The Mask

Aztec

Remember that movie? With Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz looking like a damn beacons of 90’s glamour. The facemask that I’m currently (probably) overusing makes me looks and sort of feel like Carrey’s character from that movie—green, sculpted and tight, hysterical because it kind of pulsates and I love it. Drumrolllllllll…..it’s the Aztec Healing Clay mask. I’ve been using it at least twice a week which might be too much but I mean, somebody stop me.

Okay so I held off trying this out for a long time despite the unanimously good reviews on both amazon and makeupalley for a couple reason: One, I have pretty sensitive/combo/dry/acne prone skin so I assumed from past experiences with clay masks (I’m looking at you Queen Helene) that this would be too harsh and drying, but then a friend of mine who consistently has dope skin said she’s been using it for ages and loves it. This is such a grab for me—anytime someone with clear and glowing skin tells me anything I’m literally already calculating whether I can afford to adopt their routine within the next few days.

The details:

I ordered a big huge tub of this from amazon, and it came in super speedy amazon fashion. The mask can be mixed in a couple ways—with water, or with vinegar. I’ve also read that people mix it with rose water, honey, tea tree oil etc. Bentonite’s essentially supposed to suck stuff out of your pores and this mask advertises itself as one that you can actually feel doing this—aka it “pulsates” from the effort of ripping that shit out.

Use:

I mix it (in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon because Bentonite clay reacts with metal) with apple cider vinegar. You don’t need much vinegar. I tried it with water the first time and it was super clumpy and honestly really unsatisfying so I’d go with ACV if you can (I’ve used regular grocery store ACV and also the fancy Braggs kind, both work well). When you first add the ACV it fizzes for about ten seconds, and then you can beat it into a nice paste. I like to add about 3 drops of tea tree oil, but if you’re at all sensitive to tea tree oil I’d advise against that because the mask itself is already pretty intense. I leave mine on for 5-10 minutes. It dries quickly and starts to feel tight—like super tight, like I’m an old clay statue slowly falling apart from the decay of time tight.

I usually rinse this off in the shower or bath because it’s difficult to remove what feels like a second face that has formed on top of your original face. It takes patience and lots of rinsing.

Outcome:

This works reasonably well for me. As in, it doesn’t irritate my skin, make me break out, make my skin dry and flakey (goddamn you, Queen Helene), and it seems to gently nudge out the pimples that are either forming or hanging around as annoying red marks on my skin.

The thing that I really like about this mask is that it fits in nicely with my weekly self-grooming routine—baths, hair masks, candles and reading my book. It’s how I give myself a hug and a pat on the back and it’s also how I stay somewhat relaxed through my busy schedule because dammit I am worth it!

Bottom line:

This mask is a satisfying one to be able to use frequently because of the ritual of preparing and applying it, the visible process of it drying, and the time and care it takes to rinse it off. I also feel comforted in the knowledge that it’s not full of ammonia and lead. What I’m saying mostly is that I love this mask not necessarily because it transforms my skin overnight (nah) but because of the ritual of it. Here’s to finding the right mask for you and your skin, because as Dr. Arthur Neuman says in the movie—“We all wear masks…metaphorically speaking.”

-G

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