Friday, February 21, 2014

TGIF: Review of Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask #powerofplants

TGIF. I love Fridays. I think it's the result of spending 19 years in the education system and knowing that Fridays mean weekends. Weekends don't mean much to me now, seeing as though I work an irregular schedule in retail, which means I work several weekends. But this weekend, I am free. So TGIF indeed.

As promised, today I am doing a full product review of the Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask I received in my Influenster J'adore VoxBox this week.

Spoiler Alert: it's awesome.

Let me take you through my process and explain exactly why I think it's awesome.

I have been obsessed with clay/mud masks since I tried a sample of a high end mud mask I got in a Sephora order. It was so luxurious and made my face feel so good. But I couldn't justify $42 for the amount of mask I'd be getting, so I've been searching for alternatives.

The Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask claims to "actively remove impurities and deeply cleanse" skin, and is made with Willow bark, which is a natural source of salicylic acid, which "helps refine skin texture and actively target imperfections." I do struggle with uneven skin texture, large pores and spots where my skin isn't quite right.

From the Influenster product card: "Treat your skin to deep cleansing with this mineral-rich clay mask. Designed for use on normal skin, the unscented, hypo-allergenic formula absorbs excess oil and deeply cleanses skin. The oceanic clay exhibits a negative electrical charge, which helps to draw out impurities without overdrying, leaving your skin feeling softer and smoother."

Like most masks I've tried, this one says to apply to cleansed skin, so I started by washing my face with this Bioré Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser.

Now I have a love/hate relationship with this cleanser. I love the warming effect. It feels so good on my skin. But the product itself is really thick and hard to lather up, and the microbeads tend to irritate my skin if I rub too hard. I think I need to find a more gentle everyday cleanser.

Now I am about to lay it all out on the line for you people. Here I am, post-cleansing and sans-makeup:

Okay. Maybe not so bad. But let's get up close and personal.

Here you can see just how uneven my skin is. The enlarged pores on my nose and cheeks. The tiny bumps on my chin and forehead. Not to mention the tiny breakouts I have going on right now. Yuck.

Okay. Moving on. Let's get to this mask already.

The first thing I noticed was how much thinner this mask is in comparison to other masks I've tried. I actually needed to shakeup the tube because when I tried to squeeze some product out, all I got was liquid. However, despite the shaking, this product went on so nicely. The thin formula actually made it a little easier to spread on my face.

The thin formula also cut down on drying time. I'd say I put a fairly thick layer on my face and by the time I got around to taking this photo--maybe 30 seconds after application--the edges were already drying. Niceee.

It felt really good--it was smooth and it didn't have any weird or strong smells like some of the others I've tried. I was also really pleased at how it didn't tingle or burn when I applied it to my skin. A few of the others I've tried felt as though my skin was on fire while it was still wet. Maybe due to their perfumes or the ingredients themselves. (The burning wasn't allergies--many reviews of those masks described the same thing. Just an effect of the mask itself.) But this mask was so nice. No burning, no tingling, no watery eyes or using a blow dryer to make it dry faster so the burning would stop. It was relaxing.

It says to let it dry for about 10 minutes, and I might have left it for 15-20 (I was watching TV and waiting for a commercial!) But by the time it was dry and I was ready to rinse it off, my face was pretty tight and difficult to move--a good thing when it comes to a mask for me. Just that one little spot above my eyebrow hadn't fully dried, but I had a pretty thick glob of product right there.

I love how you can really see on my nose where it settled into my pores and really drew out the gross that was all up in there. I LOVE that.

After rinsing, my face felt significantly softer and smoother. Obviously this mask didn't cure my texture issues with just one use, but I can see a significant difference in my skin, and I think with repeated use, coupled with some other products, this mask could really help me with that.

Overall, I am thrilled with this mask. I love that it's easy to apply, quick to dry and doesn't feel like it's burning or tingling as it dries. I really love that this mask isn't full of crazy chemicals and perfumes. The ingredients are literally sea silt (natural oceanic clay), water and willow bark extract--with just a couple preservatives to elongate its shelf life. This mask gets a two thumbs up from me, and I'll be using this tube until it's bone-dry.

As I said before, I got this sample in the J'adore VoxBox from Influenster. Influenster is this awesome program where you can sign up, review products and connect with social media in order to raise your Influenster score. When your score is high enough, you can qualify for samples and VoxBoxes like the one I received. If you're interested in joining Influenster, comment below for an e-mail invitation. I don't get anything if you use my link to sign up, but I think it affects both of our Influenster scores for the better.

I hope you guys have a great weekend. Be on the lookout for my upcoming February Faves post. :)

Allyson Rae

FTC Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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