I've never had much luck with Origins products. I have tried their Modern Friction range but found it to be both ineffective and harsh on my sensitive skin. Until, that is, I was fortunate enough to come across their Clear Improvement Mask, which was an entirely different experience.
I've never been able to find anything that has been able to banish the clogged pores on my chin and around my nose, but this is an absolutely genius product. Now, these blackheads are stubborn. I've tried every scrub under the sun, including a little known trick of using a microfibre cloth - yes, the type that you usually buy to clean your car with. It does wonders, but it's easy to get a bit 'scrub happy' and end up with red raw, flaky skin. This stuff pretty much clears everything out first time, and leaves my skin absolutely glowing with health.
The trick is to prep your skin well. I've got a little face steamer which makes the whole process a bit quicker, and means I don't have to faff around with towels and kettles and big bowls (incidentally I've got a Carmen Beauty Facial Sauna, available at Boots for around £20). So I steam my face for about 10 minutes before applying this mask.
It's quite a thick clay mask, which is grey and looks very strange when it's on. You may want to do this when your other half isn't around...it takes quite a while to dry, so I find it's best to apply one thin layer, wait for that to dry and then apply another on top, which really seems to pull all the impurities out. I usually only apply it to my T zone, as it is quite drying and the rest of my skin spends most of its life pretty parched, so I don't want to aggravate it. That said, this definitely hasn't dried out my skin on my T zone.
I leave it on for around 15 minutes - the first time I did it, there was a slight tingling sensation, and I had a horrible feeling that I was going to wash it off to find my face red as a raspberry, but fortunately my skin was lovely afterwards. It takes some scrubbing to get it off once it's dry, so I prefer to jump in the shower. I usually give my face a short scrub with my usual exfoliator, Dermalogica's Microfoliant, which does the trick and clears any surface impurities once the mask has done its magic.
Once I'm out of the shower, I pop on a bit of moisturiser, and gawk at myself in the mirror, unable to believe how smooth my skin is, particularly my chin which has a nasty habit of breaking out with zillions of blackheads. No more! I have been using this product now for just over a month, and will definitely not be going back.
Having said that, I rather like the sound of the award winning all-natural Dr Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask, which comes in the form of a little pot of powder that you mix up yourself. I might give it a go once I've finished my tube of Clear Improvement, which will be a while - you get a very generous amount for your money.
Until next time my lovelies,
Belle de Beauty