Problem Skin - The Ordinary & Lush Face Masks

A proper skincare routine is something I never really followed until a couple of years ago. Brands like Clean & Clear, Clearasil and Neutrogena were all I really purchased for my skin in school. Back then I just assumed that all 'spot-prone' products were the same and did the same job (which didn't really seem to be much back then other than occasionally make it worse.) I didn't even consider how broad the whole topic of problem skin really is. The ingredients and chemicals in skincare wasn't something I even considered, or was aware of, until pretty recently.

Social media, mostly Instagram (let's be honest), has played a huge part on which skin care products I steer towards now. Being aware of your skin type, whether certain products affect your skin, which areas are more spot/blemish prone, perhaps dry etc. Our skin is so unique and for a lot of us pretty sensitive, so it's important to find products that work just right for you. 

Lush has been one of my favourite cosmetic stores for as long as I can remember, especially their bath bombs and bubble bars. I've dabbled in their skincare range, a few face masks here and there, but recently I read up a few reviews on face masks from the store geared towards redness, acne scaring and spot prone skin. After much deliberation in the store (aka 21 questions to the poor staff) I decided on Mask of Magnaminty and Rosy Cheeks. Both face masks are targeted for blemish prone skin, but have different uses and ingredients to target different areas.

Mask of Magnaminty - An antiseptic spot treatment face mask and gentle exfoliator. When I first used this product what I instantly noticed was the smell. A strong mint scent, but think more mint-chocolate chip ice cream than toothpaste.. perfect. The texture of the mask glides onto the skin so easy compared to tougher products I've used in the past. What's great is that a little goes a long way with this product, considering this 125g tub was £6.95. 

This formula dries completely after a few minutes of laying on the skin but isn't stubborn to wash off with warm water. Lush advises that the mask is kept on for five-ten minutes, just to let the ingredients really get to work. Numerous products have left my skin feeling even more sensitive, sore and break out further. Since the first try of this mask my skin felt thoroughly cleansed, fresh and doesn't dry my skin out at all - it seems to be the perfect balance. It's also worth reading into the natural ingredients Lush uses for Mask of Magnaminty -  you may find that this mask is tailored to your skin type too.

Rosy cheeks, targeting redness and generally calming the skin. I'd had this in a sample size a few years ago, but never went back to it - who knows why. After all the questions with the guys at Lush, I decided to take their advice and try this mask out again - so worth it! It brings down my redness an awful lot and the texture leaves my skin looking completely cleansed, calm and matte.

The rose scent isn't overwhelming at all, it's easy to be put off by overly floral scents. The texture is a little heavier and more stubborn than Mask of Magnaminty but still easy enough to apply. Lush recommends leaving this mask on a little longer, for 10-15 minutes. Unlike the previous mask, Rosy Cheeks isn't self preserving so it does need to be kept in the fridge in order to last - this is just because of the fresh ingredients Lush have thrown in there.

What's great about face masks is that multiple products can be used at one time to target different areas. Say for example your t-zone is pretty oily and spot prone but perhaps your cheeks and chin area suffer mostly from redness, you can use Rosy cheeks to target the redness and Mask of Magnaminty will work within the t-zone.

This tub is slightly smaller, but a little still goes a long way, and priced at £7.50 for the 75g product. Be wary of the use by date too, I suggest not buying too many of the fresh face masks as you may find you'll be losing money in the long run.

Onto The Ordinary, a brand with minimal (very clinical) packaging that seemed to pop up out of no where really. Before I knew it this brand was taking over our social feed and sending everyone into a frenzy. From the brand DECIEM, The Ordinary branched off. These little bottles seemed very tempting with their low price, as little as £5, to become a new addition to my ever growing selection of skin-care products.

Again, doing that little bit of necessary research, I decided to opt for the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Both aimed at spot-prone skin, reduce redness and the appearance of blemishes. Priced at £9.00 and £6.00 I thought it was worth a try, especially since there is so much hype around these products. Both also come with an easy pipette applicator which minimalises any faffing about. 

Now there's no product out there where you'll see instant results, especially with acne scarring. However, I have noticed that using both of these products my skin has had very minimal spots - even around the time of the month. I wouldn't say I've noticed a huge difference in terms of redness but my skin texture is a lot smoother and using these two alongside other products (cleansers and toners) makeup also glides on a lot easier alongside using the Rose Hip Seed Oil before applying makeup - although The Ordinary recommends that this is applied once, preferably at night, where as the Niacinamide can be used twice daily. 

They both have two very different textures and scents. The Rose Hip Seed Oil is very overwhelming at first and admittedly did take some getting used to. This is due to it being a completely unrefined organic scent in the most concentrated form. Like some other oil products, it absorbs into the skin with ease but doesn't leave your skin greasy. The Niacinamide on the other hand is a very clear lightweight serum, that doesn't require as much rubbing as it will begin to flake off - It's also completely unscented. The brand suggests using the Niacinamide before heavier creams and the oil just after any water-based treatments.

These products are very particular with their ingredients, there's no branding that relates to what your used to seeing on a shelf in Boots or Superdrug, so it's worth taking the time to read into each product and seeing whether they're tailored to your particular skin type and understanding the ingredients themselves. Many products from The Ordinary are hard to get hold of right now, due to high demand, you'll find particular products are out of stock a lot. I got both of these products from ASOS but there are a few popular stockists that include Cult Beauty, Look FantasticBeauty Bay and The Ordinary - keep an eye out! x

What's your opinion?