aimed specifically at dry and sensitive skin I thought it would leave me super soft and perky looking. Still, with goodies such as aloe vera, rose extract, pumpkin seed oil, evening primrose and white tea extract packed into every application, maybe the effect will be cumulative. I’ll see what my skin says and report back.
If you’re running short on time and want a product that makes a discernible difference to the appearance and feel of your face within minutes, look no further than the latest breed of exfoliating masks. I road tested a couple of the top contenders to see if they could turn my winter pallor into something pleasantly peachy.
Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask uses a mixture of acids to slough away the top layer of dead skin cells that can leave the complexion grey and lifeless. Five to ten minutes is all it takes to feel the benefit of this apricot smelling dream cream. My face was a little red and patchy immediately after removing the mask but I could already see the new super-smooth texture of my skin. I’d recommend leaving half an hour before you intend to apply your make-up to allow skin to calm down. Applying a cooling moisturiser such as Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief ensures your skin drinks in nourishing ingredients and provides a perfect smooth base. Dr Sebagh also offer a version of the mask for sensitive skin: Deep Exfoliating Mask Sensitive Skin Formulation. Although I haven’t tried it, I’d definitely err on the side of caution if your skin tends to flair up easily. Best of all, according to the Doctor himself, I’ll experience the maximum effect of the mask after three months of weekly use. Bring on February!
Nude’s Miracle Mask also promises to rid skin of dulling debris, revealing a refreshed skin surface and revitalised complexion. It was quite runny but easy to apply and only felt a little tight while on my face. After five minutes I washed the thin film off to reveal immediately smoother and brighter skin. This mask is a good option if you want something just as effective but less aggressive than the Dr Sebagh option. The whole Nude range also boasts top sustainable and skin-friendly credentials. Organic and fairtrade ingredients are used wherever possible and recyclable packaging and a freepost address to send your empties ensures your conscience is as clear as your skin. All products are also free from common chemical ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, PEGs, mineral oils and silicones. If green skincare is top of your agenda the Miracle Mask means product effectiveness need not come at the cost of your ethical intentions.
In winter we add extra layers of clothes and wrap up to stay warm, but what about our skin? It needs extra protection from the cold too after all. Well, during these bitter Winter months Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Mask is a life-line for drying skin.
OK, I admit this mask isn’t made for winter nourishment. Instead, it is an anti-ageing product. The cream is smooth and has a consistency much like a thick moisturiser – leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse away with warm water. You’ll be left with skin which is so hydrated, so supply and so plumped up you’ll be dying to use it again. It’s also perfect to use when it’s cold outside as it soothes tight dry skin.
If you’re struggling with what to treat your lovely Mum to this Christmas then this mask from Elemis is a great contender. Break out the wrapping paper if you can bare to part with the shiny silver bottle.
I’ve always been taken with Patrick Bateman, the serial killer in American Psycho. Alright, he’s a totally unhinged character and probably not someone I should aspire to but he is immaculately dressed, has a fantastic apartment and the perfect lifestyle. Well, apart from all the killing anyway.
Early in the film, the super cool killer uses a peel off face mask. I’ve always loved that scene. So, when I was handed a few packets of Peel Off Masques from Montagne Jeunesse For Men, I was looking forward to giving it a go.
The masks, applied in a fine layers over the skin, dry and form some kind of a shrink wrap over dead skin, pores and dirt. 15 minutes later the Masque had tightened and dried up, grabbing a whole load of gunk in the process.
It was time to peel the film away. At first I couldn’t grab the edges and thought I might have to wash the thing off, but after bit of persevering I soon got my technique down. I rolled the mask away in a Batemanesque motion.
When each bit of the masque had been peeled off, my skin was immediately smoother and my pores looked clearer. I was surprised by how much difference it made.
I think the mask would be great before a night out, when you want to look in top condition.
Written by Laura: Frustratingly, while my skin errs on the side of dryness, it tiptoes over into spotty territory several times a month as well. The sorts of products I like, therefore, are those that declog my skin without drying it out. The DHC Power AHA mask seems to strike the right balance. Applied evenly over the face using the spatula provided and left on for two hours (not a product for those in a rush) the natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids strip off dead skin cells to reveal the newer layers beneath.
Initially I was a little timid and washed the cream off after just over an hour, fearing a 10 Years Younger-style facial peel complete with snake-like skin shedding and general trauma. I needn’t have worried – the mask left my skin looking squeaky clean and without a hint of redness or any feeling of tightness. Ten days later (as recommended on the directions) I tried the mask again and left it on for the full two hours. I was rewarded with baby-soft skin and a decidedly refreshed complexion.