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Last weekend, two my oldest friends came all the way from London to New York to get married at City Hall (trust me, compared to its British equivalent, this is a romantic option). The groom arrived with a pimple on his nose, well a giant boil really. We had 48 hours to get rid of before the Big Day. I gave him my pot of Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask ($42) and told him to dab on a thick coat of it and leave it overnight. By the time he was ready for the photo op, it had significantly subsided.

Whenever I have a bad skin day I reach for Astara Blue Flame. As a mask or targeted dabber, I find that it’s brilliant for dealing with the kind of spots or rashes that just sit under the skin, lurking with intent.

Astara’s approach to skincare could be summarized as face feeding. The company’s CEO, 60s supermodel Sunny Griffin, would put in a rather more sophisticated way, but essentially we are in hearty agreement: the skin is a living organ and if you feed it the right kind of nutrients, it can recover from almost anything and Blue Flame Mask more than bears out the theory.

The first time that I used it, I had a little crop of under-the-skin spots on my forehead. Ten minutes of Flame Purification Mask and they were gone. Actually gone. Caveat, this is not a product (at least in my experience) for very dry skin. I found, however, that it does an excellent job on the T-zone. If you have oily skin, enlarged pores or problem areas, Blue Flame Purification Mask is for you. You can also dab it onto a zit and leave it overnight.

Bentonite is widely used to absorb proteins in white wine, which would otherwise be unappetisingly cloudy. This ability to absorb impurities makes it very effective for facial masks. Also worthy of a shout out is red clover extract. Research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) confirms that red clover extract contains four anti-tumor compounds. Red clover also contains the powerful antioxidant tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E. Lemongrass is also a good antioxidant, according to a Tunisian study. For example, sage is good for cuts and irritations, while rosemary is an antioxidant that helps heal wounds.

Ingredients in Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask

Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Steareth-21, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange/Petitgrain) Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Echinacea Angustifolia (Cone Flower) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Red Clover) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ultramarines, Iron Oxides, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Sodium Stearate, Disodium EDTA.