I tested the Moana Nourishing Mask (NZ$125 or roughly $105 USD), the brand being a natural line out of New Zealand. Initially, I thought this would be a moisturizing mask, but I quickly discovered that this is a moisturizing treatment to be used day and night. The substantive plastic jar holds a thick, creamy, yellow moisturizer with a very strong scent. After many days trying to pinpoint this fragrance, the closest description I can come up with is a very strong herbal, almost mulch-like smell. This smell does slightly dissipate after application; however, it is intensified when you apply products or makeup on top, becoming a strong, mold-like stench. This smell would persist all day until I was able to go home and wash my face… ugh!
The texture is very silky and absorbs quickly — so quickly on my mid-30s combination skin that I had to apply 2 coats to ensure I was properly moisturized. It is notable to mention that the product states it may leave your skin tight or tingly, however I didn’t experience this reaction in my four weeks of use. Referencing the directions, it says that the recommended method of use is as a day/night moisturizer. To really use this as a mask, you would have to apply an extremely large amount of product, so I used this for day and then eventually as a night moisturizer. I didn’t experience any breakouts even after applying quite a large amount at night. My fine lines did not improve, but every morning I woke up to glowing skin; this stuff truly gave me that “I just visited a spa” glow.
Ingredients in the Moana Nourishing Mask are New Zealand red algae extract (marine glycans), aloe barbadensis (aloe vera), MEL (active manuka honey) and a wide variety of oils (evening primrose, borago seed, kiwi seed, carrot seed and avocado oil). Many of the oils included infuse your skin with essential fatty acids and promote that desirable radiant glow. Manuka honey assists with alleviating dryness and irritation, as it is a natural antibiotic, while aloe vera nourishes and refreshes your skin to maintain healthy moisture levels. Marine glycans is the key anti-aging component in this moisture treatment. The New Zealand red algae extract is from glycan-enriched seaweed eco-harvested to help stimulate increased production of collagen, regenerate tissue elasticity, and provide protection against loss of nutrients and moisture. Moana Nourishing Mask is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances/colors, and is not tested on animals.
The big dilemma for me is whether the healthy glow is worth enduring that pervasive smell. The Nourishing Mask is really not hydrating enough at night for me, and to use it in the morning means I cannot wear any makeup (even concealer or BB Cream). My decision was made when out to lunch with a friend, she remarked that I should throw my perfume away as it smelled like it had turned. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing perfume, just Moana and some powder. If this was unscented, I would add it to my night moisturizer to help with radiance, but since it is not, I cannot see myself continuing to incorporate this into my regime. (As a side note: I did try about six different foundations/BB creams, and they all reacted the same way.) I would recommend this product to normal to oily skin types or for normal to dry skin types when combined with a thicker moisturizer. Anyone with more than a few fine lines or sensitivity to smells may not care for this product.