Perhaps it’s not so much “acne” as a breakout, and maybe Prednisone had nothing to do with it, but the bottom line is – as soon as I received my first IV steroid infusion in the hospital, my skin rebelled. I went off that and onto oral Prednisone of varying doses, back onto a 5-day course of IV infusions, and then onto Uceris, a different sort of steroid. In between, among and around and after all of that, I’ve been “enjoying” my other prescription cocktails. UC has been laughing in my face and I’ve been crying into the mirror. No longer, however. The first rule of getting better is taking steps to feel better, and appearance is hugely important when it comes to your self-esteem and positive mental outlook. So here goes, I am reviewing three heavy-hitting, skin-clearing, complexion-boosting facial masks (guys, these are for you too). And no, when it comes to your face (and UC) a drug-store brand just won’t cut it.
The first: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
I’ve got fair combination skin, slightly sensitive, and this puppy proved too strong for me. It’s also an eye-watering, skin-stretching process to remove the darn stuff once it dries and adheres. However, if your skin is a bit sturdier and your pores haven’t enjoyed a good detox in years, go for it. It retails for $34 for a 2.8 bottle at Sephora (you can likely find it elsewhere too) and a little goes a long way. It’s like painting your face with a black, tarry oil and then waiting for it to dry. Once dry, you pick up the edges and literally peel it off your face, a sore but satisfying and grotesquely cool process. And though it irritated my skin overall, it did what it promised to do – yanked out my blackheads and gave me a just-from-the-spa glow complete with a really smooth complexion. I broke out a little more after (tends to happen when you bring impurities to the surface) and I think, had I not been red and irritated, my skin would’ve cleared up and settled down nicely.
The second: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
This contender proved to be the most mild. So if your skin is going crazy, is super-sensitive and you’re hesitant to mess with it, this is your product. Another plus, Sephora carries it in two sizes ($16 for 1.7 oz) so you won’t break the bank. For the holidays I believe they’re even offering a little set of 4 sample pods for just $8. It’s not as goopy as the Boscia mask, and you need to wash it off after with a facecloth, it doesn’t peel away. I applied the sample I received and let it dry for about 45 minutes. And it still wasn’t dry (and believe me, I applied a very light layer). My skin felt very tight, however, and though I couldn’t see any oil dots on the surface of the clay/charcoal, I could tell something was working. Alas, no vast improvement either way. My skin didn’t get worse, but didn’t get better. My vote? If you are highly sensitive and seeking something that won’t send you into a rash or hives, try this before anything else. (Maybe try a test patch first, just in case).
The third (and the winner!): GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment
This baby is by far the priciest option ($69 for a 1.2 oz jar)! HOWEVER, it delivers all that it promises and then some. It did not irritate my fickle skin, it went on much like the Origins charcoal mask, it sucked my pores dry of dirt and debris and brought all of that crap right up to the surface of the mask where I could see the little dotted results of thwarted breakouts, and it left me smooth and radiant post-wash. This stuff even promises to treat razor bumps and in-grown hairs (ahem, gentlemen), because not only does it detox, it HEALS. Now that’s a word we UC-sufferers like. I’d heard about this baby for awhile but remained skeptical thanks to its price tag. Now that I’ve been brought to my knees, I see the light. It’s bad enough we’re sick to our guts, why tolerate such punishment elsewhere when we can do something about it? Your skin is your largest organ, and you only get one face. Might as well pamper it while you can!