Pure. It's how your faucet water tastes after it trickles through the Brita filter. Your mindset in the wake of a five-hour spa day. The feeling you latch on to after you meditate or take a particularly mindful yoga class. To put it simply, it is the word used to describe the aftermath of, well, getting rid of all the bad shit around you. And if there were a skin-care equivalent of purity, it's what your face looks like after you exfoliate.
Now, as someone who has written somewhere in the ballpark of a thousand stories on facial masks, I know full-well the importance of a weekly deep-cleansing. But carving out time to do it takes discipline — which is why, as the World's Laziest Beauty Editor, I seldom do. (I also never do yoga or any other form of physical activity, but that's a story for another time.)
Luckily for me, my bad habit of not masking is probably the easiest to break — you just have to practice doing one consistently until it feels like it's part of your routine. And for me, Philosophy's Pore Extractor Mask was the place to start. Not only is it loaded with white clay and salicylic acid to draw out gunk that comfortably sits in your pores like a beach chair in the sand, but it also only requires that you wear it for five to 10 minutes. Maybe starting in smaller increments, I thought, would help me stick with it.
So, during a recent trip to Aruba where the brand uncovered the launch, I slathered it all over my face. After it dried, I washed the gritty mask off (the sand-like particles add another layer of exfoliation), and noticed the tiny black bumps on my nose were practically nonexistent. It was magic. (When I got back, I gave the mask to our beauty director, who experienced similar results; her stubborn hormonal pimples were gone after just a couple uses.)
After three days of intense humidity and heat, somewhat strenuous yoga sessions (did I mention I don't like to sweat?), and probably a little too much red wine, my skin actually looked better than it did when I first arrived on the island. But the real revelation, at least for me, was how little it felt like a chore. Perhaps I was feeling especially zen from our meditation session that morning, but whatever it was, applying, waiting, rinsing — it all felt the way using a mask should feel: relaxing. In the days of painful peel-off treatments and excruciating extraction videos, that's something we all too forget.
Of course, I'm by no means a completely changed person. I'll probably still dread the extra 10 minutes lumped onto my beauty routine. But to me, this face mask has become my own personal reminder — in between the blaring police sirens, the deadlines, the everyday drama that comes with living in New York City — to take a moment, and just fucking breathe.
Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Philosophy for the purpose of writing this story.