Face masks are are my favourite skincare item. Nothing feels so calming to me as smoothing on three face masks in a row and luxuriating in the purging/sloughing/soothing sensations (preferably while watching some Gilmore Girls).
Unfortunately, my current lack of finances coincided with finishing the last dregs of my two most used and most expensive face masks: Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask. The realist in me knew that money spent repurchasing said face masks could be better spent keeping myself alive with food and other necessary items, and so I endeavored to find cheaper alternatives that could still pack a punch in the skincare department.
iHerb.com is a treasure trove of natural and organic items; all very inexpensive and with an insanely cheap shipping price ($4.00 to Korea!). After paroosing the site for an afternoon, I settled on 3 items: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($5.99), Bragg Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ($3.88), and Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($11.99).
In place of my Aesop mask I planned to mix equal parts Indian Healing Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar. The combination of both is meant to be a potent detox for the face. The Aztec Secret packaging actually states in bold letters, “World’s Most powerful facial!”
The DIY mask left my face feeling hot and looking red after rinsing it off. I’m assuming this is the clay drawing blood to the surface of the skin along with underlying dirt and grime. This sensation did pass quickly and my skin was left feeling very smooth and clean. Also, a few spots that were overstaying their welcome actually healed overnight which is always a good sign.
The Andalou Naturals Glycolic Mask is remarkably cheaper than my beloved Ren Glycolactic Mask and both use the same basic ingredients. One immediate difference I noticed was the smell. the Ren one smells like citrus and summer and the Andalou one smells like pumpkin and Christmas!
After smoothing on the Andalou mask I felt the familiar tingle from the enzymes eating away at my dead skin. After rinsing it off my skin was revealed looking fresh and bright and feeling incredibly smooth. Unfortunately, the brightening and smoothing effect didn’t last too long which leads me to think the Ren mask is a much more rigorous exfoliator.
As someone who likes to (literally) shed the sins of the night before and emerge looking fresh as a daisy, the Andalou mask was a tad disappointing. I will continue to use it as it is amazing for the price but I do look forward to the day when I can click that Ren mask into my internet basket and have it on my bathroom shelf once more…