Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Masks! Masks! Masks!

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm an over-exfoliater. I tend to focus my skin care routine more on exfoliating products than I do on cleansing products to the point where I'm realizing it's detrimental to my skin. I notice that when I get a bit lazy and cut back on exfoliating products for a week or two my skin doesn't break out as much and just seems generally happier. Even so I always go back to my harsh routine of Clarisonic, peels, scrubs, AHAs, retinol, the list goes on and on. I think I'm seriously addicted guys. Before I go more in depth with this post I want to warn you all that I've spent the last 48 hours in hardcore paper writing mode so if this post seems a little bit too "academic sounding" I apologize.

For the past week I've been cutting back on exfoliation and increasing my clay mask use. I'm testing a system of using a mask every other day and using my Clarisonic as exfoliation on alternating days. I'll admit I did cheat today and use my Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel AND my Clarisonic... oops! So far the results have been better than I could have imagined. I was examining my face in a magnifying mirror (as one always does at some point in the day haha) and I noticed that the pores around my nose seemed way cleaner than usual. I have very oily skin so blackheads (eww!) are a big issue for me. I've tried everything to get rid of them: pore scrubs, pore strips, oxy pads, you name it I've probably tried it. Anyway, I swear my squeaky clean pores are because of the clay masks I've been using lately. The masks themselves aren't anything new but I think using them more frequently has made the difference.

Proactiv Refining Mask
Lancome Pure Empreinte Masque
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Olay ProX Clear Intensive Refining Mask
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

I use each of these masks for different purposes depending on how my skin is acting. The Proactiv and Olay masks are great to use if I'm having quite a bad breakout. They are both sulfur masks but I prefer the Proactiv version. WARNING: they do smell a lot like sulfur and some people might not like this. I don't really mind the smell and I think the benefits of using sulfur for acne is worth a little bit of smelliness. The Origins mask is nice if my skin is misbehaving just a little bit. It's kind of for those occasions where I can feel something cooking under the skin and I want to nip it in the butt. The Lancome mask is included in this post just because I own it and am trying to use it up. It's not a bad mask my any means but I can't stand the smell. My favourite of the bunch is the Kiehl's mask. This is a great clarifying and cleansing mask and I use it when I'm feeling extra oily. To anyone with normal or dry skin: just say no to this mask. It can be a little drying if I'm even slightly dehydrated and a lot of the time I'll only use it in my t-zone. Combination skin should be okay, but stick to using it only in oily areas.

I'll keep you all posted on how this little mask experiment goes and hopefully it keeps working for me. If you have any clay/cleansing masks that you love let me know! I think I'll be finishing these up quite quickly if I stick to my current routine. What are your thoughts on masks v.s. exfoliation? Do you think one works better for you than the other or do you like a combination?

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