Monday, July 18, 2016

Inexpensive Finds: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask Review

Exfoliating masks are a staple in my skincare routine; I may skip the purifying clay ones, I may even go without a moisturizing one... but I just have to treat my face to some deeper chemical exfoliation at least once a week, and I see the biggest difference in my skin out of all mask varieties when I do. I've been trialing a lot of more expensive masks of this kind last year (here's my round-up post) but didn't love any one of those enough to shell out the big bucks, and when it came to purchasing a replacement for my regime, I opted for something a lot less expensive: the Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($14.99 for 50g; I purchased mine on Vitacost for $11.99).
You may remember that in general, I've had great luck with Andalou Naturals products so far: some of my favorites from the brand include the Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk (reviewed here), the 1000 Roses Floral Toner (here) and the Probiotic + C Renewal Cream (here). I would happily repurchase all of these products in the future, and they've set the bar pretty high in terms of my expectations of the brand.

The Brightening Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask claims to 'gently dissolve and lift away dull surface cells, exfoliating and resurfacing for even tone and smooth texture', and includes a whole host of delicious natural ingredients. The key chemical/enzymatic exfoliants in the formula are pumpkin puree, pineapple juice and glycolic acid, supported by nourishing antioxidants and humectants such as sunflower and meadowfoam oils, aloe vera, glycerin and hyaluronic acid (Sodium Hyaluronate), manuka honey, rooibos extract and Vitamins C & E. Ingredients lists like this one are why I get so excited about Andalou products - there are no fillers, no mysterious chemicals, no questionable bullshit (well, I do have a gripe with their stem cell claims - but I just ignore that, I don't think they're harmful to the skin or anything), just beautiful, yummy naturals I want on my face ASAP.
The mask comes in a sturdy plastic jar (there's a clear lid inside to prevent spills in shipment); nothing fancy but practical enough, and for once I don't think a tube would be a great improvement for this product. As you can see in my close-up photos, the Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask looks, feels and smells exactly like pumpkin puree; it's quite dense but creamy and easily spreadable on the skin, with tiny brown specks here and there - I'm not sure, but those may be from the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove powders included in the formula. Are you thinking pumpkin pie yet? You betcha.

The instructions state to apply evenly avoiding eye and lip areas, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with cool water; quite standard for any mask of this type I've used in the past. But let me tell you guys: this shiz is INTENSE. I have never used an exfoliating mask that had as much tingle - or, you know, burn - as the Andalou Pumpkin Mask. As soon as the orange puree touches my face, my face starts feeling really hot and quite uncomfortable, and continues to do so for another 3 minutes or so, after which the tingling subsides and eventually goes away completely.
The first time I experienced it I was convinced my face was going to melt off, and that I must have an allergic reaction to the product or something. However, once I rinsed the mask off, my face wasn't red or irritated in the least - actually less so than from other exfoliating treatments. Huh. The experience also reminded me of getting a professional facial once; I remember the aesthetician used an exfoliating pumpkin mask from another line and it felt exactly the same on my face as the Andalou one - so I'm thinking that maybe pumpkin enzyme masks are meant to be this intense, and as long as my skin doesn't seem angry afterwards, it's all good. You just need a decent 'tingle tolerance' to use them :)

But most importantly, is the uncomfortable tingle really worth it? Yes, I believe so. I've been using this mask once a week for the past month or so, and after application, my skin looks exactly like Andalou claimed it would: smooth, even, more plump and luminous. Any blackheads or large pores on my T-zone seem cleaned out and slightly diminished, and my face feels baby soft to the touch. I follow up with a good hydrating serum and a moisturizer, and the next morning I admire my refreshed complexion in the mirror (no, really).
All in all, the Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask is another hit from Andalou Naturals in my book. In the future, I would like to see if their Berry Fruit Enzyme Mask for Dry & Sensitive Skin is just as effective but maybe without the intense tingle, but for now I'm happy with my pumpkin pie mask. Have you found any inexpensive skincare treasures recently? What is your favorite exfoliating treatment? I'd love to know!


  1. A lot of exfoliating productS(even powder wash from amore pacific and kose Sekkisei)makes my skin prone to break out so now I use kojac sponge instead (so far so good) and use a few drops of Dr Wu 15% mandelic acid once a week.

    I do love some of Andalou cleansers and have backups of their vitamin C serum (it has citrus oil so you might not like it). I think I will get their rose moisturizer when the weather cools down a little.

  2. I keep meaning to try this line. I love the Peter Thomas Roth pumpkin enzyme mask but the price is killer at $58. I came across pumpkin enzyme masks when I got a facial a few years ago and have been in love with them ever since!

  3. Oh this one sounds good. I wonder if we get this brand here. I'm using cleansers with exfoliating properties, so I'm not too fussed about using an exfoliating mask. To think of it, I tend to use my Clarisonic a few days in a row if I needed my skin to look a bit brighter. I usually apply hydrating masks because my skin seems to really need it!

  4. Andalou is one of my favorite brands. I love the apricot cleansing milk and just tried this pumpkin mask tonight. We will see how my skin looks in the morning !