Although I’ve never been to a spa (and yes, a day of pampering is somewhere on my bucket list), I do know masks promising various results reign among the available treatments. Though certainly not as spa-indulgent, I’ve given many different mud and clay masks a try at home over the years and found myself to be mostly indifferent to them. Their promises of drying up oily skin and lifting impurities appealed to me as I have dealt with oily and problem skin most of my life. But with a thick and cool texture, as the layer dried and cracked over 15 to 30 minutes, I felt more like I had an itchy death mask on than a skin treatment and consequently left this ritual behind.
As everything in skin care has evolved so has mud. Deciem NIOD Flavanone Mud ($39) is formulated to go beyond an ordinary mud mask. It’s a bit lengthy, but the website has worthy reading of how this mask decongests the skin in three phases: purifying, protective and responsive. In short, not only does it remove impurities, but ingredients including algae and resveratrol work to shield the skin and fight inflammation while “flavonone” derived from citrus supports dermal detoxification. It’s a three-prong approach to improving the skin today while keeping it clear and improving it in the future.
This mud was very easy to use. I applied a very thin, even layer to cleansed skin for 10 minutes once a week. Once applied, you can move on to do other things. It dried quickly without any itching, tightness or other negative sensations. The instructions do say a mild stinging sensation may be felt after rinsing off the mask, but throughout my use of the product I didn’t experience this (even leaving it on for 15 minutes at the third use). Rusty red in color, this has no added fragrance, so it has a very slight earthy smell — not at all objectionable.
I found this different from other masks in the nice, smooth consistency that easily allows a thin layer to be applied without any product waste. The website estimates a 50ml container will provide between 18 to 25 treatments and I agree (for me, it will be at least 25 — you don’t need much). When I did the first treatment, I began with a few clogged pores on the side of my nose and I could tell a difference in a couple that had cleared up the next day. I know this is slight, but after the second use I can actually say that my skin tone improved, looking healthier and there were no clogged pores at all. I have now used the mud five times and do see an overall improvement in skin clarity, tone and it’s a bit softer, too. I like the way this performed doing what it says it will do and it fit easily into my skin care routine, so I’ll keep using it.