One of the things I love the most about May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver is that it gives me an excuse to treat myself for 45 minutes. That’s 45 minutes of sipping tea and reading Murakami’s insane IQ84 with a jet-black, spicy, chocolate-y, wet cookie infusion sitting on my face. Or watching my new show obsession, Scandal, as this mask tightens, warms, and sucks nasties out of my face.
Try not to snort the powder when you’re scooping it out of the jar or mixing it up with your favorite medium (water, for me. It’s simple)–it’s spicy. That’ll be the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Sounds more like a recipe for Christmas cookies, but this one’s not for your taste buds–these spices warm up my face within the first 15 minutes of the mask. Be careful if you’re especially sensitive to spices or sensitive to excessive warmth (definitely have heard that this is a little too spicy for some people). Luckily, my skin does not act out as a result of this “healthy inflammation” once a week and instead seems to signal to itself, “Yo, go heal yourself.”
While cinnamon and cayenne pepper stimulate blood circulation (read: makes your face feel warm, potentially red under that cookie of a mask), nutmeg and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory. All of the spices are anti-acne in some way–cinnamon is battles acne bacteria, turmeric balances sebum production, clove is antiseptic. But for goodness sake, keep this away from your eye sockets unless you want your eyes to sting excruciatingly, speaking from accidental experience.
During the 45 minutes, you may notice black specks appear on your shirt, your laptop, your desk, and it’s okay–you can just wipe them away. Or wear a towel bib if you don’t want to bother (I have done this). Along with the warm feeling, fuller’s earth clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, and bamboo carbon charcoal powder squeeze and tighten up my face, leaving no place for nasties. The clays are rich in minerals such as calcium, silica, and iron which help to detoxify and draw out impurities, as Evan Healy, aesthetician and founder of Evan Healy skincare, says.
Rhassoul clay is super absorbent, pulling out unwanted toxins with its high concentration of minerals. Fuller’s earth clay (a mix of sodium/calcium bentonite) swells and produces an electric charge that draws out toxins and binds them to the clay–just add water. Bamboo carbon charcoal powder also helps to suck up excess oil and draw out toxins through its ability to attract and hold harmful substances (Google “bamboo carbon charcoal powder” and “adsorption” and various studies about using this powder to remove phenol and nitrate-nitrogen from water pop up).
At the end, you’ll have a gray cast over your face that your mom will laugh at (and then eagerly ask if it will tighten her pores) and if you laugh back, it may crack, so try to be serious. You’ll probably be able to see little air dots from your pores and maybe wet spots where the clays have drawn out a whitehead (score!)
I reach for this mask when I want 45 minutes of time-out. Time-out from work, from pimples. At the end, I’m revived, I’m rested, I can shower (definitely recommend to rinse off in shower–can be a mess) and dry my hair as I finish the rest of my work. If I’m lucky, I end up with one less pimple. I sometimes end up a little rosier than usual, but that is temporary.
A few more interesting ingredients: Cacao. Antioxidants. Is it enough cacao for antioxidants (like have you had enough wine for antioxidants)? Don’t know. Hasn’t hurt.
Ascorbic acid. Is my skin brighter afterwards from the extra vitamin C? Can’t really say. It’s not darker, for sure.
Gotu kola. Wound-healing, antioxidant-boosting, stimulating. Affirmative and cool name for a plant that is related to parsley.
tl;dr Spicy cocoa meets clays & charcoal makes detoxifying and healing mask that jives well with my combo-acneic skin. Be careful if you’re sensitive to spices. Favorite mask for 45 min of time-out. About price for size: it’s a big jar. Also, May Lindstrom is a major babe.
Have you tried this mask? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your favorite time-out mask?
Ingredients: fuller’s earth clay, red moroccan rhassoul clay, theobroma cacao (raw cacao)**, red alaea sea salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), sodium bicarbonate, bamboo carbon charcoal powder, vanilla planifolia bean*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower*, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, boswellia carteri (frankincense)***, centella asiatica (gotu kola)*, archangelica (angelica) root*, cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)*, myristica fragans (nutmeg)*, syzygium aromaticum (clove)*, curcuma longa (turmeric)*, capsicum annuum (cayenne) pepper*.
**Fair Trade Certified
Disclaimer: I purchased this mask myself during a No More Dirty Looks promotion where each order included a sneak peek at the not-yet-but-now-released Honey Mud. I am not being compensated in any way for my words. This post contains affilate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Allison, Rhonda. “Understanding Inflammation: The Root Cause Of Skin Aging.” Skin, Inc 26.3 (2014): 54-58. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 21 July 2014.
Dalai, Manoj K., et al. “Anti-Cholinesterase Activity Of The Standardized Extract Of Syzygium Aromaticum L.” Pharmacognosy Magazine 10.38/S2 (2014): S276-S282. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.
Rubino, Jessica. “Ayurvedic SKIN CARE.” Delicious Living 30.6 (2014): 43-44. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.
Wallace, Bevin. “Facial Clays Primer.” Natural Foods Merchandiser 30.11 (2009): 26. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 July 2014.