I know I should have a regular and healthy skin regimen in place at this stage in my life. Daily cleansing and moisturising is all well and good, but I imagine any dermatologist would recoil in horror at the thought that my skincare regimen entails nothing more than a quick scrub and dollop of moisturiser in the mornings and evenings. For me, skincare is one of those things that makes it to my regular list of resolutions but which, after a relatively short period of time, makes its way to the bottom of that list; a bit like flossing, healthy eating and regular exercise!
But, as I am back on the flossing bandwagon, I thought ‘why not give a facial mask a go?’ A few months ago I bought an organic based mask but never seemed to have the 15 minustes required to let it set. This evening, after a workout and a hot shower, I thought it would be a nice way to relax while I waited for my post-workout pulse to return to normal.
Unlike other masks I have used in the past, this one looked and smelled very natural. It looked like glue. But hey, as a near face-mask-virgin, who am I to comment?! I applied the gloopy gunk to my face and neck. It appeared clear and shiny on my face and wasn’t all that visible. Thinking I hadn’t used enough, I squeezed the tube again to top up the first layer.
The 15 minutes zipped by.
My face felt taut. I felt like what some of those ‘botoxed’ ladies look like. I couldn’t move my forehead or smile.
‘Perhaps the mask has tightened my face so much, my wrinkles, ahem, fine lines, have been forced to melt into each other’ I thought, getting excited that I may have accidentally stumbled upon the elixir of youth!
I was careful to re-read the removal instructions. ‘Peel off’ as opposed to ‘wash off’.
Hmmmm…..how? How do I peel it off when I can’t find a starting point. The now dried substance was like a layer of skin, barely visible but for the shiny factor. Using my fingernail I searched for a starting point at every point on my face, just as you do when you are looking for the start of the clear sellotape roll. My face was beginning to feel like it had been frozen and I was beginning to look like I had stretched cling film across my face and someone was tugging very hard on it from behind! I had no option; I had to bite the bullet and do some facial gurning in an effort to cause a crack in the mask. Not exactly my idea of a facial exercise which would reduce lines!
At the same time, I rubbed and rubbed at the edges with my fingers, and finally bits of the gluey mask began to come away. Teasing the thin layer of mask off my cheeks felt like an old aunt pinching my cheeks that little bit too hard. My skin followed the direction of the tug, and all I could think was this must be doing more harm than good.
I had hoped that once I got a start, and took it slowly, I would be able to peel off the mask in one go. Not so. Like peeling sunburnt skin, it came off in bits, leaving behind shaggy, frayed bits. It wasn’t long before my face resembled that of an extra on Michael Jackson’s Thriller video; not quite the youthful glow I was aiming for!
Having been in the bathroom for so long, DH thought I had fallen down the loo, so he sent DD to confirm. I didn’t hear her come through the bedroom and was startled when she asked ‘Mummy, why are you taking your skin off?’ If DD is up with nightmares tonight, I will only have my vanity to blame!
Eventually when I had removed as much as I could, I resorted to the old reliable water and scrub method to remove the rest. My hairline looked and felt like someone planted a piece of chewed gum in it. My eyebrows looked like they were hosting a family of nits. No amount of ‘peeling’ was helping; indeed I think it was making it worse!
As I splashed more and more water on my face, I remembered why my promises to engage in regular, healthy skincare treatments quickly find themselves at the bottom of my list of priorities!