The Salicylate-Free, AD-Safe Face Mask That Hits the Age Rewind Button.
Before I found out about my salicylate sensitivity, I was a bit of a skincare junky. Okay, “a bit” is an understatement. If somebody was talking about it and it was gluten-free, I bought it. I would collect skincare products until they were overflowing onto the bathroom floor and Brian could barely find his way from the toilet to the sink. (Thanks Bri for putting up with me!) When my stash got out of hand, which was usually abut once every few months, I would do what I liked to call a “minimalist purge,” and hash out all the lesser used of sensitive-skin enemy products to my more “normal-skinned” friends and family—although let’s be honest, true minimalism is not buying so many unnecessary products in the first place, and ridding of much more than I would at a time. But we’ll let that one slide and move on to the actual point of this blog post; the best face mask I have ever used.
During my skincare junky faze, I tried practically every popular gluten-free face mask imaginable. From the cult-favorite Glam Glow mud masks to the $70 Charlotte Tilbury “Goddess” Skin Clay mask, which boasted itself to be the secret behind youthful celebrity red-carpet skin, I tried them all. And don’t get me wrong, I saw results. With the Charlotte Tilbury mask, there was a very subtle tightening to the skin and minimizing pores for a few hours. With the Glam Glow SuperMud mask, there was definitely some raw burning, which at the time I misunderstood to be proof of some kind of effectiveness. But there was never an instant, game-changing result to any of the masks. Of course, I understood that with skincare it is normal to take time to see some results, sometimes two weeks, sometimes even a month or two. And so, I continued using the masks that worked for my skin, all the while convincing myself that taking the time to wear a face mask once a week was totally worth it, as there must be amazing results over time.
Then I discovered my salicylate sensitivity. And boom, the world ended. It was like the beauty-guru apocalypse. For those of you reading this that have salicylate sensitivity or live a salicylate-free lifestyle for diseases such as Fibromyalgia, you know what I’m talking about already. For those of you who don’t, let’s give you an idea. Salicylate is. In. EVERYTHING. Seriously though, they are in 95% percent of beauty products from skin to nails to hair and makeup, 95% of cleaning and house-ware products, and even in what I would estimate to be 85% of food. It’s ridiculous. I never realized how much salicylate is swarming around every inch of our lives. No wonder my dermatitis wouldn’t stay under control no matter how many allergy meds they tried on me. It’s like finding out you’re allergic to electronics in 2016. Yeah, boom, apocalypse, exactly.
And so I went on a painstaking mission to discover the best salicylate-free skincare and makeup products, determined to prove that those of us with the sensitivity could still have an equal beauty routine and keep our skin just as ageless as was possible with the more popular mainstream products containing salicylate. And do you know what I found? Something even better.
In my hunt for good salicylate-free products, I have found a number of incredible products equal to and sometimes better than the products I used in the past. I also learned that our parents had it right – less is more with skincare, not more is more. Yes, the key antioxidants, moisturizing ingredients, exfoliators, and most of all sun protection are important to have the healthiest, youngest skin. However, all these grossly marketed and advertised excess ingredients, which made ingredient lists so long you have to scroll down in the Sephora Description, are not actually necessary. Instead, more is more of the KEY ingredients, and additives can be pore clogging, skin-irritating, and often just a useless waste of space where there could be more of the active ingredients.
And one of the salicylate-free products I’ve discovered is not only better than any other product of its kind – its possibly the best age-reversing skincare product I’ve ever used (aside from daily sunscreen, of course, but that’s just age-preventing, and what about the 10 years we spent in the sun BEFORE we realized we should have listened to our mothers?). This too-good-to-be-true product I speak of? The Cleure Refining Facial Mask with Kaolin Clay and Dead Sea Mud.
Now, I’m going to be honest here. When I first read about the Clay Mask on the Cleure site, I had my doubts for sure. In fact, I think I put the product in my basket three different times before actually clicking “buy.” I just sort of figured the ingredient list was too short for an effective mask, not to mention I had tried so many clay masks before I went salicylate-free that hasn’t succeeded at any of their promised effects, that I figured this one wouldn’t be worth the half of the price it was of the other “better,” high-end masks. But finally one day, after being impressed with a number of Cleure’s other salicylate and gluten free products, I gave in and decided to give the mask a try. And the results were magical.
When I first received my Cleure box and picked up the mask inside, I was unimpressed. I picked up the small container and shook it around, watching the solid glob of clay inside shake around, and I felt disappointed. No wonder the mask was half the price of others, it’s a total waste, I thought. But I decided to give it a try. I gave my face a good massage with the Cleure exfoliating scrub to get all the dead skin off so the mask could really do it’s job, and then opened to tiny-looking plastic container. When I first tried to rub the mask around my face, I was quite frankly irritated. I had to dig my fingers into the block of clay to get a chunk off. It was like trying to rub pieces of dry play-do onto your cheeks. It took a TON of work. Once I had finally built up a good layer around my entire face, I sat down to catch a youtube make-up tutorial I’d been wanting to watch while I waited for the mask to do it’s job. The description says to “apply generously over clean face and neck, wait for 10-15 minutes, rinse with water and pat dry.” I gave it the full 15. The whole time I was sitting there, I could feel my face getting tighter and tighter as the mask dried.
By the time the fifteen minutes were up, my face was practically glued in place with my mouth hanging slightly open. But there was no stinging or tingling what-so-ever, as I had grown accustomed to with past masks. This mask was not irritating at all. In fact, the tightness felt quite good. Being someone with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, the increase of blood flow that it brought to my face actually felt really good, almost relieving. When I rinsed the mask off, which took a bit of a scrub but was not too difficult — I had certainly used my fair share of masks which were much harder to take off— I looked in the mirror and was truly amazed at what I saw. My skin looked like it had when I was sixteen! It was incredibly soft, tight, and almost pore-less. Like a babies fricken’ butt. And let me just say, I have a pretty complicated, pore-filled T-zone. But not today. It looked amazing! There wasn’t any redness or raw skin, instead my skin looked healthy, plump, and glowing. The fine-lines on my forehead were so plumped up they were virtually non-existent.
What’s more? The results didn’t just last a few hours. My face was tight like this for a few days. It relaxed eventually, but incredibly slowly, and by the next week when it was fully back to it’s old, laxed and liney-forehead state, it was time to use the mask again. I have now been using the mask once a week for two months, and the long-term results are just as incredible as the short term. I really see a big difference in the texture and elasticity of my EDS type 3 skin. The increased blood flow this face mask provides during usage, combined with the fact that it stimulated collagen production has brought my skin back to life and done some serious age-reversing. I’m not longer self-conscious about pre-mature sagging skin due to my diseases.
There are a few tips I want to give you before you purchase the mask. The first is to be prepared, for the mask is difficult to rub onto your skin. However, if you take a clump between a few of your fingers and warm it up before rubbing it in, it will be easier to work with. The second tip is to leave the mask on no longer than 20 minutes. I once got caught up in a show I was watching and let the mask sit on for about 40 minutes, and when I washed it off I could actually see the red blood vessels in my face because I had allowed the mask to sit there tightening and stimulated too much blood flow. The vessels calmed down after a few hours, of course, and my skin looked great, but I still would absolutely not recommend doing it, just in case. And besides, there’s no need when your skin looks great after just 15 minutes. Other than that, I say run and buy the Cleure Refining Facial Mask! I suggest it particularly for those with EDS and POTS who want to bring back elasticity and blood flow to their face, and all my salicylate and gluten-free peeps. That being said, I truly believe this mask gives better results than those on the market that do have gluten or salicylate in them and so I suggest them to anyone looking to take 7 years off their face in 15 minutes! If you do try the mask, let me know how you like it in the comments below! Or feel free to suggest other gluten-free and salicylate-free masks you love for other readers to try!
With great love,