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).
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 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.
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).