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When Truth In Aging gave me the opportunity to test Astara Green Papaya Nutrient Mask ($31), I was really excited to give it a try as one of the most effective products I've used in the last year is Astara Age Defying Complex ($85). Astara's website states that the mask is suitable for all skin types and is intended to nourish, resurface, soothe, polish and hydrate the skin. This 49-year-old's skin would certainly appreciate all of those actions, especially around the holiday season when late nights and more indulgent eating (and drinking) don't always lead to a dewy, bright complexion.
I used the mask about one to two times per week for a month, and my first impression upon opening the jar was the yummy fragrance, which is fruity and citrusy without being in any way overpowering. The texture is silky and whipped and goes on very smoothly, giving you the option of applying it thinly or more heavily if you prefer. Bentonite clay is one of the ingredients, and I was curious to see how the texture would compare to the straight clay that I used in my 30s. This was much more nourishing and soft feeling, although it does tend to tighten as it dries, as most clay masks will do. I really loved the slight tingling sensation which lingered a little even after I washed it off. My skin can be a little sensitive and sometimes tingling can be a signal that my skin is getting reactive, but I never had any reactions to this mask.
My skin felt very smooth and fresh after using this mask, and I noticed makeup went on incredibly easily. I even got a compliment about my glowing skin at a party one night after using it. I don't know that the effects lasted much beyond the next morning, when my pores appeared a little smaller and my face continued to feel polished. I didn't notice any appreciable anti-aging effects such as lifting sagging skin smoothing out wrinkles. But for a refining, freshening mask that is thoroughly enjoyable to use due to its refreshing scent, great texture, and brightening, smoothing qualities, I'm recommending it and will definitely use it again.