Working in the beauty industry gives access to high-end and professional products, which is all very well (and most of the time they do what it says on the tin) but it’s always nice when you find drugstore brands that keep to their promises and deliver to your expectations. I think I may’ve just found such a product…
Right now, it’s all about feeding my skin and trying to hydrate it as best I can. I have a constant struggle with dehydration, especially at this time of year and it just makes things that little bit more inconvenient: my make up doesn’t last like it usually does and I develop such a shine through out the day that I feel really self-conscious.
Here’s the science bit everyone should know: skin only benefits from around 20% of the fluid and nutrients that we ingest within our diet. So when we go on about drinking loads of water to hydrate our skin, yes this is true to a certain extent but the rest of the nutrients our skin needs are best topically applied (through products, etc). In addition to a good skincare routine, the use of serums and masks is a really nice way of boosting and feeding the skin, to give extra nutrients, which can target any current skin concerns.
I’m currently using Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque; I’ve always enjoyed it and I still have plenty left but I’ve used it for years now and I’m wondering what else I might be missing out on! So I’m now on the search for other masks out there that might be cheaper but are equally as good at hydrating my skin, if not better. It was on a recent trip to Superdrug that my friend pointed out the Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb range. She currently uses the day cream and swears by it but I noticed they also had the Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask on sale at 99p a sachet (instead of £1.49), so I grabbed a couple on my way to the till.
The packaging makes it very clear what this mask promises to do and the main thing that attracted me was the fact that it contains hyaluronic acid. This is an absolute hero ingredient when it comes to targeting dehydration and if I ever see it on something, I will always make a beeline for it.
Hyaluronic acid is found throughout the body and acts as a lubricating component in connective-tissues, like ligaments. It is a hydrating agent found in the skin and it also plays a role in the healing and rebuilding of wound tissue. Hyaluronic acid is often used in beauty and skincare products (often present as sodium hyaluronate) and is a fantastic ingredient for hydration because it holds 1000 times its weight in moisture. With this in mind, seeing it included as a key ingredient on such a reasonably priced face mask meant it was coming home with me!
The Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask also includes pomegranate extract (listed as Punica Granatum fruit extract). Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile, they’re packed with antioxidants and also have anti-inflammatory properties. All great stuff if you’re dehydrated!
The back of the packet gave clear step-by-step instructions as to how to use the tissue mask but to be fair, I have seen these used before and it’s not rocket science… just take it out of the packet and you’ll know what to do. When you open the sachet and pull out the folded mask, it’s an ultra-thin tissue with what feels like a gel coating: it’s infused with ‘super hydrating serum’. You smooth it over your face, aligning the eye, nose and mouth holes, peel off the blue protective layer and you’re ready to relax for 15 minutes (it recommends). After taking the mask out of the sachet, I noticed there was a pool of serum left inside, which I’m not going to waste! I thought it would be nice to apply it at night for the rest of the week, so I’ve saved it in the sachet and am storing it in the fridge until it’s all use up. Here’s how the mask looks on (Michael Myers has nothing on me!):
I had a whole evening to relax, so I was never going to take it off after just 15 minutes (I actually ended up keeping it on for nearly 2 hours!). Why limit yourself to 15 minutes: your skin will only absorb as much as it wants to so, if you can, give it all the time it could want. Plus, I looked amazing when wearing it, so I wanted to keep it on as long as possible (much to my husband’s delight)!
I really enjoyed the cool, refreshing feel of the mask and it had a delicate fragrance, which is unnecessary but nice. After about an hour and a half (nearly 2 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy later), the edges of the mask were almost paper dry and starting to lift away from my skin. Clearly if it’s going to start doing that then it’s not going to do much else for my skin, plus I was almost ready for bed, so I took it off.
In the directions for use, it does say that you can massage in any excess serum or wipe it off with cotton wool but by now it wasn’t necessary, my skin had drank it all up! This could mean one of two things: either my skin is so severely dehydrated that it drank the mask dry OR leaving the mask on for longer actually means your skin gets more benefit from it and perhaps their suggestion of 15 minutes is a little on the stingy side? I hate wastage and like to get the most out of my products, regardless of how cheap or expensive they were. I don’t tend to do a face mask unless I have plenty of time to relax, because for me it’s pampering time, so my masks always have at least half an hour to absorb.
The down sides:
- This mask claims to be suitable for even sensitive skins but, if you read the list of ingredients, it does contain parfum/fragrance, which is an irritant with some sensitive and sensitised skins, so be warned: if you are on the delicate side, this might irritate you.
- This product contains parabens (Methylparaben and propylparaben). Parabens are a preservative ingredient: preservatives are essential for the shelflife of our products but parabens got a bad reputation around 2004 when they were falsely linked to breast cancer. This has since been disproved. Parabens are actually a natural product, derived from an acid that is produced in raspberries and blackberries. Either way, there are arguments for and against and it’s up to you whether you prefer to use products with or without parabens.
- Product ingredients are listed in order of abundance. This means that the first ingredient in the list is the one that there is most of and the last ingredient in the list is the one that there is a least of. Sadly, the key ingredients of this face mask (hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract) are very low down the list, meaning that their activity is diluted by all that comes before them.
You can’t review a product without looking at every side of it. I like to be honest and objective about reviews, so you really can make your own mind up but having said all of the above, I love this mask. It was really pleasant to wear, even for the whole two hours! It was comfortable, refreshing and relaxing. But the best bit of all was when I took it off: I have NEVER seen my skin as hydrated and plump as when I took this mask off. I was literally floored. Dehydrated skin classically produces papery fine lines and creases when it’s nudged with the finger and I haven’t seen my skin without these lines for over a decade. After removing the mask, I physically couldn’t create these creases in my skin, no matter how much I poked and prodded; they had literally disappeared! Amazing.
So I’m all happy and bouncy and excited at my 99p miracle (and my husband’s pleased I finally took it off) but there’s still more to the test: was my skin just that good straight after the mask or did it last into the next day(s)? When I woke up the next morning my skin was still just as plump and hydrated. By about lunchtime it looked a little more like its old self: I could create slight creases on the skin when I lifted it but it’s certainly much improved. The packet claims to give you a week of hydration in just one application but I’m not convinced my skin is going to stay looking this plump for an entire week (there are obviously other things I need to do to help the hydration of my skin and a mask alone isn’t going to sort me out) but for a once a week booster I think this is fantastic and very good value for money. I’m really impressed by the impact this product has had on my skin and, considering the price of it, I’m definitely going to go and stock up!
Do you have any drugstore saviours? What are your key products to boost your skin’s hydration? I’d love to hear what your hero products are!
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