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The Reluctant Groomer: Face Masks

If you really want to hone in on an ideal personal grooming routine, you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new occasionally. In the spirit of discovery and humility—and just a pinch of sadism—we send our fearless writers to the outer limits of the grooming-verse to gather intel about new, exciting, and extreme products and practices. In this installment of The Reluctant Groomer, BB Man correspondent Nick Fauchald tries on a few face masks for size.

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.

Nick Fauchald

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