* Prices may differ from that shown
I have tried several face and skin products manufactured by Beauty Formulas, and I have always been impressed with the quality, given the usual low price. The largest stockists of their range appear to be pound shops such as Poundland, which is a shame in one way as I am sure it puts some people off trying them. I was delighted to see a clay based one from the brand in the 99p store, when I had run out of my usual brands.
I have combination skin, with some areas prone to shine and others to dryness. My oily nose region needs regular deep cleansing to prevent black heads and blocked pores. I usually use a mask weekly, followed by a nose pore cleansing strip. I have found the best masks for my skin tend to be clay based, which is one of the reasons I was attracted to the product. It is said to be suitable for all skin types, so I felt hopeful it would also suit all areas of my face!
WHAT IT CLAIMS TO DO
Beauty Formulas say that this mask offers deep cleansing and toning benefits. It is supposed to draw out impurities and excess oil, which was just what I want. Furthermore it promises to provide "penetrating moisture". Lastly, it includes vitamin E and Panthanol for improved skin suppleness and condition. I will give my opinion on how well it meets those claims below!
The mask comes in a standard squeezy tube, measuring 100ml. The packaging isn't "pretty" but it doesn't look any worse than budget ranges from Superdrug or Boots for example. It is practical packaging first and foremost, as the soft tube makes it easy to dispense the mask. It is also easy to use up every last drop. The lid is secure, and as it is flip top style, there is no risk of it going astray.
When I opened the tube, I was pleasantly surprised at the scent. I know that some cheap toiletries can smell very fake and unpleasant. This, on the other hand, does smell of cucumber mixed with a subtle floral fragrance. A very pleasant and fresh smell, which is important as it is close to my nose for a few minutes. The mask is pale green in colour and looks and feels thinner than other clay based masks I am used to. I find that it seperates a little between uses and so needs shaking to enable it to reach the right consistency. I have had the same problem with other more expensive masks, but usually after longer storage. It isn't really a problem unlesss you forget to shake, in which case the mask will come out watery at first. It is soon back to normal though.
The mask feels cool and smooth to apply. It spreads onto my skin easily, perhaps more so than other clay masks due to it's relative thinness. Once on it feels a light at first but my facial skin feels like it is tightening as time progresses. I don't find that unpleasant, it just means you can't forget you are wearing it - which is probably a good thing! As you can tell from the product name, it needs to be left on for 3 minutes, after which it is washed off with warm water. It washes off very easily, so the whole process is reassuringly quick.
When I first washed the mask off, I looked carefully at the pores around my nose. I was delighted to see they were visibly clearer than when I started. Normally I feel that I need to follow a mask with pore strip to feel really deep cleansed, but not after using this mask. It also deals effectively with any trace of shine and the mattifying appearance easily lasts to the end of the day. The dry patches around my cheeks do feel softer, and look smoother too. This is magnified after several uses. I have noticed that moisturiser seems to absorb better in this area since I began using the mask, whether coincidence or not. I can't say that my skin is more supple, but the overall condition looks immediately improved. My skin looks fresh, and more than once I have felt that I reallly don't need to then apply foundation or powder which is saying a lot! I have been using the product for several months now, and the results have thankfully not faded. Beauty Formulas say the mask can be used as needed. I find that a couple of times a week is sufficient for me. I have never experienced any irritation but please be aware I don't have sensitive skin. The mask is said to be allergen free though, and it contains no parabens.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
I think it is a great quality mask, and one that has made both an immediate and lasting improvement to my skin. It is easy as good as branded clay masks that I have tried, despite feeling thinner. The scent, and short time needed to use it mean it is very user friendly. It is just a shame it isn't more widely available. Apart from 99p stoes, Poundworld and Poundland, you can sometimes find it in Savers. Wilkinson are also now stocking the range. There are also numerous online suppliers, but I do not have personal experience of any. If you can find it, buy it quick!
[This review also appears on Ciao under my user name and has been updated for Dooyoo.]