I picked up this little kit ages ago now, but such is the state of my “products still to try” drawer, that I didn’t get round to trying it until this weekend. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, face masks and the like fall into that category of “things that are fabulous, but which I never seem to find time for”, hence the delay in reviewing this one.
Anyway, Saturday rolled around, and I found myself with a bit of extra time, so I got out the kit and marvelled at the little mini versions of some of Burt’s Bees popular products, namely: the Pore-Refining Mask, Citrus Facial Scrub, and Orange Essence Facial Cleanser.
The pore refining mask was the product I was most interested in, but I decided to do this properly, so I washed my face with the facial cleanser (orangey: very orangey. In a good way, though.) and then applied the Citrus Facial Scrub. Both products met with my approval: as you probably know, Burt’s Bees pride themselves on their all-natural products, and both of these use orange oil as their main ingredient. The cleanser in particular was lovely to use, and the scent is definitely of REAL oranges, as opposed to that “fake orange” scent found in so many things these days. Both products were also very gentle: I’d somehow expected something based around orange oil to feel slightly astringent, but nope, not a bit of it.
On to the pore-refining mask, then, and I must confess that I was slightly perplexed by this. As part of this particular kit, you get one small sachet of powder, which you have to mix with water in the little ceramic bowl that’s also provided until it turns into a paste. (The instructions state that you can also mix it with various other liquids to help with particular skin conditions, but naturally I didn’t have any of those other liquids in stock at the time, so I stuck to good ol’ water) Me being me, I found it a little tricky to gauge the right amount of water to use – I’m pretty sure my “paste” was a whole lot runnier than it was supposed to be – and it seemed a bit of a waste of packaging to have a ceramic bowl just for one sachet of powder, but I guess if you decided to purchase the full-sized version of this, the bowl would come in handy. (Mine is currently sitting all forlorn in the bathroom, gathering dust). It’s just a minor point, but I think I’d rather be able to just buy the product already mixed, so rather than having to faff around with the mixing bowl and powder (and, er, making a bit of a mess of the bathroom in the process, to be honest), I could just apply it direct from a tub, or tube, or something. I am very lazy, though, so that could just be me.
Once the mask was applied, however, all of this was forgotten. Even although my paste was very runny, it dried in quickly, and I don’t think my slapdash mixing skills made much of a difference. This is made from French green clay, so, as you would expect, while you’re wearing it, you’ll look a bit like a clay statue. (I always live in fear of someone arriving at the door during this stage of face-mask use. They almost always do, too.) I could feel it starting to get to work right away, with that familiar, skin-tightening, “Oh my God, I think my face just cracked” feeling you get from clay-based masks. I actually quite enjoy this sensation: it makes me feel like the mask is definitely doing something, which is always reassuring.
As per the instructions, I left it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. My skin was left feeling smooth and slightly tingly: I don’t really see a huge difference in pore size, but I think that kind of thing is pretty hard to gauge, to be honest, unless the difference is dramatic.(And if you know of a product that makes a truly dramatic difference to the size of your pores in just 15 minutes, tell me and I will buy it.), but I was left with a fresh faced, wholesome kind of glow, and the feeling that my skin had definitely had a good old clean. Four days on, I haven’t suffered any of the outbreaks which can be the result of this kind of treatment either, so that’s another point in its favour.