When I was in the fourth grade, my teenage sister let me borrow her tube of St. Ives peel-off mask. I smeared a thick layer of the transparent goop over my face, neck, arms, and hands. When it dried, I ran to our mother screaming about burning flesh. I begged for a quick and merciful death as I peeled away the papery coating.
That was my first experience with exfoliating masks. I thought it would be my last.
But life is just full of curveballs and I'm, evidently, a real glutton for punishment. This week, I found myself testing two different of pore-clearing masks. Neither burned quite like my the DIY monster makeup of my childhood, but both delivered on their promises to clean my face and make me look like a 1960s sorority girl while doing it. I present to you the results of a childhood trauma revisited:
Wei Black Soy Instant Lifting Face Treatment Pad
This product touts relief “for skin showing loss of firmness.” I’d also heard tell that it was a good remedy for “hangover face” (when skin is parched and puffy after a night of too much whiskey and not nearly enough water). The wet, gauzy napkin has eye and nose holes, but when I attempted to put it one, it became clear that it was designed for a female face. My forehead, nose, and mouth were too big for the thing, and it wouldn’t stick to my 3-day stubble. As a result it looked something like the skin mask donned by Hannibal Lecter to dupe the least observant guards in maximum security history. After 10 minutes, I removed it and rinsed off. My face didn’t feel any firmer per se, but I was left with a pleasant, cooling sensation on the few spots where the mask had stuck. Next time I’ll be sure to shave first.
Clark’s Botanicals Intense Radiance Mask
I had more luck with the second product I tried. This beige cream is a little thicker and grittier than lotion and I smeared on enough to look like Mrs. Doubtfire. After 30 minutes my skin felt firmer and after a rinse, I swear it looked a little tighter as well. For best results, it says it's supposed to be used for 30 minutes two or three times a week. So now I know what I’ll be doing during my weekly Girls viewing session.