It started with Nadia’s review.
I’d been looking for something extra to add to my skincare routine, and there it was: a cruelty-free face mask that promised to calm down all my spot-related woes.
My complexion was the clearest it had ever been earlier in the year — I suspect it was the extra Vitamin D I got in Dubai that did it — but I’ve accepted that it will normally flare up at the first signs of stress, upheaval, and raging hormones.
And since over the past two months I’ve interviewed for, accepted and started a new full-time job, moved house twice, and had a car accident that’s knocked my confidence in a huge way, my skin has been doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.
(The positives are that I really like my job, have lovely housemates and am slowly getting back into driving, so there’s still lots to be grateful for, but it’s been overwhelming to say the least. This is why I haven’t been posting on here as much as usual.)
I ordered Bloomtown’s The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask (v) for oily and acne-prone skin before all of that happened, but I was happy to have it on hand when everything kicked off.
I know there’s more to self care than face masks — being kind to yourself, saying no to what stresses you out, and talking to the people you love are all important, for example — but there’s something calming about taking the time to use one. I find that it slows me down after a busy day (and I always get a laugh out of how my face looks when the mask is on. Hello, horror film).
I’m also happy to support a brand like Bloomtown. You can read all about their ethical policies on their website, but here’s a quick rundown:
- They only use suppliers who treat their workers fairly.
- They don’t use palm oil or ingredients derived from palm oil.
- They don’t test on animals at any stage in the production process, and no animal ingredients are used, making them cruelty free and vegan.
- All Bloomtown products are free from palm oil, animal products, wheat, sulphates, SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colours and detergents.
- Recycled and recyclable materials are used for packaging. Their packing peanuts and bubble wrap are biodegradable.
Plant-derived glycerine; kaolin clay; natural black clay; radish root ferment filtrate; coconut fruit extract; tea tree leaf oil; white willow bark extract; bergamot fruit oil; cedar wood oil; pine leaf oil; juniper fruit oil; rosemary leaf oil; d-limonene; limonene
Tea tree oil, a known spot-buster, is anti-bacterial, while white willow bark is an anti-inflammatory. The black clay doesn’t set because of the glycerine, which keeps moisture locked in the skin and stops the mask from being too drying, so you can still speak and move your face while the mask is on.
The smell of tea tree hits you as soon as you open the pot, which may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I guess my brain just associates tea tree with skincare routines now, because I quite like it.
I used the mask the same day it arrived, scaring both my parents in the process, and saw a noticeable difference in my skin the next morning. All the redness and bumps had gone right down, and existing spots had dried up significantly. The gunk hiding in my painful, under-the-skin spots had been drawn right to the surface.
It wasn’t a first-use fluke, either — I see results every time I use the mask. It calms down redness and has reduced the appearance of my acne scars, plus my chin in particular is less bumpy and has fewer blackheads.
What I really love is that The Clearing is gentle enough to use several days in a row if you’ve got a particularly stubborn breakout. It’s not a mask to use before an event or big night out because it tends to bring brewing spots to the fore, but for significant, long-term results this is well worth the money. I’ll be buying it again and again.
The Clearing treatment mask costs £12 for 100g of product (I’ve had mine since mid-August and I’ve got about a quarter of a jar left). Anyone who signs up for a Bloomtown account can earn stars to put towards discount vouchers, too. I’m tempted to do the whole multimasking thing and order their soothing face mask next…
Have you tried anything from Bloomtown before? What’s your favourite face mask? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.