Face Mask Friday: Let’s talk Thanaka

This is a sponsored post, however the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Usually I try out a different face mask each week, some because they are new to me and I want to try them out and others because they address a certain skin care issue I have at that moment. October is a little different. This month I am trying out the Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask. I am using it daily for thirty days.

One of the reasons that I can do this is that the mask can be used daily rather than just one or two times a week. To be honest I really like taking an entire month with a mask and may do this again as I am finding that i am learning more about the mask when focusing on one rather than rotating through several. Also like every other item of skincare, a mask takes time to work. Results are very rarely immediate.

In addition to getting to know the mask on a daily basis, I am finding that I really like the scheduled masking time in each day. On Fridays I usually take a little time out to apply a face mask and relax a bit. I light a candle and listen to music while I let my thoughts drift. During the week, I tend to use this mask in the evening. Because of it, I have been taking off my makeup earlier and letting my skin breathe more, which I’m sure has helped. This is the end of the second solid week of using the Golden Tree Bark Mask and while last week I talked about playing around with the application process, this week I wanted to talk ingredients.

Bare skin makeup newly removed

Technically that word didn’t need to be plural. there is one ingredient in the Golden Tree Bark Mask and that is the dried and ground bark of the Thanaka Tree. That’s right, there is only one ingredient. This powder is turned into a paste by adding water to the mask in your house. I suggest using a deeper bowl to mix your mask as it takes quite a bit of stirring.

But why is the Thanaka Tree Bark a good thing to put on your face?

The ground bark has been used for centuries in places like Myanmar. When I went to look into it I came across this fantastic National geographic article that covers the history far better than I could and is a very good read besides. The wood is believed to be antibacterial. It soften skin and helps clear up rashes and blemishes. It also works as sunscreen.

There are three active ingredients contained in Thanaka bark; Coumarin, Arbutin and Marmesin.

Mask on and dried down

Lets look at Coumarin first. Coumarin is a colorless crystalline solid with a sweet odor resembling the scent of vanilla and a bitter taste. It is found in many plants, where it may serve as a chemical defense against predators. While I found many arguments against eating it in large quantities, it is a vegan ingredient that is used in heaps of cosmetics. It can cause some sensitivity. I have been using this mask every day for two weeks straight and have had no sensitivity issues. Basically this is the antioxidant part of the Thanaka bark.

I should also mention here that while many of the websites had cautions against overuse of Coumarin it was always as a specific ingredient, usually ingested, and most of the time seemed to be on it’s own. No one mentioned it as having issues inside the Thanaka bark or applied topically. I don’t know if that is a concentration issue or if it just isn’t a problem in the naturally occurring compound in the bark or simply that it is used topically. The only reason I mention it is that for those with sensitive skin you should definitely do a test patch before use as it may cause sensitivity. Oddly enough, this mask has helped with some of my sun sensitivity issues rather than causing me sensitivity, so it might not be an issue. But do a test patch just in case.

And maybe don’t eat your face masks, which is sort of a good general rule…

Arbutin is used to even skin tone and is actually used in a host of products all designed to lighten skin pigmentation and fight hyperpigmentation. There are both natural and synthetic versions and I counted at least fifty separate products that contained Arbutin in some form or another from brands like Paula’s Choice Radiance Skin Renewal Mask to GenOptics Aura Essence Skin Brightener from SK II and Skincuticals Discoloration Defense. It is simply a compound that helps to even skin tone and helps with hyperpigmentation.

mask freshly removed

Marmesin works as a sunscreen actually protecting the skin from UV rays. It also helps fight signs of aging. It also is a rich source of Vitamin E, I know that vitamin E is really good at softening scar tissue and helping the skin to heal, so I suspect that is probably helpful with the anti-aging elements of the product.

A lot of what i found out about the Thanaka tree I found HERE on a website dedicated to the tree and its properties. It isn’t associated with the brand in any way and is a very interesting read. Essentially the bark has been used a really long time to really good effect. That seems to be the general break down of the Thanaka bark.

Essentially this bark, dried, ground to a paste and applied to the skin has been used as a cosmetic, blemish treatment and sunscreen for about 2000 years, from what the various sources I looked at claimed. I’ve listed several in this article should you want to look up some more information. I actually went down a rabbit hole of research as I found a strain of Cancer research documentation.

As that seemed like a bit much for a face mask post, I left that off. It was a fascinating exploration though. While this is a one ingredient product, the three naturally occurring compounds in the wood make it an interesting blend that is much more complex than it first appears. While I have only been using this mask for two weeks at this point, I have noticed that the texture of my skin has improved quite a bit and when the nice days tempt me out to spend a little more time outside than i planned, I haven’t suffered as much irritation to the skin. Typically I will get a little sun sensitive at the end of the summer as though even with sunblock my skin is just done with the sun. While there have been many days whether weather kept me in the house, on the days it didn’t I extended my time outside. And my skin hasn’t been suffering for it.

At two weeks into my month Long trial I am about half way through the container of The Golden Tree Bark Mask sent to me by Healing Bark. So I’m guessing the mask will last just until the end of the month. Each jar retails for $14.99. In general $14.99 is a really good price for a facemask. Considering that it is all product and you just add your own water to mix up the amount you need, I think that is a great deal. while i have seen some improvement in my skin texture and am really beginning to snjoy the ritual of the evening face mask, I have not done a side by side comparison of photos yet. All of the photos are from today’s making. I am not looking at the first day’s masking photos until the end because I want ti to be a surprise. I am really rooting for visible improvement though. Right now i am happy with the improved texture, fewer blemishes and lessened sun sensitivity. But I still can’t wait to see the final pictures.

For now I am happy with this mask and more than happy to continue wearing it for another two weeks to see how thirty days with a face mask turns out.

Face Mask Friday: End of Week 1 for Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask

This is a sponsored post, however as always my thoughts an opinions are my own.

I know some of you are looking at the title and thinking, wait, didn’t Mimsy talk about the Golden Tree bark Mask last week? Yes I did. And I will also be talking about it for the next few weeks. I am doing a month long trial of this mask from Healing Bark.

As with most skincare it takes about thirty days to see real results. There are a few exceptions, but really it takes about thirty days. This mask is designed to calm and cleanse your pores for a refreshed look to your skin. It is designed for all skin types and can actually be used daily. One container of this Golden Tree Bark Mask from Healing bark costs $14.99. I have been using it every day for a week and am certain at the end of the month i will still have some masking product left over. So if it does keep my skin clear, it is a really cost effective product.

So I decided to put it through a month long trial where I use the mask each day for the month of October. I think one of the things that really interests me is that this mask has one ingredient. That’s right one. It is the shortest ingredient label I’ve ever seen. It contains the dried and powdered bark of the Thanka Tree (Hesperethusa crenulata).

That’s it.

the mask

And while I am still doing research on the Thanka tree and the properties of it’s bark, this week has been more about mixing and working the daily mask into my schedule. While today I am masking mid afternoon for the Friday Face Mask in general I have been masking in the evenings. After dinner I take off my makeup, wash my face and then apply the mask. The mask can sit for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes on the skin. I tried it for fifteen the first few days and then went to the full thirty after realizing there were no adverse affects.

three teaspoons absorbed

Before I started my trial I tried it on my arm to make certain it wasn’t going to cause any skin irritations for me. This is generally a good idea with any mask or any skin care product really.

Working it into my schedule proved surprisingly easy and quite honestly, I really have liked the addition of a daily half hour to sit and just sort of relax for a bit. While I can move around the house with the mask on, it isn’t something I am going to wear outside and quite honestly I like having the half hour of quiet time. It has given me the space to plan and think for a bit and has actually helped me clear my mind and focus on what needs to be done.

a little more water to make it easier to apply

Clearly the mask itself didn’t mentally help me, but incorporating that half hour each night really has helped me out a lot.

This week, as the first week of using the mask, I spent a lot of time learning to mix the mask. I know that sounds strange. This mask comes in powdered form and you spoon a little into the bowl and stir in the water. In my initial first impressions post mixing was a bit awkward. I thought I had too much water, I thought it got a bit drippy.

Turns out it was user error as well as measurement miscalculation. So here are a few things I learned this week as far as mixing goes. First off, I measured the powder into the bowl. I am using the masking kit that Healing Bark sent with the masks. while I have a bowl I usually like mixing masks in, it is a bit shallow and I find that this plastic bowl from the kit is actually a better depth for mixing.

easy to apply and looks like peanutbutter

Now I mentioned last week that I thought the three teaspoons of water mixed with the two teaspoons of mask was a bit much. It turns out I was wrong. This week, I started using slightly warmed water so that it absorbed faster. I added the three teaspoons of water to the masking powder and stirred. And stirred.

At first it didn’t want to incorporate. The powder sat on the water and I felt like I was just swishing it around. The reason is that the powder is really dry. It makes it very shelf stable so the mask will last a while, but it takes the powder a little bit to realize it needs to wake up and absorb the water. Once it does, it all seems to absorb at once.

bare skin, pre masking (after a week of prior masking)

It really is like flicking a switch. Water not absorbed, water all in. And it turns out, once the water was absorbed, the paste was really thick. A little too thick for me as I had trouble spreading it on my skin. It turns out, the three teaspoons weren’t enough water. So I drizzled a little bit more in.

wet mask

My goal was to make it into a spreadable paste. To me it looks like slightly wet peanut butter. which actually spreads really well with the silicon masking brush. The trick with the mask is to keep stirring until the water is absorbed and not to rush it. The process really doesn’t take that long, only about a minute, but just don’t get impatient.

I especially liked using the warmer water as it did incorporate faster, plus I feel like warm water helps to convince my pores to open up a bit more. I warmed up the water before taking off my makeup my Makeup Eraser used the hot water on my skin and then I used the hot water with my cleanser before adding the water into the mask. I’m hoping the heat helped open the pores as well as made the mask mix easer.

dried after half an hour

I was initially nervous about leaving the mask on for thirty minutes. But this seems to work really well for this mask. I had no adverse reactions on my skin. In fact my skin feels smooth and clean once the mask is removed. There is no tingling of any sort really. There is a slight cooling sensation that occurs as the water evaporates out and the mask dries down on the skin. It is a little more noticeable with the use of warmer water but it isn’t an actual tingling.

I have to say this Golden tree bark mask is one of the easiest masks to remove. As you sit for half an hour, the moisture evaporates. And since the mask is only water and powder, when you take a damp cloth to your skin, the mask just crumbles away. There is no real rubbing or stubborn spots. It was very easy to remove.

clean skin after half an hour of masking

While I will compare photos of my skin at the beginning of the month and my skin at the end of the month to determine if there has been any kind of change. I have to say, my skin feels nice. It feels extra clean without being stripped and my skin does feel refreshed. Hopefully that will translate to clearer skin at the end of the month, because I am actually really enjoying using this mask on a daily basis.

While I will have to wait for those results, thus far I like the fresh feeling I like the ease of mask removal and I am mental benefitting from taking the half hour out of my evening each night. And to be honest, i also enjoy the mixing. It makes me feel a bit like a mad scientist. And I kind of like feeling like a mad scientist. I do sort of wish I had an Igor though. I probably wouldn’t call him Igor as that is so last century. Maybe Jellybean. I can just hear it now.

“Jellybean, throw the switch!”

So much better than Igor.

But I digress. Thus far, the mask is working out well. Currently soft, clean and refreshed skin with possible long term results on the horizon. And now I have learned to properly mix the mask application is going much more smoothly. I am looking forward to seeing what next week will bring.

This week was all about getting the application right. Next week, we will take a deeper look at the Thanka tree. After all it is the only ingredient in the mask, clearly it feels it deserves it’s own spotlight. Next Friday, we’ll see if it’s true or not. Let week two of the Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask begin!

Face Mask Friday: Healing Bark Golden Tree Mask

Today I have a very interesting face mask to try out. It was sent to me by Healing Bark. They actually sent over the mask along with their Mask Kit. Why, you might be asking would you need a mask kit to go with the mask? Well this mask is an add your own water sort of mask. The mask itself is in powdered format.

I kind of like these masks. They come in powder form and you add your own water. It means you are paying for the actual mask itself and not for the water. It also mean that one jar tends to last quite a long time. I think what I like most about the mixing your own mask powders is that you can decide the consistency of your mask. For today though, since it is my first time using the mask, I am going to follow the directions.

Their directions are two teaspoons of Healing Bark mask powder mixed with three teaspoons worth of water. I also used the masking kit that Healing Bark sent over. I actually quite like the bowl. It comes with a nice little lid that locks down tight. The lid has a divot in it and the divot actually holds one teaspoon of either water or masking powder. I’m not sure if that is deliberate in case you are masking without the measuring spoons that also come in the kit or if it just turned out that way. I would think that it is deliberate. But that’s just me.

I will say the measuring spoons threw me off a little bit. I was fairly certain that the medium size was a tsp and the large a tablespoon but the small was labeled 2.5 the middle one 5 and the large 15. I know the smarty pants out there realize immediately that they are labeled in milliliters but as everything else included said teaspoons I was momentarily baffled until one side of my brain slapped the other. So if you get the kit just realize that’s how they are measured and just use the middle spoon.

While I used the measurements they gave, to start with I just put the powder in and then added the water. Mostly because that is what the instructional card said to do. It ended up mixing well, but it mixed a lot like adding cocoa powder to cold milk. It took a while for the powder to absorb the liquid. When making hot cocoa I always heat the milk before adding the cocoa powder and it absorbs much faster, I think that in the future I will use warm water to mix this mask as I suspect it will mix a lot more easily. It took a while but the water and powder finally combined.

Face before use

The mask was a thinner consistency than I expected as it is referred to in the papers as a ‘paste’ . I think that in addition to heating the water up a bit, I will add the water a little bit at a time to get a slightly thicker paste. I’ll have to play with the ratios.

Still, even though it was thinner than I expected it went on fairly well. There is absolutely no scent to it. I used my fingers for application. It was simply too thin at this consistency to use any form of spatula. Once on, the mask recommends you let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Since it is the first time I’ve used the mask I decided to stick with 15 minutes and then maybe work my way up. And yes I did a test patch on my arm the day before to make certain I had no allergic reactions, but thirty minutes is a long masking time.

The wet mask

So while we wait let’s talk about the mask and what I should be expecting.

Healing bark is bark taken from the Thanaka tree in southeast Asia. It is ground into a powder and then mixed with water to form a paste. While it is recommended for one to three times per week there are many people who use it daily.

That sort of makes me feel better about the possible thirty minute making time actually. If you can use it daily without any major repercussions then half an hour should be fine. Still I stuck with the 15 for the first go.

Apparently the Thanka Tree bark contains Coumarin which is an antioxidant, Arbutin which evens skin tone and Marmesin which reduces the signs of aging. Now clearly one use isn’t going to work like magic. No skin care (even if endorsed by the Magic Circle) is really going to magically give you fantastic skin in one fifteen minute session. And if it does, I’m pretty sure I’d want it administered by a doctor. Not that I think you could magically turn yourself into a twelve year old by accident, but it sounds like it would have ingredients that should be monitored.

face post mask

So I will be trying this mask repeatedly throughout the month (at least) to see how it performs over time. And there is plenty of powder to try with. I used the measurements for one full mask and it doesn’t actually look like I took any powder out of the jar. So we will take the photos today and then even though we will compare them as before and after today, I’ll save the before and compare it to the end of the month pic as well.

I’ll also do more research on the ingredients list. This is however a first impressions post so today is mostly about how I feel about the first use of the mask. So mask on and I set my timer laying back down for fifteen minutes. I lit my pumpkin soufflé candle which quite honestly smells warm and delicious. I put on my China History Podcast (CHP) by Laszlo Montgomery. Today’s episode is about Silk in ancient China. I highly recommend it if this is a topic of interest to you. The podcast has been going for a number of years and has over 300 episodes. I really enjoy it. The episodes are about 45 minutes though so reluctantly I had to leave it when my timer went off. I’ll have to listen to the rest at bed time tonight.

When I went back into the bathroom I have to admit when I saw my face the first thing I thought was tre bark. Yellow tree bark, but still tree bark. Which is more or less what it is actually. I think because it was a bit watery when I mixed it as it dried I got a bit more of a tree bark effect.

Washing it off was super easy. I wet my masking cloth and it wiped right off with absolutely no rubbing. It was just a damp rag wipe down. Then I pat my skin dry and let it sit for a minute before touching the skin to see what I found.

I found my skin felt soft and I think looked pretty nice too. There clearly aren’t major changes after one use. To expect that would just be silly. However what I did see and feel did encourage me to use it again and see how my skin reacts over time. It was a good first use of a product and as I know nothing really about the Thanka tree I am excited to investigate a little bit more into the main ingredient….well actually the only ingredient. That’s right under ingredients there is a very short list. Hesperethusa crenulata (Thanka) bark powder. That’s right, it’s a one ingredient mask. So break out the botany books my darlings, we’re going on an ingredient hunt.

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The Skincare Line up: September 3rd, 2021

Ah yes, this week in skincare. It has been fun. Last week I had quite a massive patch of breakouts on my chin. For me the chin is always the canary in the coal mine for skincare concerns. It gets overly greasy first and it shows dry spots first as well. And last week it was throwing up all sorts of signals. So this week I pulled out the elements that were new in the skincare line up and went solely back to products I knew worked well. And then I played with the products i thought were causing issues.

Surprisingly all of the new products were problematic. I tried the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle foaming cleanser. While it smelled nice, it didn’t give me a deep down clean and left far too much gunk on my face, which was not good.

The second new skincare item was the Naobay Detox Oxygen light cream. This cream smelled nice, absorbed well but was slightly too heavy for me. It also made my skin feel itchy. In order to see if it was the cream or the cream in conjunction with other products, I used this on my arm for a couple of days. In general I find if I test a product on my inner arm it will give me a good indication of what is going on. My arm was fine for the first day but by day two it was very itchy and I had to stop using the cream on my arm. So this may be a good product, but I think i may just be allergic to something in it. I’m going to have to break down the ingredients list and see if i can figure out what because I didn’t see anything problematic on the label.

One thing that also didn’t help is that last week i was testing out a Vesca primer and it made my skin itchy as well. I tested it on the inside of my other arm and after a few days of repeat use my arm broke out in a small rash.

So at least whatever it is that i am allergic to I am only slightly allergic to or it takes a while to build up to a level my skin doesn’t like. while this ingredient has yet to be identified, I know that all of the products listed below are ones my skin has no issues with and i was thrilled to be able to fall back on them. As always they behaved well and helped me calm my skin down from it’s break out session. Because there is nothing really new, there is minimal break out of the listed products this week. Just know, they all worked like rockstars.

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Yup a return to what I know works. I think the Korres Cleanser needs an extra special shout out though. because of last week’s cleanser, I realized just how fantastic this product was. This will not be my last bottle of the Korres Foaming Cleanser.

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover: Peach Pudding Makeup Remover

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Lips: Laneige Lip Sleeping mask in Berry

Night Mask: Wander Beauty Do not Disturb Overnight repair serum

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

With the night products the only thing to really report is that the Peach pudding makeup Remover and the Wander Beauty Night Mask are both almost empty. I have about one week or so left in the makeup remover and maybe two nights worth of the Wander Beauty do not disturb. Both have been fantastic products to use and I will be sad to see them go. I will definitely pick up the Peach Pudding makeup remover again. It is from Peach and Lily and the only products it had issues with were a few of my mascaras. As my Makeup Eraser took care of any left over mascara I didn’t think it much of a problem. The container cost $9.99 and lasted over a month so there are no complaints there either. in fact because Peach and Lily is having a massive 50% off labor day sale, I might stock up on this now that it is on sale.

the Wander Beauty night mask I would use again as well. They too are having a large labor Day sale if you are interested. I actually have a second container of this mask in my skin care drawer waiting it’s turn to be used so I don’t need to repurchase it anytime soon, however it is one that I will happily use again.

and now that my skin is calming down once again I am looking forward to slowly adding in new products. with luck this time there won’t be any drastic reactions.

Art Naturals for the Friday Face Mask

Ah masking time. It feels like it has been forever. I know it hasn’t been as I mask a few times a week, but it feels like it has been a while since I have actually gotten to sit down and do a Friday Face mask. Maybe it is just because I skipped last week.

So what have we planned for this week?

Today I decided to try the Art Naturals 3 in1 Facial Treatment. No it isn’t one product that promises three things, it is three products combined into a pack. This is the packet that I received in this month’s Birchbox. It has a three step process. Step 1 is a Brown Sugar Face Scrub, Step two is a sheet mask (vitamin C infused for this one although they have others. All the ones I’ve seen on their site feature the same scrub and toner it is just the mask that varies) and Step 3 is a witch hazel toner.

And so into the bathroom we go to start with step one. The first thing I noticed was that the steps had perforations between them so that you can separate the products to use one at a time. As this looked like a brilliant Idea, I separated them. I was very glad that I did as soon as I opened Step 1.

Step 1 is the brown sugar Face scrub. I’m guessing that it removes anything on the surface of your skin and gets you fresh clean cells so the following products have a better chance of succeeding. To tear it open there is a tear mark.

The Scrub

It is located in the center of the packet. I followed it and it tore open pretty easily. The problem was that it was in the middle of the packet. I folded it in half and squeezed the product out. It is brown and slightly sandy. Onto my damp skin it went.

the scrub on the face

The Brown sugar face scrub is a gentle exfoliate, but it is not really a pleasant product to use. The scent is a bit like burnt walnuts mixed with burnt sugar. It is a bitter and slightly acrid scent. It was an okay exfoliate that wasn’t too harsh, but it felt weirdly thin and syrupy on the skin, like cold maple syrup mixed with very fine sand particles. Although I do feel bad about insulting maple syrup in such a fashion. It just wasn’t terribly pleasant to rub onto the skin and I was relieved to rise it off.

The best thing that I can say is that it did wash off easily and left my skin feeling nicely, but not over exfoliated.

But I wasn’t a fan.

The mask

Step 2 is the Vitamin C Face mask, went on rather well. It had a thick paper backing so unfolding it was really easy. The mouth hole was a little small. I sort of had to pucker up to get my lips through and then felt as though the mask still wanted to cover my lips. Which is odd, because usually the mouth cut out is really large. I don’t think of myself as having large lips, but this mask made me feel a bit like Mick Jagger.

Its probably why I put on the Rolling Stones for my fifteen minutes of relaxing masking time. It might not be zen but it made me happy.

When the fifteen minutes are over, the music is reluctantly turned off and I returned to the bathroom. I took off the mask. The Vitamin C sheet mask was very juicy. It had plenty of serum left on my skin. This left me in a bit of a pickle. Did I pat it in or wipe off the excess and move on to step three?

I decided on a compromise. I took off the mask, patted in some of the extra serum with my fingers and waited a coup0le of extra minutes. Then I wiped off the excess serum and moved on to step three.

Step three is the Witch hazel toner. On the front of the packet it is labeled as such. On the back of the packet in the directions it is called a gel. It too tore through the center of the packet and sprayed some product across my sink. (the scrub did the same so I recommend opening them over a sink so you don’t have to clean a counter or floor). The witch hazel toner is thicker than a toner and thinner than a gel. It is a slightly thickened liquid. It still drips but isn’t as runny as an actual liquid toner.

I applied it and waited for it to sink in. Because my skin was pretty saturated with Vitamin C masking serum it took a while and I finally had to pat the excess off.

This three in one mask from Art Naturals was an interesting product. I like the idea of the three and I think I may take to exfoliating prior to masking. I am not certain I will add the toner after masking though as my skin really had absorbed the masking serum and wasn’t really ready to take in a toner. Perhaps an hour or so after masking it might be an idea, but not right after the mask comes off.

Would I pick up an art naturals mask again?

It depends.

The actual mask itself was good. The mouth cut out was a bit on the small side but the mask and it’s serum were both good products. The witch hazel toner may have been a good product on its own, but it really was rather superfluous. While I like the idea of exfoliating before a sheet mask and will start incorporating the idea more often, I hated every second of using the exfoliator in this masking packet.

So basically, if Art Naturals sold the mask on its own, I would purchase it and use the mask. That part I liked. I have no use for either of the other two products. And to be honest, if I wanted a Vitamin C mask I would just go onto the Facetory site and order from there. They have plenty of Vitamin C infused masks that are comparable, if not better. In short, the mask was good, but not good enough to seek out. I would consider using the mask part again but skip the other products.

The actual best part about this mask was learning that I do like exfoliating before a sheet mask is applied. That was the real take away from today’s masking experience.


Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk

I am always on the look out for a good cleanser. Even though I use a wide variety of skincare, it is the cleanser that never leaves the list. I may trade out serums to treat specific issues, Vitamin C to brighten, Hyaluronic Acid for those pesky fine lines, but cleansers are always a staple.

While coffee helps me out in the morning, I don’t really feel awake enough to make the coffee before I’ve washed my face and removed the remnants of my night time skin care. Serums and moisturizers can wait, but the cleanser is first thing. After exercising, I will often need a gentle cleanser to remove the sweat and salt from my skin. Otherwise I will just feel icky all day. And of course at night, after i have used a makeup remover to remove the makeup I need a product that can rinse off whatever is left behind leaving me a clean canvas for my night time skincare.

And lets face it, sometimes mornings are rushed and sometimes I am o tired at the end of the day that my eyelashes are sweeping the floor. I may skip other elements of my routine, but I don’t skip the cleanser. All of this means that it is not only a necessary element of my skincare, one may even claim the most necessary part, but it means I use up more cleansing products than i do any other product in my skincare routine.

I like a wide variety of cleansers. I like creams and thing foaming ones are just loads of fun. Cleansing Milks are not a category I have too much experience with however. I’ve tried one before this and it was extremely liquidy. That isn’t my favorite consistency. I like being able to apply the cleanser to my damp face and see where the cleanser is and then massage it into the skin to make certain all of the skin is covered. With liquids I simply find it harder to tell where the cleanser has been. Is that skin damp from water or did I go over it with the cleanser?

I know it is not the most profound reason for liking formulas, but half-awake or half asleep, I need something that requires very little thought. So as a consequence I rarely purchase Cleansing Milks. This Andalou Naturals Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk however arrived in a subscription box. Petit Vour I believe. I received several Andalou Naturals products from Petit Vour Subscriptions, which isn’t all that surprising.

Petit Vour specializes in clean beauty products. As this cleansing milk uses certified organic and fair trade ingredients, it falls right into their wheel house. I’ll admit, I was hoping that this would be a good product. Partially because I like the ingredients and the clean aspect of the product, partially because I am partial to apricot and wish it was seen more in products and partially because I have seen the brand Andalou Naturals on the shelves at my local grocery store.

Again that sounds like a small thing. Most of my products I do order on line. Skincare, Hair care and body care were mostly ordered on line before the world turned upside down. Occasionally things would be picked up on multi-store shopping trips, but once lock down hit and the only physical outing was the once a month grocery run, everything non grocery related went to on-line ordering. while Andalou Naturals can be ordered on line (the links in this post all going to their on-line site) I like the thought of having a list of products that I can pick up quickly when I run to the grocery store.

That way if I run out, I can just grab a replacement and then have time to place an order if need be. I am actually trying to get at least one in store favorite in every skincare category. I really just like knowing that I could pick up something quickly if need be and that I know it is good. Recently I added the Olay Regenerist Moisturizer to the list (which shouldn’t be surprising as most of the Olay Regenerist line is on my list – Incidentally Olay is having a sale at the moment, clicking on the link will take you to the Olay site.) So will Andalou Naturals make the list?

First let’s look at what the claims are for this Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk.

on the face

Fruit Stem Cell complex from the Apple & Grape, Resveratrol CoQ10 and skin-friendly vegan probiotics gently remove make-up and impurities, rinsing away dull surface cells and balancing skin flora. Apricot and Borage Oils are infused to rejuvenate dehydrated skin, for a fresh glow and a rejuvenated complexion.

Vegan Product

Andalou Naturals

Okay, sounds pretty good and basically what you would expect from a cleanser. So dispensed in the hand it isn’t a liquid. I know surprising for something that is labeled Milk right? It mostly resembles under whipped cream. If you are whipping cream and almost to the soft peak stage, that is the texture of the cleansing milk.

I dampened my skin lightly and applied the cleanser. It didn’t apply like a thick cream and it didn’t foam, but I could definitely see where the cleanser was applied on the skin. I know what areas of my face were washed and which weren’t. Which I like. It rinsed off well, but left a little bit of a residue on the skin. I think it is the moisturizing aspect. In truth it wasn’t heavy and my skin did feel lightly moisturized. I tone my skin right after washing so whatever was left on the skin was taken off as the toner pad glided across my face.

I’ll be honest as far as makeup removing went, this cleanser wasn’t that great. It took off powders but left mascaras and foundations in place. This is a cleanser that is meant to be used as the stage two of a two part cleanse. Take off your makeup then use the cleanser to wash your face. The makeup remover will leave a little residue behind, but this cleanser will take off whatever is left behind. it just needs someone to come in first and break up the party before escorting guests to their vehicles. As the second part of a two step cleanse it was fantastic.

In addition, this was also a fabulous mid day sort of cleanser. After my walk and workout, my skin needs just a bit of a gentle cleanser or I am just going to feel gunky the rest of the day. I could use the Andalou Naturals Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk with no fear of stripping my skin through over washing. In fact the post work out cleanse was where this product really shined. I could wash my face and not have to reapply other products because it was very hydrating. The only thing I added after washing was another dose of sunscreen. And then I put on my makeup.

The scent of the cleanser is fresh and light. It has a slight apricot scent to it, but mostly it is just a fresh clean skincare kind of scent. It reminds me a little of the health food store my mother used to take me into as a kind, which I think might be the result of the Borage oil. But again it is a very light scent. The scent also washes away when you rinse off.

Over all I was very impressed with this cleansing milk. It isn’t going to be a big makeup removing product, unless you only wear a light dusting of powders. It is fantastic if you want a post workout cleanser that isn’t going to strip your skin or make you feel over washed. I truth, once I start going back to the gym, I think this might be the cleanser I add to my bag so that I can rinse off my face before leaving. It is definitely something i enjoyed using and will make it onto my to purchase again list. I never would have picked this up on my own, if only for the fact that the term cleansing milk gave me an impression of a product I wouldn’t like. Now of course, I think I’ll peruse the product line next grocery trip and see if anything else catches my eye. Hopefully other Andalou Naturals products will be just as good.

The Skincare Line Up: August 20th, 2021

It is time once again for my favorite post of the week.  The skincare line up.  I love the chance to talk about skincare.  I think that is why I have such an elaborate line up.  There are so many products out there that I just want to try. Plus, I love putting the claims that companies make for their products to the test.  Admittedly I always feel bad when I have to report in that the products didn’t come up to the mark.  On the other hand I always feel happy when they do exactly what they claim to do.  And when they exceed expectations I really want to give them a gold star. So shall we see if there are any gold stars in this week’s line up?

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Andalou Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Byroe Bell Pepper Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Sunscreen: Volition Prizmatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Okay, starting at the top, the Native Deodorant performed well.  It wasn’t put to too much of a test this week as I did not sweat it out in the walking trail, but as it performed well last week in the brutal sun and humidity I am still pleased with it. The scent is nice if you sniff the actual product.  It disappears once the deodorant is on.  Which is a little sad as I like the scent.  But I suppose if I went around smelling of blackberries I’d attract bees. So for those out there who are super sensitive to scent, this one might be for you.

This week I again used the sample of the Andalou Cleansing milk in the morning, keeping my Korres for night time. The sample is almost empty though.  I will be using the last of it tomorrow morning.  It is a nice cleanser.  It has very little scent to it.  It is a bit of a loose formula as it is a cleansing milk rather than a cream.  It isn’t liquid though.  It actually reminds me of whipping cream when you’ve whipped it to soft peaks rather than stiff ones. It is a good light cleanser and I could definitely see myself picking it up in the store to use again.

The Murad toner worked well. It is actually one of my favorite Murad products.  It takes off the remnants of anything on my skin, but doesn’t strip the skin or cause me any problems really.  It just quietly and effectively does its job, which is toning. And of course when used in the evening it is the ever present judge where the makeup remover is concerned.  Have you done your job?  The toner will tell.  Or at least the round that I am using with the toner will tell. 

Currently I am using the Magnitone reusable rounds and they are performing really well.  They also wash well.  I have been using the mesh bag that came in July’s Birchbox to wash them.  I put the used rounds as well as my makeup sponges in the bag and chuck it in the wash. The bag keeps any stray hair or lint from getting on the sponge and rounds and they come out fabulously clean.

But that’s a bit off topic.

The Time Revolution is still one of my gold star products.  This week it was just used as an essence.  I didn’t spend any excess time in the sun, mostly because there wasn’t any sun. So I didn’t need the essence as a recovery mask.  Although really, soaking a couple of rounds with the essence and laying them on the over exposed skin to calm down any red spots and irritation is now my favorite trick.

To be honest, I am not really seeing the effects of the Byroe Serum.  It feels good on the skin and I want it to be an effective part of my regime, mostly because I absolutely adore Byroe’s toning essence.  That is a product I will buy repeatedly.  This Bell Pepper serum isn’t really doing much.  I actually took it out of rotation for a couple of days to see if my skin felt the lack and there was no difference.  I think I might rotate it out and give another serum a try next week.  I still have several sample sized serums I would like to try out (especially before we get around the the Black Friday Sales) so that I can see if a full size might be something I want to purchase.

The ESPA Eye cream I really like.  I can see it plumping up many of my fine lines now and I am still not at the thirty day mark in terms of use.  It is a sample sized tube and I have already marked it down for a full sized purchase.  It is eye cream though and so little is actually needed that the sample tube will last for quite a while. Which, as far as I am concerned, is a good thing.

The OSEA moisturizer is still an okay product.  It isn’t my favorite, but it isn’t bad.  When thinking about what to say about it, by first thoughts are.  The bottle is very pretty glass and the pump works really well. Which, while nice, shouldn’t be the first things that you think about when you think of a moisturizer.  It isn’t a bad product.  It absorbs well and isn’t greasy. It just feels like the basic version of a moisturizer. There is no ‘special feel’ to it.  I think using the Olay Regenerist moisturizer sample at night last week really threw it into perspective.  The Olay was fantastic and I was very sad when the sample was used up. However it’s fantastic-ness really showed the OSEA up as just basic. For now I am going to continue using it, but I will not be upset when it rolls out of the line up and I won’t be repurchasing it.  I will pick up the OSEA Cleanser as it was fantastic, but the moisturizer doesn’t make the list.

Since I knew this was going to be a mostly indoor sort of week, I didn’t roll a sample sunscreen in to try but stuck with my tried and true Volition.  Because even if I wasn’t spending a lot of time outside, I was spending some and it is now habit to apply sunscreen at the end of my morning skincare line up.

As for the Crest Deep Clean, I’m pretty sure this is going to be my go too toothpaste for a while.  My mouth feels really clean after I use it and my gums look really healthy.  They weren’t horrible before, but they just look very healthy now.  So I am happy.  And as it was the toothpaste my dentist recommended, I’m sure he’s happy too.

Nighttime Skin Care

Makeup Remover: Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser from Peach Slices

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser Pre + Probiotics Greek Yoghurt

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple), no lip scrub

Night Mask: Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Overnight repair serum

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

For the most part, this week had a lot of overlap between the day and night as I didn’t add in any sample products.  Since the ones I used in the daytime performed exactly the same at night, I’ll just skip the duplicates.

The Peach Pudding makeup cleanser is nice and took my makeup off well.  It isn’t the best with mascara and the eyeshadow I used this week had some serious skin staining properties, but over all no real complaints.  I went in with my Makeup Eraser on the mascara and all was good. It is a good product I would definitely repurchase.

The Korres Cleanser also falls into the repurchase category.  It smells clean and fresh and my skin feels clean and fresh once I have used it.  There is no stripping of the skin and no residue left behind.  I really like that it is a thick cream.  It sounds a little silly, but that does make it a bit easier to use. There are less drips. I just damp my face down, dispense some of the cleanser and apply it, the cleanser stays on the face without dripping down. I can rub it as though it was a cream without making a mess. As more water is added it foams up and then it rinses away clean in a foaming mass. The more I use this cleanser, the more I like it.

That also holds true for the Herbal Dynamics Beauty serum. This is the second bottle of this I have gone through and it is definitely a repeat purchase. I have a line in my forehead that (let’s face it) is not really going anywhere. I affectionately refer to it as my stress crack. Over the past year and a half it deepened considerably. It won’t disappear, but with the serum it is looking more like a line rather than a canyon. There is certainly less depth to it, which I love. This is on a repeat buy list and will remain there for a while.

The Bite Beauty lip mask is a standard. I have in fact forgotten how many times I have repurchased this. It is a very thick formula and you have to work a bit to get it to squeeze out of the tube, but it is worth it. This is a formula you can apply at night and really let it sink in. It has the thickness of petroleum jelly. And the one I have smells like Maple Syrup. It is especially useful in the winter. Recently I received a Leniege Lip Mask in my IPSY Glam Bag X and I will be rolling that into my line up this week to give it a try. The Bite Beauty mask will come back, but for now I want to try something a little different.

In other skincare

Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial

Hey Honey Come Clean Propolis and Minerals Facial Scrub

To be honest I thought that this would only be a one product line up for other skincare this week. I thought the exfoliator would stand alone. The Hey Honey exfoliator is a once a week use product and I will happily use it once a week and then reorder. There is very little from the brand Hey Honey that I don’t like actually. Their products and my skin just get along really well. With both skincare and makeup actually. Their Trick or Treat CC cream is really quite nice to wear.

But that is a different post.

I enjoy exfoliators, both chemical and physical. The physical ones I try not to use too often. Once a week is generally about my cap for them. This is gentle enough that when I did need an extra scrub I could roll it into a second day of use in the week without causing my skin damage which I like. This is definitely a scrub I will reorder.

The reason I thought it would stand alone is that I thought I was almost out of product in the Phat Glow Facial. I have been using it twice a week. My skin feels clear and clean. I am actually quite a fan of the mask. The container drives me batty though. That pump is just kind of a pain to use. But the product is good. I had enough for the week and surprisingly there is still product left in the container. I really have to work to get it out because the pump gets stiffer with every use, but I think I might just be able to get through one more week of use. Which makes me happy. It is after all, a really good mask.

So that is the list for the week. the products used throughout my skincare routine, both night and day and sometimes only a few days a week. My skin has mostly recovered from the greasy sunscreen breakouts (Supergoop and I didn’t get along) and I am feeling quite good in my skin actually. Its a nice feeling. I know it helps me out to look at what I am using and how i feel about it. I hope it helps you out as well as you think about products that you want to use. Next week there will be some samples rolling through as well as a couple of full sized products. So changes are coming to the line up. Stay tuned.

No 7 has a great sale going on this weekend if you are looking to stock up on some great products.

30% off Sitewide & free Full 360 Mascara when you spend $40 with the code TREATME

Its a pore clearing extravaganza for Face Mask Friday

This week my plan was to use the three in one mask that came in this month’s Birchbox. It was interesting and it seemed to have everything; a scrub, a mask and a follow up toner. And I do love a good vitamin C mask. However my darlings, today is a day of clogged pores and I did end up using an exfoliator mid-week to help deal with the issues.

It was good, but it wasn’t enough.

That’s right, you know what is coming.

It is time for the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay mask to ride out of the skincare drawer and save the day. You can practically hear the horns blasting and the white charger thundering across the plains.

Or at least I can.

The pre mask face

As you can see from the before picture, my chin is looking especially rough. If you zoom in, I’m sure you can also see some bumpy texture along my upper cheek bones. I don’t advocate zooming in, but you feel free.

This mask is quite fantastic. But I admit, I don’t generally use it as a full face mask as I am doing today. More often I just use it as a spot treatment. I will typically add a stripe of the mask over the areas currently giving me problems.

It is a clearing mask in that it draws things to the surface so that they can be cleared away. What I’ve noticed is that when I apply it, reveling in the chocolate-y scent, it dries and feels like it is tightening. I’m pretty sure that is mostly the action of the clay drying. Once rinsed off, my skin can look a little blotchy but it will look like not very much has happened. About an hour after the mask has been removed I can actually see where things (mostly the clogs from pores) have been moved to the surface. Often my skin will look worse than it did before the mask was applied.

newly applied mask

I then go in with some Peace Out Acne Dots on some of the newly risen blemishes. Once they have done their job, I use a gentle physical exfoliate to clear away some of the debris and make my skin look better. Mostly this is a lengthy process. The exfoliator may not come into play until the next day. In fact it usually does come in the next day. So it is a process, but it works.

Key to the system is this lovely Herbal Dynamics Beauty Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Mask. Today I decided that as the sunscreen did a number on all of my skin, I would just go for the full mask instead of the spot treatment. If you have very sensitive skin, then I would suggest leaving the mask on no more than ten minutes. I generally go for fifteen, but I never go over fifteen. The mask tingles slightly, but mostly what I feel is the clay drying rather than any chemical tingle.

Can’t move mouth to smile…the mask goes light as it dries down

Once it is dry and I am ready to remove it, I loosen it up with some water and wash it off with a cloth. Even though I can’t help but inspect my skin as soon as it is removed, I know that there won’t be much change right away. There is sometimes a light redness to the skin in patches but it fades within a minute or so. If you are using this mask, dry your newly mask free face, leave the bathroom and don’t go near a mirror for an hour. Then, check out your skin to see what came up.

Then of course you get to deal with what came up. When you finish with the mask make certain the inner lid is in place and then tighten down the lid so that it doesn’t dry out. I’ve been using this mask for about four maybe five months and I am about half way through the jar. I tend to use it only when I need a good pore clear out and then, often only in places where it is needed (as mentioned above). However the mask is just as good as it was when I opened it (no drying out in the container) so I am confident I will get to use every drop of it.

Hopefully though it will be a while before I need to go full face with the clearing mask. As much as I like the mask, I prefer when my skin doesn’t need the extra assistance. I am however glad I know where I can find the help if I need it. I’m sure it is self-evident by this point a this is one of my favorite masks, but yeah, I will definitely be purchasing a replacement for this mask when the current jar is empty. It is a wonderful asset to have in my skin care arsenal.

This morning in my skincare line up, I included both a product from the Olay Regenerist line and as well as the current Crest product I am using. Lo and Behold what did I then see? Olay has a gift set that partners Olay with Crest. this weekend they have a limited time offer if you are interested in trying them out.

OLAY and Crest Gift Set – Regenerist Hydration Max Serum and Crest 3D Whitestrips

In addition, if you just want the whitestrips, Crest has a deal currently going for them as well.

$25 OFF Crest Crest 3DWhitestrips LED Light Kits – Code: AUG25OFFF

The Skincare Line up: August 13th, 2021

Happy Friday the 13th my darlings. I don’t know about you but I always end up have a really good day on Friday the 13th’s . They always seem super lucky to me. Hopefully today will prove just as lucky for me. So are you ready to look at some skincare? Let’s start with the day time line up.

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Andalou Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Byroe Bell Pepper Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Sunscreen: Volition Prizmatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50 AND Supergoop PLAY Everyday Lotion

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Okay my darlings, let’s start at the top. For the past two Weeks I have been giving a Clean Deodorant from Dove a try. In general I like the Dove brand. I have used their products for years. Several of their products I still use. Since my teenage years my go to deodorant was Dove so I had high hopes for this one. It was a no go. I did my best and even though I didn’t like it for the first week, I used a second week to test out the Megababe Space Bar Detoxifying Charcoal Underarm Bar. (Deodorizing soap basically) The soap worked well and I’ll talk more about it in a different post, but I finally cracked. The Dove 0% simply wasn’t cutting it. I was just too stinky to take. So I purchased a Native Deodorant and rolled it into the line up. I’ll sub in the Dove on days when I am only working at my desk, but it was just too stinky. This time I am trying a different scent. It is the Blackberry and Green Tea scented deodorant. It is a nice scent in the tube but disappears once on the body. I catch no whiff of it once it is applied, which is fine with me. I don’t need to smell my deodorant, I just need for others not to smell a stinky me.

The Time Revolution Essence is still my summer MVP. I am going to have to look into more Artemisia infused products because it has been excellent on my skin when I have had too much sun. It really has been fantastically soothing.

Speaking of the sun. I have two sunscreens listed. One is my favorite Volition Sunscreen. This week I also tried out one of the samples in my collection. This is Supergoop Play. It is SPF 50 and it seems to do its job well. However I am not a fan. I haven’t used a sunscreen that made me this greasy in years. There was enough product in the container for three days worth of use and I used it for three days. I was exceedingly greasy after using it and now I have a host of small break outs, especially on my chin. They aren’t allergic reaction break outs, they are the clogged pore kind of break outs. If I had really dry skin, I wouldn’t have has as big a problem with the Supergoop. But with my skin (which due to the season is normal leaning towards oily) it just didn’t work. The sweat from the summer sun added an extra factor and for the three days I wore this sunscreen I was just a grease ball. If you have dry skin perhaps this is for you. All I know is that this Supergoop Play is not for me.

The third new items in my daytime line up was the Andalou Naturals Apricot Pobiotic Cleansing Milk. The consistency of the product is thinner than a cream, but it isn’t a straight up liquid. So you can dispense it fairly cleanly into your hand. While I damp my skin before applying the cleansing milk, if you have your face too wet it can get a bit runny. The scent is clean. There is no real apricot scent to it. The cleanser just smells like clean skin care. With your eyes closed if asked to sniff and say what it is I would be able to say skincare. It could be a cream or a cleanser, but the scent is definitely a skincare scent. I know that isn’t all that descriptive but I have no other term for that scent.

The Cleansing milk works well, but it is a bit of a moisturizing cleanser. It takes off all of the dirt without stripping but tends to leave a thin film of moisture behind. I use a toner right after and the toner takes that layer right off, but it is there. It isn’t a heavy layer of moisture, but it is there. The sample size I am using has enough for a second week of trial and I have no issues using this Cleansing Milk for a second week. I like the brand Andalou Naturals and I like that it is a Clean product that I can actually buy in the Publics Grocery near me if I wanted to. I’ll make my final determination next week but at the moment I think that I would repurchase this if I went shopping for cleansers. I want to try it out on a week where my skin is not also dealing with the Supergoop, but I think it will pass the buy again test.

I still haven’t made up my mind about the Byroe Serum. To be honest, I am not entirely sure if it is doing anything. It feels nice on the skin though. Admittedly, it generally takes thirty days to see an effect from skincare and I haven’t been using it that long. I’ll continue using it and hope to see some sort of effect at some point.

The ESPA eye cream I really like and will continue to use. I’ll compare pictures in a few weeks but I feel like my eyes look less tired after using it so I am happy.

The OSEA moisturizer though is just working out okay. It is nice enough to use and I wouldn’t mind using it again if it came my way, but I don’t think I would seek it out. The product looks lovely in the bottle, but it is only an okay moisturizer. It is thin and light which works for the summer so this seems like the perfect time to use it up, but I have tried several different moisturizers from a variety of price ranges that I like much more. I think this falls into the good enough to use, not good enough to seek out category for me.

Nighttime Skin Care

Makeup Remover: Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser from Peach Slices

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser Pre + Probiotics Greek Yoghurt

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Eye Cream: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Moisturizer

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple), no lip scrub

Night Mask: Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Overnight repair serum

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

The only new product in the night time line up this week is the Olay Ultra Rich Moisturizer. As you can see from the picture it is a tiny sample that lasted the week. And it only lasted the week because I only used it at night. I have enough to get through tonight’s skincare regimen and then the little pot will be empty. It is kind of a sad moment. Because it is a fantastic moisturizer. In general I am a big fan of most of the items in the Olay Regenerist line. (I say most because I haven’t tried them all, all that I’ve tried I like). This cream is thick but it absorbs fast. It has almost no scent to it and my skin absolutely loved it. Clearly with only a sample sized container that lasted a week, I can’t say I saw any long term results. However this moisturizer is going on my list of products to try in the full size. In fact it may go to the top of the products to try in a full size. I love the fact that while I can order this on line (which can save a little bit of money) but you can also go out and pick this up from practically any drugstore. I actually don’t think there is a drug store that doesn’t carry Olay products. Also, while I have tried a lot of rather expensive moisturizers, I haven’t really found a drug store one that I really like. If the full size performs as well as this sample did, I may have actually found one that I like. Which is always fun.

Everything else in the night time routine is still working well. I am doing more experiments with the day time line up than the evening one at the moment. I have several sunscreens I want to give their chance at the summer sun.

There are no issues with any of the products I am using, in fact they are working great. I do want to give a shout out to the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Serum. It is fantastic. I can really see a reduction in the depth of the line across my forehead. It will never go away of course, but it is less canyon like than it was. This is not my first time with this serum, but it always surprises me how fantastically it performs.

In other skincare

Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial

Hey Honey Come Clean Propolis and Minerals Facial Scrub

I think my time with the Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial is coming to the end. There is still some product in the container but I suspect it will at best get me through next week. It has been a fantastic mask and I think my skin looks glowy because of it. That pump may drive me to distraction, but the product it dispenses is really good.

The Hey Honey Come Clean was actually used more than once this week. I try not to over use physical exfoliators and keep them to once a week, but I had to add a second use this week to deal with the after effects of the Supergoop clogs. This scrub is a really good one and it isn’t too harsh. I really like the sweet honey-ish fruit scent it has to it and there were no issues using it twice this week. Hopefully next week it will go back to being a once a week scrub. But for that, we shall have to see how the products I use perform. See you back here, same time next week to discuss it.

Happy Friday the thirteenth everyone.

Omorovicza - available at Alyaka.com

Repairing the Hydra Biome for Face Mask Friday

I’ll admit, my face mask choice was inspired by my skin care line up. In thinking about the Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser I remembered the Hydra Biome mask, also from the Probiotic Yoghurt line from Korres. This mask comes in a heavy glass jar which is lovely frosted glass. However its weight means that I tend to store it towards the back of the masks and so it often gets obscured by smaller trial sized masking tubes and bots that I am trying to clear out of the way.

Today I was reminded of it and remembered that I both really liked the mask and that i hadn’t used it in a while. For those who don’t know much about the mask, according to the website the Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face mask is supposed to…

Mask applied

Fortify your skin’s natural protective layer, often broken down by stress, pollution and diet. Through a clinically tested blend of superfoods, hyaluronic acid, and skin-rebalancing technology, this mask improves elasticity, radiance, and texture for a revitalized, healthier look.

The mask has a vaguely yoghurt-y scent to it, but it isn’t overpowering. It still smells very clean and fresh. The yoghurt is more pronounced as a scent in the mask than in the cleanser, but both still smell really clean. One thing I love about this mask is that you can practically see your skin drinking it in.

I apply the mask in a thin layer and and let it sit for fifteen minutes. At the end of the fifteen minutes a large amount of the mask has absorbed into the skin. The rest gets rinsed off. Your skin takes what it needs and just leaves the rest. So there is no over hydrating or greasiness. You are just left with clean and hydrated skin. This mask feels as though it ought to be used in the summer. I think I feel that way because I tend to keep it refrigerated. So cold mask used to beat summer heat.

mask after 15 minutes

In all honesty though, it works wonders on winter dry skin as well. In the winter my face sucks it in as though my pores were actually little vacuums. There is very little left on my skin then. In the summer i can go a little lighter with the application if I want, but I forgot and just applied the same level of product as I did in the winter.

My skin really liked the mask today. I personally also enjoyed the time out I got from it. I lit my candle (still using the La Playa Salted Blue Agave Candle from Paddywax) and then put in my ear phones. Today was The Pogues for my zoning out music. I know. Not entirely Zen like, but it made me happy and we all relax in our own little ways.

My skin loved the Korres Hydra-Biome Mask (I think this is either my second or third jar of this mask, I can’t remember. I’m fairly certain I finished the second at the same time as Korres had a sale and I picked up the third. But I could be mistaken.) It is one that I have repurchased and will repurchase again in the future. And with both the mask and my fifteen minutes of mental down time, I feel much more prepared to face the rest of the afternoon and take down the rest of Friday.