For The First Time Ever, I'm Exfoliating And Using A Mask

After years of using only a cleanser and moisturizer, I'm finally stepping up my skincare regimen.
Publish date:
January 8, 2014
masks, exfoliation, natural, clay, organic, Province Apothecary

I kept my beauty routine to the bare minimum before I started writing for xoVain. My hair was
always changing, but my face stayed the exact same. Although I lusted over
many a good-smelling skin care product, I never actually bought anything beyond
cleanser and moisturizer.

But reading about all the neat things my fellow XO
writers use on their face got me thinking: Could my skin be better? Should I be
doing more?

When I found Province Apothecary a few weeks ago, I really wanted to try everything in the line. The products are so beautiful,
mostly vegan (one contains organic honey), and they're handmade only blocks away
from my house by Julie, the nicest aromatherapy expert ever. I resolved to push myself out of the skincare
bubble I have comfortably resided in my entire life; instead of reaching for
cleanser and moisturizer, I chose the Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator
with lavender and green tea, and the Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask with
glacial clay and maple syrup.

I have never in my life owned an exfoliator or a clay mask, but
these things seemed like a good investment to help me slough away my impending annual post-Christmas blues. I figured making a weekly pampering date couldn't
be a bad thing, right? It would probably feel good to give myself some extra

I started with the exfoliatior, a dry powder you mix in your
hand with some water and scrub all over your face.

It smelled incredible dry,
like a freshly brewed cup of green tea with a handful of lavender buds thrown
in, but took on a much more oatmeal-y scent when I added water. It felt really
good on my sensitive skin--nice and gentle--and when I rinsed it away after a
few moments of circular scrubbing I was pretty impressed with the results.

My skin was really glowing and soft. As someone who had never
used an exfoliator before (like, ever), it was quite the revelation.

Next I applied the clay mask. I mixed a tablespoon of the
powder in a bowl with a tablespoon of warm water (though in retrospect, I
probably could've used less water). You can also mix this formula with yogurt
or cream, but I went the vegan route.

As instructed, I applied an even layer of the grey paste to my
face and waited 15 minutes. At first, it was cooling and relaxing to have
it on, but as it dried it became a bit itchy and tight.

When I rinsed off the mask with warm water, I was shocked at
the difference it had made. My pores looked smaller and unclogged, especially
on my nose, and all of my blemishes were no longer red. My skin tone was even
and smooth, and my face was softer to the touch. It felt super-good, like I had
pulled out all of the gunk that had been building up in my face over the course
of my mask-less life.

Overall, I'd call the whole experience a wonderful success. Turns
out it feels good to have some fancy me time.