Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review : The Body Shop Seaweed Clay Mask

I wanted to hate this product. I really did. After opening the tub and smoothing the clay over my face, I was struck by the overwhelming smell of … sewage. Foul.

I left it on for around 10 minutes during which the mask hardens - to the point where your face might crack with the slightest facial expression. The mask's colour slowly changes from dark green to a lighter and trendier minty green, which is quite cool but doesn't change the fact that you look and smell like you've been wading through a smelly canal.

I washed it off using a face cloth, which was stained brown in the process ... (Could the clay be some form of recycled poo) Needless to say, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I love using masks, but this - no. It stinks and I needed two flannels rinse it off.

And with that said, I'm almost disinclined to admit that I was quite impressed with the results. I had a sore, red bump (one of those spots that doesn’t quite know when/how it wants to maim your face) on my forehead and after applying the mask, it had completely gone down! O.O I've never had a such an obvious immediate result  after just one application!

It’s not all raptures and spangles though. The downside is that my skin felt a little dry and tight afterwards. Nothing that a nice hydrating mask and moisturiser can't sort out, but enough to limit use to once per week.

If you're quite chillax about what goes on your face, embracing mineral oil, parabens, home made lemon peels and the like then you go ahead and use it.  It costs £12/100ml and £6 for members of the Shop's loyalty scheme (here). But we should really care a bit more about what goes on our face. I have to be honest and admit (*inhale*) that I didn't read the label before purchasing. (*shriek*) (But only because the shop staff cast me an evil glare when I tried to peel the label off!)

Here is the full ingredients list (which is published online!! woopwoop!!)
Kaolin, Aqua, Heilmoor Clay, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Bentonite, Talc, Lithothamnium calcarum, Maris Limus Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Polysorbate 20, Myristamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Bisabolol, Parfum, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Zinc PCA, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Denatonium Benzoate, Tocopherol, CI 77289, CI 42090.

When I read labels, I'm on the lookout for two things: mineral oil and alcohol.

Mineral oil is cheap crap that sits on your skin doing nottin. Alcohol can dry and irritate the skin, but is sometimes necessary, e.g. in suncreams to stabilise the product, and as a preservative - but only as one of the last ingredients. Where is alcohol on this list? TOP FIVE INGREDIENT FML. Why are so many products marketed towards acne/blemish prone skin or "clarifying" and "oil-minimising" solutions packed FULL of alcohol?! Like I'm really helping my skin by striping the mantle away and opening the gateway for yet more bacteria to breed there. No thank you.
Basically, while you might feel an immediate short-term improvement, you're exacerbating the problem in the long-term and damaging your skin's protective layers. The 'improvement' was probably the effect of alcohol burning skin alive and sending all bacteria to oblivion.

Will I use it again? Unlikely. Would I recommend it? No. You'll have dryness and premature ageing to deal with on top of spots and acne. And it smells rank.

1 comment: