One of the strangest beauty products that I have ever encountered has to be ilike’s Magnetic Skin Therapy ($68). The application alone is unusual – it is applied over a sheet of gauze. The potion itself is pitch black, dense and tacky. Looking at myself in the mirror, I was a sight to behold (hopefully, never by anyone else). Covered in an oily black paste, spiked with tufts of gauze, I looked like a pelican washed up on a Gulf of Mexico beach. I have dubbed Magnetic Skin Therapy my ‘BP oil slick mask’.

Perversely, though, I rather like it. Before I tell you why, I should explain what ilike’s Magnetic Skin Therapy is and how the application with the gauze stuff works.  This face mask has supposedly been used in Hungary (ilike, a decade-old Hungarian company, is a new find of mine that specializes in organic botanical skincare) for eons. It is designed to aid fluid circulation and the skin’s absorption of oxygen and nutrients.

The magnetic part is provided by ferrite.  Generally derived from iron oxides, ferrites are used to make magnets. I have no idea what its role in skincare might be although I can speculate that it may aid absorption of the other ingredients. These include antioxidant powerhouse of polyphenols, saponins, omegas and bioflavonoids that are derived from plants such as elder flower, walnut leaf and horsetail.

The pot of Magnetic Skin Therapy comes with two sheets of cosmetic gauze. Following the instructions, I smeared my face with the nearest serum to hand (it happened to be ilike’s Wrinkle Eliminator Serum) and patted the gauze (it has holes pre cut for eyes, nose and mouth) over my face. With it – somewhat precariously - in place, the next step is to “apply a thin layer of the mask on top”. This is easier said than done. The consistency of the mask is very thick and is not readily smearable. The only way to avoid uneven blotches and globules, is to rub it quite firmly across the gauze, which pulls it out of place. Once done, the idea is to leave it on for a couple of minutes until “almost dry” and peel off the gauze and rinse off any residue from the face.

Whilst waiting for it to dry, I entertained several thoughts: (1) how can something that is lying on top of a sheet of cotton gauze penetrate the skin (2) what’s the point of all this just to leave it on for two minutes or so (3) this thing is surely more trouble than its worth (4) I hope my husband doesn’t walk in on me.

Removing the gauze revealed that a fair amount of it was on my face after all. I rinsed and peered at myself in the mirror.  My skin looked very clear. Half an hour later, I looked again and was struck by the fact that I looked so well – as if I had just had a great night’s sleep. And you need to know that I had been suffering from a head cold for the previous 48 hours and had been looking decidedly peaky. The next day, I was frankly amazed by literally glowing skin and not an open pore in sight.

Magnetic Skin Therapy is a bit too messy for regular use, but its a lot of fun.

Ingredients

Sambucus nigra (elder flower), juglans regia (walnut), equisetum arvense (horsetail), robinia pseudoacacia, achileamillebilium, ferrite, ricius communis, benzyl alcohol, xanthan gum, sodium cocoyl glutamate, lavandula angustiola, silica, citric acid, sodium salicylate, salicylic acid, linalool.