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Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque is a deep cleansing clay masque designed to help purify and refine oily skin. It's priced at £30.30 for a 75ml tube, but can be found cheaper online.
The packaging is ok, nothing pretty or special, but it has the Dermalogica 'professional' look which fits with the brands image. The tube has a flip top lid which makes it practical and easy to use.
The masque is quite thin as clay based masks go. It has a creamy consistency which feels smooth and spreads easily on the skin. I don't need to use a lot of this, a thin layer works best and is easy to achieve, so a little goes a long way. It has a natural, earthy type scent to it which is not strong and I don't really notice it while I'm using the masque.
The masque should be left on for 10 minutes, in which time it dries but doesn't become tight on the skin or feel uncomfortable like some clay masks can. It rinses off easily and my skin feels so much softer and smoother immediately after I rinse it off.
I do like the way this makes my skin feel, it really feels like it's had a good deep clean, and my pores feel tighter and less congested. My skin also seems less oily after using it, and this feeling lasts a good few hours before the oil starts to reappear.
One of the best things about this masque is that I find it quite effective at treating blemishes - if I apply it when I first feel a blemish forming then more often than not it stops it from coming out. It also calms any redness and makes my skin look a lot clearer. Sometimes I just use it as a spot treatment rather than a masque, just applying it where I need it, and sometimes even leaving it on overnight, and it does a great job. It never dries out my skin or irritates it in any way.
Yes, I would recommend this masque to anyone with oily, congested skin that needs a good deep clean.
I have a combination skin type which is prone to breakouts and these days I'm concerned with the signs of aging and tend to use products that target that issue. However, there are times when my skin needs taking to hand for it's 'hormonal' imbalance and this mask is just great for doing so in a gentle and non-stripping way.
*Who is this for ? *
I would recommend this mask to teenagers upwards as it's effective but gentle and doesn't strip the skin which is important for a teenagers skin. If you have dry or very dry skin you won't like this and there are more effective products for your skin type if you're looking to refine your skin's texture. ( It's because this mask contains Kanolin which will mop up excess oil on oilier skins but will further dry out drier skins. ) So, normal/combination and oily skin types are being targeted for this product.
Overall, if you have signs of large blocked pores, dull skin in need of gentle exfoliation without stripping and in need of a deep cleanse to help purify the skin I'd give this a whirl. ( It has similar properties to Liz Earle's deep cleaning mask so if you have one or the other you won't need both in my opinion. )
*How to use *
Ordinarily I would say that your skin needs to be in an exfoliated state to accept a face mask effectively. However, since this mask gently exfoliates I wouldn't exfoliate immediately prior to applying the mask, but perhaps the morning or night before instead. ( Remember that oily skin types do not react well to 'physical' exfoliators with grains/sugars etc as it can over stimulate the oil glands and lead to more oil production which is what you don't want. Therefore I would recommend that teenagers and anyone with combi/oily skin use AHA based products or a physical exfoliator with very gentle exfoliating beads such as Gatineau's electelle exfoliator or Liz Earle's Gentle face exfoliator. )
Apply to the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Leave for 10-15 minutes or until it's set. ( I wouldn't use this mask when you're in the bath as it's a 'setting' type mask and the heat from the bath will delay/stop this from happening. )
Remove with a muslin cloth or flannel. ( Rinse the cloth is warm, not hot, water and rinse excess water. ) If you have neither this mask can be removed by water alone if you're desperate, which differs from some masks that can leave a film on the skin if attempted.
Follow with your usual skincare products.
I would use this as and when needed. Those with oilier skin types may require the use of a refining mask at least once or twice a week ( this mask is gentle enough to do so, however, I wouldn't use the same rule for all clay based masks ) where as more combination skins may only require this mask once or twice a month.
*Why this product works *
The ingredient list is pretty impressive as with all Dermalogica products so it's easy to see why they're a salon based skin care company. It contains the likes of Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract (which is thought to not only soften the skin but also reduce swelling and imflammation and soothe the skin, ) Kanolin ( an age old traditional ingredient used in masks to mop up excess oil, detoxify and soothe inflammation, ) Safflower oil ( which is used for its soothing and yet moisturising properties, ) Tocopheryl Acetate (i.e a form of Vitamin E that acts as an anti-oxidant and moisturising ingredient, ) Linoleic Acid ( which is used to relieve flaky or rough skin and maintain moisture content in the skin, ) Various extracts ( which brighten, soothe, repair and refine the skin ) and Citric Acid ( which is not only an anit-oxidant but also a skin brightener. )
Sambucus Nigra Extract, Kaolin, Bentonite, Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Safflower(Carthamus Tinctorius) Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Arachidonic Acid, Extracts of: Mallow(Malva Sylvestris), Ivy(Hedera Helix), Cucumber(Cucumis Sativus), Arnica Montana, Pellitory(Parietaria Officinalis), Watercress(Nasturtium Officinale), Burdock(arctium Lappa), Sage(Salvia Officinalis), Lemon(Citrus Medica Limonum), Saponaria Officinalis; Menthol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tetrasodium EDTA