I am for sure having one of those weeks where pretty much everything is out of order. No balance, lots of new realities to take in and fighting the clock (and the full moon) for sleep. On top of this I’m also having one of those weeks, which of course shows up on my skin. Battling zits the site of Mt. Everest is not fun. It hurts and pulls under the skin and as we have discussed over at IG during the week: it lower the self-esteem by several steps.
Being highly interested in skincare and beauty doesn’t automatically mean that you have clear and perfect skin. For myself, it is a daily struggle, with medication and hormones playing against me. When these awful weeks appear, all I can do is to cleanse, mask, use my acids which I LOVE and make sure to hydrate the skin as much as possible. It might sound like a contradiction, but the more I slap on face oils and hydrating, nourishing creams, the faster my breakouts will calm down.
As you already know by now, I’m a regular user of the brand Herbal Essentials. I first came across it while stalking my local pharmacy for something new and interesting to try. Where I grew up, we are spoilt with amazingly clean spring water, I always took it for granted! As a child, I could run around in the forrest and it wasn’t dangerous to drink the water straight out of a streamlet. We were lucky.
Naturally, and especially since moving to the desert, I’ve come to treasure the quality of cold clean spring water enormously; and this is why I fell in love with Herbal Essentials.
All their products are based upon spring water taken from the foot of the Himalayan mountains. In order to hold its high quality, it has to pass through sand and rocks for over 20 years before it reaches the wadi. The water is not touched by human hand or processed in any kind and directly flown to Germany, where all of the brand’s products are being manufactured.
Himalayan spring water is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium; all which we get to enjoy by adding these wonderful products to our faces!
For a period of time now, I’ve had the chance of testing the new Herbal Essentials Papaya & Honey Face Mask. This is as fresh as a mask can possibly become! Its shelf life is only 3 months, letting me know that it is free form pretty much everything that we don’t need: it is paraben-free, paraffin-free, sulphate and soap-free!
This detoxifying clay mask is based on the principles of Ayurveda, where the company strives to uphold well-being, harmony and balance for our skin and body.
The mask is said to do a whole lot of things: lighten and brighten the skin, lock in moisture and prevent dehydration, help to reduce unwanted facial hair (?) exfoliate, repair damaged skin, moisturise and heal aggravated skin. Quite frankly: that’s a whole lot of claims to fulfill.
Let’s take a look at the INCI-list to see whether it can meet the claims shall we.
First and foremost, the mask contains Kaolin (clay), also known as China Clay, White clay or Aluminium silicate. The clay is found in hot, humid climates and holds a vast number of benefits: it is highly absorbant and therefore reduces the production of sebum as well as clearing the pores of dirt, oil, pollutants and other impurities. It contains a high amount of Silica, which assist in removing dead skin cells and by that expose new, fresh skin. It is very mineral-rich it has long been used to treat minor cuts, soars, skin inflammations and insect bites. Due to its thick texture it is the perfect delivery mechanism to other active ingredients as it sits firmly on the skin and create the mask. This clay might be a bit strong for super-dry skin, but is gentle and recommended for sensitive skin. With this, we can check off a lot of healing and purifying, as well as detoxifying properties off our list!
Over to Sesamum Indicum Oil wich is a masterpiece of its own. Rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin A it gives us anti-ageing properties, emollients and a very good antioxidant shield. It feels like I can recite the whole Periodic Table when this oil is also known to hold phosphorus, copper, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Maybe I should just eat the damn mask instead? Just kidding. Sesame oil is fast absorbing and helps to lock in moisture as well as help prevent dehydration (aha!) and it also assist in neutralise the oxygen radicals beneath the skin’s surface. With it’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it prevents acne from building (it actually has oil-pulling effect despite being an oil) and calm down the skin. Yes please!
More oil to come: Sunflower seed oil. More Vitamin E, more anti-oxidants and cell regenerating properties as well as moisture lock for our skin. It is known to reduce sun damage and reduce scars. I get scarring from my minor acne bumps and need assistance with this part. Of course, as the mask claims to have such good impact on our hydration balance, it also holds Glycerin.
As the name tells us, there is a high amount of fresh Papaya Fruit Extract in the mask. This enzyme works as an exfoliator more like a chemical one. The skin gets lighter and brighter as the top layer and dead skin cells are being removed. I can see the lustre and sheen peaking through. With some addition of Glycolic Acid, this mask really make sure to work my skin like a vacuum cleaner.
Also in the name of this mask is Honey. It pretty much stands for everything that’s anti in this world: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic. Honey sooth the skin, calms it down and prevents dehydration with it’s thick texture. It repairs our damaged skin and when I have blocked pores and acne I know it will settle the inflammation without being harsh or invasive. Sometimes I just buy Manuka Honey and put it on my blemishes and it works just fine.
Obviously, the INCI-list is extensive (and fully disclosed, thank you very much) but the last ingredient on the list that I want to mention is Aloe Vera Juice. We all know it, this cactus plant holds a secret liquid that is formidable in healing wounds, soothing and treat the skin. Our late Grandmother always used a toothpaste that contained aloe vera to protect her gum!
I cleanse my face, use some facial mist and then add a thick layer of the mask, which look and feels like butter (almost like a rich body butter) and let it sit for 20 minutes. (Instructions says 10..) Then I cleanse it off using warm water and a sponge chief.
I absolutely LOVE this mask. It is fresh, holds amazing ingredients, doesn’t smell of perfume and agrees with my sensitive skin. It treats and heals my acne (and scars) and my dehydration gets some though resistance. I don’t know about the claim of reducing facial hair, I personally can’t see any difference or detect it by looking at the ingredients. Other than that we actually get what’s been promised!
Herbal Essentials shop worldwide via their website shop, but in the ME you’ll find the full range in any upscale pharmacies. Everytime I try a new product from the brand I get amazed. Yes, it is “natural” but sold in the pharmacies, it is on the PETA “beauty without Bunny”-list and therefore cruelty-free but what I also really appreciate is the fact that as it’s made in Germany by Bramble Germany GmbH it is also validated and licensed by the well known Dermatological Research Institute Dermtest GmbH. This brand is not a mumbo-jumbo Ayurvedic flower-power all natural kind of game. It is nature and science, well licensed and produced with the finest ingredients there is.
That Luxurious Feeling all the way ♥
Product provided for review consideration
Also in the picture: Shaye & Blue Framboise Noir. Niche fragrancy at it’s finest.