One thing I’ve learnt I can’t live without in my quest for flawless skin is a good clay-based face mask. I was never really bothered about masks, they always felt like an added extra, more of an indulgence than a necessity (if you’ve read my “Choosing the right products” post, you’ll know I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to adding products to my routine). But recently, I’ve totally changed my view on face masks, and they have now become a firm part of my beauty arsenal.
I’m talking about a specific type of mask though: the clay-based variety that draw blemish-causing impurities from the skin. This type of mask helps to combat blemishes that have already formed and also draw out the dirt and grime that is building in your pores, waiting to produce spots that you don’t even know about yet.
I use both of these masks, so I thought I’d compare one at the luxury end of the market and another in the budget beauty category.
First there’s mask the luxury option, the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask. The moor mud in the mask draws out impurities and clears congestion in the pores, without being drying, while the minerals in the mud (which include calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper) revitalise the skin, even the tone and mattify the complexion.
The mask comes in a heavy glass jar, along with a little scooper. The mask itself is a dark grey colour. It is very thick, and has some darker grey and black granules in it. I really like the smell – lots of essential oils. The scoop is also handy, because it keeps everything very hygienic (I hate putting my fingers into pots of products), and it also makes it easy to measure out the amount you need. I’d say I need 1 and a half scoops to cover my face. I like to place a warm Muslim cloth over my face before applying the mask, to very slightly dampen my face and open my pores. Then I apply it quite generously, and leave it for 20 minutes or until it’s dry if I have time. There is a strong tingling sensation when first applied, but its not unpleasant and it wears off quite quickly. I try to let the mask dry fully if possible, because it is an expensive product and I like to feel like I’ve used it properly. Then I simply rinse off. You can use a muslin cloth to take it off if you like, but I prefer to just use water.
The second mask I use is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash and Mask, which is a MUCH cheaper option. This is actually a 2-in-1 product, which you can either use as you would a conventional cleanser with water, or apply it in a thicker layer and use it as a mask to cleanse your pores more deeply. I don’t love it as a cleanser, so I mainly stick to using it as a mask, but it does work well with a Clarisonic, and it contains salicylic acid, which I like as an acne fighting ingredient.
The Neutrogena mask comes in a large tube, and you just squeeze out the amount you need and spread it in a generous layer over your face. I like this, because it’s easy to control how much comes out, and it’s very hygienic. I find I need a decent sized blob to do my whole face. It’s a thick white/light grey cream with quite a clayey texture (obi!). It’s much less thick than the Omorovicza, which is basically set in the pot. I like the smell of this one too. It’s a hard one to describe, it’s not exactly minty, but it’s along those lines; very clean smelling. I personally put a thickish layer all over my face and then leave it on for about 20 mins again or until it’s dry.
The most obvious difference between these two products is the price. The Neutrogena mask is a high street/drug store buy, which you can pick up in your weekly grocery shop and still have change from a fiver. The Omorovicza mask is a much more of a luxury purchase, and retails at £57.
In terms of results, I have to give it to the Omorovicza. However, the Neutrogena is still very effective for the price. I use the Omorovicza maximum twice a week, when I really need it, but I don’t necessarily use it regularly. It is quite expensive, so I normally get it out when I’m feeling very congested and regular cleansing isn’t cutting it. It is very potent though. Lots of reviewers say that they see pimples come up for a day or two after using it because it has drawn so much to the surface. I’ve never had that happen to me, but I do find it very effective on those stubborn (under-the-skin) spots that don’t respond to acne treatments. It kinda pulls everything to the surface, which gets rid of the root or cause of the blemish. Nothing else, short of a facial, has been as effective for me on that type of spot. But I still wouldn’t risk using this before a big event in case it does break me out.
You need to persevere a bit more with the Neutrogena mask, and you won’t see such dramatic results, but the good thing is that it is cheap enough to use more often. It’s a bit unfair to compare these two, because they are in a different league, but I think the Neutrogena is a great place to start. That’s what I did – I started off with the Neutrogena mask, before I got hooked on deep cleansing masks in general and then upgraded to Omorovicza. I’ve used the Neutrogena loads and I am on my second tube. So it’s a good one if you’re hesitant about trying some of the more expensive masks on the market.
If you can afford it, I would say that the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is one of the best clay-based masks out there at the moment. But if you can’t, but you still want something to help treat those stubborn blemishes, I’d give the Neutrogena 2-in-1 a go.
I also have a few samples of the Eve Lom Rescue Mask, which I’m looking forward to trying. I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Another one I’d like to get my hands on is Glam Glow. It’s been a bit of cult hit, so I want to know if it lives up to the hype.
Have you tried either of these? Do you have any other favourite masks?