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28 Aug 2013

No7 Beautiful Skin Pore Vacuum Mask - review

The latest in pore-reducing miracle cures :-)


Given my recent dabbling with salicylic acid (for more see here) and a few interesting reviews of this stuff, I decided I'd give it a go.  Into Boots I went and out I came with just this and (cough, ahem) absolutely nothing else whatsoever (blinks rapidly).

Sludge green!  Very on-trend!

This is a peel-y-off-y type mask, as in a mask/masque you apply, let it dry, then peel it off - not a "peel" in the sense of a chemical peel.  It's a dark sludgy green colour (perfectly matching this Autumn's trend shades then!)

So I tried it on my currently-oilier-than-usual skin, just on the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) in the hope that it would further reduce some congestion lurking there.  And that it did, but holy crap was my skin sore afterwards.

The deal is that you put this stuff on, let it dry for 10 minutes, then peel it off.  The reality is that, as anyone who is used to using peel-off masques knows, you need to apply a thick enough layer of it in order to ensure it'll peel off, and not just flake away in little annoying pieces when you try to remove it later.  So I gave it closer to 15 minutes to dry fully for not unsuitably thick layer, and it could have had another 3-5 I think, to be fully 100% dry.

With a decent enough layer of it, it certainly peels off;  it has a strange texture actually - it's feels and sounds like you're pulling paper away from your skin, like a very thin masking tape actually.  If you look very hard, you can see all the gunk coming away with it (sorry, but it's one of those reviews!)

It doesn't just stop at the gunk, however.  My skin was absolutely red raw from this stuff - not sore per se, but absolutely raw, like it was sandblasted, and red like it was sunburned.  The area underneath where the peel had been was absolutely Sahara Dessert dry, dessicated to hell-and-back, and my forehead was left looking dry and flaky.  Instantly.  And very very red.  It wasn't sensitive to other products (serum, moisturiser etc) afterwards, but boy could I feel my skin for hours later for all that.

Ingredients-wise, it's alcohol, alcohol, alcohol based with some with hazel and various acids thown into the mix (including salicylic).  Top note on the nose most certainly is alcohol :-)  I'd be concerned that it essentially is little more than a clay mask with lots of astringents thrown in for good measure to "dry up" oils, which is never a good idea, and usually results in oil over-production in the skin to counteract it.

It's recommended, like any exfoliating scrub/masque, to be used one-two times a week.  It's marketed as hypo-allergenic and per the packaging, it's not recommended for "very dry skin".  I have combination skin with  slightly-oilier-than-usual t-zone at the moment, so this should have worked fine for me.  Did it remove the congestion?  Yes.  Did it remove excess oils?  Yes.  Along with every tiny bit of moisture in my skin.  The day after, the redness had finally abated, but I had broken out in a few tiny spots where I'd used it.  Not for me personally at least then.  As a result, I'm not 100% certain I'd recommend this, but it has received good reviews, so perhaps if your skin really is really very incredibly oily it might work for you.

If you're interested, look here for more info.

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