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Winter is a good time to revitalize your skin. It's likely dry, maybe a bit listless from all the holiday celebrations and New Year's late nights. Masks, though, can be a tricky solution. With typically strong ingredients, it can be a questionable proposition to try one out and risk making your skin worse.
I am happy to report that was not the outcome when I tried the Sciote Antioxidant Scrub & Masque ($65 in the shop)!
Instead, using it on a regular basis woke my skin up, resulting in a brighter and more rested appearance. And for this 47-year-old, deep into a (mostly) gloomy Seattle winter, that was something to celebrate!
Even better, I looked forward to applying this mask every time. I even marked it on my calendar! The texture is smooth, though the mask contains very small granules. It is easy to apply across the face in a thick layer, as the instructions suggest. The smell and feel are both quite minty, so be forewarned if you have any sensitivities to that. I did not feel any tingling after the mask was on my face, which surprised me since I have used similar masks also containing glycolic acid that did sting a bit. The 5% concentration of the glycolic acid isn't that high — possibly why I didn't notice any tingling. My combination skin can also handle a fair amount here. Though Marta notes it is often the PH level that determines the "sting in the tail."
Without knowing this information, all I can say is that I didn't see quite as big of an impact as I have with other glycolic-based masks I have tried, such as the Jan Marini Age Intervention Regeneration Mask and the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength Mask ($45).
Sciote touts the "super hit of antioxidants" as the main attraction for this mask, anyway. I was familiar with the berries: blueberry, cranberry and even the Oregon grape. I had also already experienced benefits of sea buckthorn oil in Weleda hand cream. Who knew it was also used for more internal medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, blood pressure and measles?
Cayenne was the one ingredient I was most surprised to see, however. There was nothing in the texture, smell or feel of the mask to even suggest cayenne was present though. Benefits attributed to cayenne related to skin care include increasing blood supply to the skin, helping heal acne and psoriasis and providing a source of vitamin C and E. None of the resources I found seemed particularly legitimate, leaving me to wonder what reason it was included in this mask formulation.
I will happily continue to use the remainder the jar I have of the Sciote Advanced Antioxidant Scrub & Mask. It' a great pick-me-up on a dark and dreary day. But when I run out, I'll likely head back to the arms of something stronger to prepare me for spring.