[Freeman's Facial Hydration Mask & Clay Mask (RM16.90 each)]
First of all, who can resist the packaging on these. Really. They even look like they're going to give your skin a boost of pure nutrition that will make all the problems we have inflicted on it so much better. Apparently I am easily attracted to bright colours. This is definitely the process of organic neural decay setting in, i.e. I am getting old and my brain doesn't remember what it used to like (black...just black).
Back to these!
I was on YouTube when I came across a video about how the Clay Mask is absolutely amazing, and since I have an oily T-Zone, at around RM17, it's definitely worth a shot right? I've tried these out a few times now because there were some very strange reactions the first time I tried them (I used them successively). To be sure, I used them with different permutations and got the answer as to what on earth was happening.
First up, the Clay Mask itself:
[Freeman's Clay Mask]
The ingredients list is really quite mild. It's definitely not your paraben-free, hippie stuff, but it's definitely not loaded with stuff you shouldn't have anywhere near you. Definitely not as bad as Coke, so I don't see why not. The Enabler was with me when I bought this, and she pointed out the fact that it had colouring. I'm not sure why it needs colouring either, but I'm guessing it's to give it that guacamole-like look since avocado oil only has a mild hint of green to it.
It's more of a mint green though, so I really don't know what they were attempting to achieve with the colouring, but we shall stop discussing that now. It's racist. As for the smell, it's really quite pleasant. It's definitely not a natural scent, but not in an unpleasant way. To me it smells like coconut and almond, neither of which appear to be in the list of ingredients, so they've either picked some random scent to go into it, or my nose is misbehaving.
It squeezes out of the tube and the product itself is really quite thick. You don't need a lot of it because it does spread quite easily. Strangely, the packaging doesn't state how long you should leave it on for, just "Let dry and rinse with warm water", so I didn't pass the 10-minute mark with it. It dries to a finish that semi-paralyses your face if you put too much on. The first time I had it on, I couldn't smile. I wanted to send people pictures of my face with green stuff all over it and my attempt at smiling just looked like I was grimacing in severe agony. I used less the second time round, so it was not nearly as bad. Remember, use just enough to cover the area with a thin layer. More isn't going to give you more results. It's just going to take longer to dry, and that means you are going to leave it on for far longer than you really should causing it to extract the moisture that you really need in there in order to stop producing excess sebum. It's a vicious cycle. Stop it!
Anyway, once I got the mask off, it was amazing. My pores were clear and tightened, and it brought the deeper blackheads up to the surface so that I could squeeze them up with just my fingers in order to clear the stubborn bits out. I was really, really happy with the results.
[Freeman's Facial Hydration Mask]
This didn't have reviews which were quite as fantastic as the Clay Mask, but hydration is always a good thing! It's got a good chunk of fruit extracts in there and smells quite nice and fruity (again, not naturally so, but not unpleasantly unnatural either). This is supposed be have goji berries (which are a superfood by the way) in it, but all I can smell are strawberries. Granted, I don't think I know what goji berries smell like, but they added perfume to it, so I'm just blaming them.
It's a translucent gel in a very light-pink shade which goes on smoothly enough. Again, a little goes a long way, so don't over do it. Funnily enough, this tells you to leave it on for 5-10 minutes, which I find strange because I wouldn't think a time limit on hydration would be as crucial as a time limit on extraction. As the Enabler asked me not too long ago, "Can your skin be too hydrated?". I don't think so since quite a large proportion of our physical make up is water. We're like solidified oceans. Maybe they just don't want you to have nice skin...who knows?
After washing it off, I definitely felt like my skin was hydrated and nourished. My skin had that plumped up feel to it which made me very happy indeed.
Now, I mentioned that I had some issues with both of these. Let me just talk about that for a bit. The first time I tried these, I was trying out Ginvera's Green Tea Marvel Gel, and when I put the Clay Mask on, there was quite a distinct burning sensation to my face. But I persevered, what's the worst that could have happened? Second in stead of third degree burns? If it's already burning, might as well just keep going. That doesn't apply to STDs by the way...so don't quote me. This is a post on masks!
Right after the burning of the Clay Mask, the goji berry mask stated "Hydrates & Soothes Skin" which I figured was just what I needed. It will soothe my skin.
This was such a lie.
Ohhhh my god, such a lie.
The burning got worse when I put it on. I imagine this is somewhat like what hell feels like. They present you with something that you really love and then they not only kill your soul with the lie, but try to blind you with fumes and burn your face off.
Seriously...what the hell? It wasn't just my skin that was aflame, my eyes were watering and burning too. I have no idea why. The funny part is that after washing both the masks off, my face wasn't any more red than it usually is after a mask, and it looks very nicely cleansed. So I have no idea what's up with that.
After putting some thought into it, I thought that the severe exfoliation from the Marvel Gel might have irritated my skin, so a week later I used my Lancome exfoliator and then followed these same steps. Lo and behold, the Clay Mask yielded a tightening feeling, but that was it. No burning! But the Hydration Mask...I don't know what's in it, but it definitely doesn't go with any form of exfoliation. I had the same reaction to it as I did the first time. Their claim of "soothing" was beginning to seem like an actionable misrepresentation claim waiting to happen.
But, I had to test it one last time. I cleansed my face, not exfoliated, then put the Hydration Mask on (without the Clay Mask before it) to absolutely no averse reaction whatsoever. It truly did feel soothing and nourishing and not like there were little demons in the pink gel slowly unpicking the seams of my face with needles. I'm just assuming this is meant to be a hydration mask that you use on its own. It doesn't like having friends.
All in all, I do really like these products, but I wouldn't recommend them if you have sensitive skin. I don't know if it's the perfume they used in them or the colouring, but it's not something that would suit your skin if it reacts easily. They're also not the best masks to use after deep exfoliation, for me at least, so this might be a good option for those of you who use very light exfoliators.
Would I buy these again? I don't think so. I will, however, definitely use them up. The Hydration Mask feels like it might be a good bet for wearing in the shower, while washing your hair after a good workout. I'm in the process of reviewing a number of different pore cleansing masks (clay, charcoal, mud, etc.) and so far this doesn't fare too badly. For the price, you can't really go wrong starting off with these, they're just definitely not going to be as gentle as pricier products would be. They do get the job done though, and something is always better than nothing.
I bought my set at Caring Pharmacy, but they should be available in all pharmacies, though I'm not sure. I'll get back to you on this.