This, you guys, is awesome stuff. Remember those OMGHIVESONMYFACE moments I talked about a while back? Yeah, I had one recently while testing out an as-yet-to-be-reviewed serum. Like, seriously, I ended up giving myself an unintentional chemical peel, my face was so blotchy, red and gross. Like a sunburn, only I hadn’t really been outside enough for one of those. Given, I suspect this was the result of pregnancy-related oversensitivity, hence why I haven’t officially reviewed the product that caused it yet.
So anyway, there I was, staring at the mirror and wondering what I could possibly do to stop the burning, short of squeezing an entire tube of aloe vera on my face. Then I remember that I have an ice cube tray filled with Lush face masks. Bingo! I say “remember”, btw, because I had only recently unearthed them while foraging in the freezer for a snack. They were from last September, when I’d traded in my accumulated plastic Lush pots (which the hubby kept trying to throw out and I kept rescuing and saying “No, I NEED those!”) for a couple of free pots of fresh facial masks back in California. Knowing that I wouldn’t use them before the expiration date, I froze them and then promptly forgot about them for more than half a year. So it’s not like this stuff was brand spankin’ new, though I suppose suspended animation is close enough.
Right, so back to traumatic facial burning sensations. I hurriedly popped out a cube of Oatifix and scurried back to the bathroom. It wasn’t frozen solid, exactly, due to the oils and such, but was more like a stiff dough. It warmed up pretty fast with a bit of kneading in my hands and I hastily slathered it onto my washed and very unhappy skin. The burning didn’t go away immediately, but the coldness definitely helped — this stuff should ideally be kept in the fridge if not just frozen immediately. Besides keeping the ingredients fresh, the cold is super soothing for moments like these. Then I sat for 10 minutes and let the oats and bananas (both good for calming sensitive skin) do their thing.
And it worked! Okay, it was a bit of an effort washing the semi-cakey goop off my face with warm water, but I could feel the layer of moisture that had soaked as soon as I dried off. And the redness was gone! Thank you, oatmeal. I knew the stuff worked on eczema, so it wasn’t that far a stretch. I smoothed on a layer of Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar (one of the most dependably gentle moisturizers I could never live without, especially in moments like these) and walked back out of the bathroom looking significantly less like I had a tomato for a face.
Qualification: It’s not like either of these products work miracles or anything — my face did start drying out again about four hours later, and I had to keep touching up with moisturizer for the rest of the evening as flaky spots returned. But the redness was definitely calmed and I was no longer flailing in agony, so that’s always a plus. Please note that I was indeed dealing with injured skin, so it wasn’t exactly the normal situation the makers of this product probably imagined. I used the mask again for the next three consecutive mornings, slapping it on for 10 minutes before showering, then letting it steam for the rest of my shower before gently washing it off (you can massage it off for extra exfoliation, but I didn’t exactly need any help in that department, what with the PEELING and all). With the help of aggressive moisturizing, I’m this mask helped heal my face in days rather than the typical week it takes me to recover from one of these incidents.
Verdict: It works! It works! Sadly, we do not have a brick-and-mortar Lush shop in our vicinity. Heck, there’s only one in the entire country, if I remember correctly, and it’s more than a three hour drive away. Online shopping through the local distributor is hideously expensive so I only do one big order a year, if I’m desperate for something and not able to buy it during one of our out-of-country trips to places where I would regularly stock up. So while I will definitely be trading in my steadily accumulating black pots for more of this stuff whenever I get a chance, I will probably have to look into making a DIY version now that I have used up my supply. But wow, was it ever put to good use. Thanks, Lush!