Its a pore clearing Face Mask Friday

Welcome my darlings once again to Face mask Friday.  As my fever earlier this week seems to have brought out a spate of bumpy clogged pores, I am going with a tried and true clearing mask for me.  It is the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clearing Clay Mask. And yes, it smells like chocolate.  I know I’ve talked about this mask before so I will link here to the full ingredient break down. 

This mask is one I keep coming back to because it really does draw out the under the surface blemishes.  At the same time, it isn’t a mask I can use every week.  It is a somewhat intense mask.  Often what I do with it, it put a little strip of mask over my problem areas instead of my whole face because often times it is a little too much for my entire face.  Of course when my whole face needs a clear out it is perfect.

I can not smile even though I want to, my face mask won’t let me.

The mask is clay based so I do have sort of the stony faced bank robber look to me when I wear it, which is odd because the entire time I’m wearing it I am very much enjoying the scent of cocoa. The mask does tingle a bit.  Part of that is the drying aspect and part ingredients. I know that once I remove the mask everything will look more or less the same.  Then about five minutes later I’ll look in the mirror and parts of my skin will look a little red.  If I wait another five minutes then the redness is all gone.  What I noticed is that the parts that do get red are the parts that don’t really have any clogged pores for the mask to work on.  It’s why I usually use this mask as a spot treatment on red spots and bumpy texture.

By the time I go to do my skin care this evening, the redness will be a memory and the parts that were red will feel smooth and silky soft.  The parts that had bumpy clogged pores or blemishes that were thinking of coming out but were being really slow about it, will have risen.  It is not a good look, but once all of those blemishes break the surface and emerge from their hiding places deep under the skin, they can be dealt with.  Peace out Acne Dots Can be deployed as can salicylic acid based cleansers. And after a few days of work, I know my skin will be smooth and clear. 

little bit of red post masking

It is why when I do use this mask it is a bit strategic.  This weekend, gardening is the main goal.  It is time to put in the carrot seed in the back bed and start bringing the seedlings out of the greenhouse to harden in the sun during the day. They aren’t yet ready to spend the night outside. And this year I picked up these really cool carrot seeds.  The seed type is called Parisian. And it grows these little round carrot balls instead of long carrots.  We don’t have a deep bed so I’m hoping this will work. I would love to have fresh carrots this year.

But that is sort of irrelevant at the moment.  The point is that the back garden isn’t going to care if my face is dealing with mass break outs.  So it is the perfect time to deal with them.  Today the Clearing mask, tomorrow the breakouts.

If you are going to use this mask, or any clay mask really, I highly recommend getting one of those silicone masking spatulas.  I picked one up very cheaply on Amazon for less than a dollar.  I also have a more expensive one ($12), they both work more or less the same.  The $12 one is better materials and will probably last longer but that is really the only difference. They don’t have to be expensive tools to work.  The thing is, using them, while it feels a bit extra, actually helps you use less product so in the long run, it can keep you from running short of your favorite products.

While this mask can be worn for 10-15 minutes, I recommend doing a test spot to see how you are going to react to it and then starting off with less time, especially if you have sensitive skin. When it is dry I find it best to use a little water to loosen up the clay before you try washing it off. Just kind of pat some water onto it, or use a soft bristled brush to brush water over it to get the clay to loosen so you don’t have to scrub that hard to rinse.  If you do use a brush, go lightly as the point is to loosen the bask not scrub your skin.

There wasn’t a lot of Zen in my mask today. My baby doll is working from home today and when he is in the house masking becomes a sort of amusement for him.  He grew up with brothers and his mother had her own off limit’s bathroom so all this “fluffy” stuff is alien territory for him.  Some things he likes, some things he actively mocks.  And lets face it some things he actively mocks he really likes. Seriously, if you heard him mocking bath salts, bath fizzes and bubble bath, you would never suspect him of having his own private stash. He hasn’t tried any face masks but he finds them oddly fascinating. Also he thinks anything mud or clay based he can make up by taking a hose to a clay patch in the backyard. He keeps threatening to start his own skin care line called Mystic Mud. Don’t worry, I won’t let him.

But that was my face mask for this Friday.  No candles or musical interludes with eyes shut and thoughts adrift. Just a good pore cleanse and empty threats about the skin care line my baby doll will never create. Fun and in its own way, a little relaxing.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty has a deal going right now with 25% off their Hyaluronic Acid based products just use code APRIL25 the sale ends on April 15th. Happy shopping

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Face Mask Friday: Herbal Dynamics Beauty, A week of masking

This week I have been using the Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask.  It was very kindly sent over by Herbal Dynamics Beauty for me to try out and review.  I very much appreciate it. 

the newly opened unused mask

It was also a very good time to try out this mask.

The holiday’s have been full of very rich food for me.  I honestly didn’t think it would be that bad as we weren’t traveling this year and pared things down.  I think the issue is that we have been eating rather healthy for a while now so the traditional favorites wanted at this time of year really threw my body for a loop.

We may have pared down at my house but the difference between the holidays and what we normally eat was very apparent.  And while it did send my weight up (temporarily) it also did a number of my skin.

Tis the season for clogged pores, my darlings. And I was blessed with a truckload.

So bring on the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay mask.

First, let’s look at the specifics.

Brightens and evens skin tone.  Deeply detoxifies and cleanses with clays and blemish-fighting botanicals. Soothes inflammation and redness over time. Supports radiant, smooth complexion.

Indulge without the guilt with this delectable mud mask packed with antioxidants and skin-clearing botanicals. Cacao provides rich antioxidants that target signs of aging and inflammation while chamomile soothes. Gentle clays deep clean pores as botanical extracts and sulfur calm breakouts and blackheads.  Use twice weekly or as needed.

Ingredients: purified water, Bentonite, Montmorillonite, Watercress extract*, Lecithin, Salicylic acid, Kaolin, Sulfur, Extracts of Chamomile*, Lavender*, American ginseng*, Calendula and Honey suckle flower, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) powder*, Natural chocolate flavor*, Organic kelp powder, L- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Essential Oils of Kola nut and Coffee arabica, and Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract*.

*Organic/ All natural / paraben free. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A. 

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

So let’s break down the ingredients list. 

Purified water is to be expected as you do need something to turn the clay from powder into a mask. Bentonie is a type of clay that has a fine, soft texture, Montmorillonite is likewise a clay (it is actually named after Montmirillon in France in case you were wondering).  Both clays are frequently used in clay mask.  As this is a clay mask I would expect to see clay in the mask.  I’m rather pleased to find it at the top. Kaolin a little further down is also a type of clay as well and again it is used in a lot of clay based masks.

Mask on

Watercress extract is something I find amusing as I ate a lot of it growing up.  I am somewhat anemic and my family tried to balance as much of my iron level with food as possible. Watercress is high in iron as well as calcium actually and we used to have it in salads and as a water cress soup when I was growing up.  It was very much a part of my childhood.  In skin care it is supposed to boost collagen production which I didn’t know until I looked it up.  I love that something that always helped my insides is also good for the outsides.

Lecithin is an emollient used to soothe the skin and I’m guessing it works well with the extracts of Chamomile which also sooths the skin and calms irritation. Salicylic Acid targets acne-causing bacteria via exfoliation and helps keep pores clean and reduce risk of future breakouts.  In most acne reduction formulas you will find some level of salicylic acid.  One of my favorite blemish fighting cleansers is from Peter Thomas Roth and features a pretty high concentration of it.  I was surprised to find that in this mask the salicylic acid is derived from willow bark.  I find that pretty cool actually. Sulfur is also often used in treating acne and blemishes so I wasn’t terribly surprised to see it on the list of ingredients.

Mask dried down

In skincare Ginseng works as an anti-inflammatory while Lavender not only fights acne but it has been used in the treatment of dry skin and eczema.  Calendula and Honey suckle flower are likewise also used to help treat dry skin and Cacao powder is a powerful anti-oxidant.

I have to say when I opened the container it was the cacao that felt like the dominant ingredient.  As you can see from the picture of the mask it looks like thick chocolate.  You want to know something?  It smells like chocolate too.

It doesn’t taste like chocolate though.  In case you were wondering.  It tastes like clay. Not that I recommend tasting it, I just couldn’t resist.

Given the ingredients I would expect a powerful detox to my skin when I apply it and I was not disappointed.  As I said, I used this mask this week as well as today.  I applied it as a full mask on Monday and Wednesday but did something different today.  I’ll get into that in a moment, first I want to talk about the full masking.

Mask off

I applied the mask in a thin layer over clean dry skin and let sit as directed for fifteen minutes.  I actually used my Cosmedix Masking brush to apply it.  The smooth side not the textured one.  I was actually impressed by how little I actually needed to use to cover my entire face.  While the top photo showing the product in the jar shows it untouched, the photo with the masking brush shows the mask after a week of use. I think that if I were to use this mask every week three times a week it would last at least two months.  It is a lot of product in the jar and not a lot is needed on the face.

Once applied,  I could feel the clay start to dry and tighten.  It felt cool on my skin but not tingly and the longer I used it the cooler my face seemed to feel for some reason.  I can see that eing a big advantage in the summer time.  As with most clay masks once it started drying changes in facial expressions were difficult, hence the stuck in place face I am making in the photos. 

The surfacing of the clogged pores. It may not look the prettiest but it is exactly what needs to happen to get them cleared away.

In fifteen minutes all but the oiliest parts of my face tried down.  If you ever want to find out where the oily parts of your face are, this and most, clay masks will help you out. 

After fifteen minutes I used a soft bristled brush to wet down the mask so it could be rinsed off.  It is a clay mask so it didn’t magically slide off the skin but it wasn’t difficult to remove. I’ve had clay masks that were much more difficult. This was relatively easy.

After my initial use I patted my face dry with a towel.  My skin felt soft, but I’ll admit I didn’t see much difference.  Then about ten minutes after I rinsed the mask off I went back into the bathroom and looked at the sink.  I was amazed by how many of my deeply buried clogged pores were brought to the surface.  It wasn’t a very pretty sight, but it is an effective mask. 

Luckily I didn’t have anywhere I really needed to go, so pulling all of those clogged pores to the surface so they could be cleared away was fine.  It was also the reason I didn’t test the mask when I had a bunch of video calls. 

I was very impressed with the way it worked with my skin.  The second time I used the mask didn’t look much different, but the blemishes that surface dried out faster and the second round brought more of the buried clog pores to the surface. Today I am doing something a little bit different.

Spot treatment

As I put the mask on and get ready for my fifteen minutes of calm, I am spot masking.  Instead of using the mask all over my face – because not all of my face needs a good clear out – I am putting the mask in the areas that need the most help.  For me that is along the lower orbital bone and on my chin.  I have always had issues with the area along my lower orbital bone breaking out.  The chin hadn’t really given me trouble since highschool, however with Face Masks in use when I leave the house, this has become one of my problem areas for clogged pores. 

Sure it looks a little strange to just mask in those places, but for me that is the best benefit. On the parts of my skin that don’t tend to get clogged pores, the second application of the mask was a little drying.   I can see myself using this as a full face mask once a month (or after a series of rich and heavy meals) to give my skin a full deep down cleanse.  I could see myself using this more as a spot treatment about once a week, especially with face masks being part of my daily use for a while.  It is excellent for that sort of use.

I think that while I may use more moisturizing masks to cover my whole face, this will be a once a week spot treatment for those congested areas.  Not only will it keep the non-congested areas of my skin from drying out unnecessarily, it will really help with my areas of clogged pores and it will last a really long time with the once a month full treatment and the once a week spot treatment. It will greatly extend the length of time I can use the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask as well as use it to its best advantage on my skin. Oh and did I tell you one of the best parts?  This large jar of chocolate scented masking is only $24. How cool is that?

So the question as always is would I pick up this mask again? The answer is yes. It is a lot of product for a reasonable price and it does exactly what it says it is going to do in the description. It brought my clogged pores to the surface and helped to treat my blemishes. The Cacao and Chamomile Cleansing Clay mask is definitely a keeper.

I want to send a big thank you to Herbal Dynamics Beauty for sending the mask to me to try out. I really appreciate it, and this will be far from the last time you hear about this mask my darlings.  Me and my boatload of clogged pores agree on that.  Admittedly there are a lot fewer of them than there were at the beginning of the week.  Who knows, I might soon gain the upper hand.

And now me and my clay goatee and under eye patches are going to light some candles, play some tunes and lie back and relax for the next fifteen minutes. I’m thinking today might be another history podcast. It’s been a while since I have checked in on the Soap Opera that is the early Roman Empire.  That sounds like a fun way to relax. If I’m not mistaken I believe I’ve reached the age of Caligula.  Not exactly Zen but it is interesting. And since today’s candle is from the Paddywax Library collection and named after Edgar Allen Poe, perhaps zen isn’t the theme of the masking.  Besides with the under eye and chin masks on I am strangely reminded of Cardinal Richelieu. And that certainly isn’t zen.

But it is kind of fun.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty