As if acne itself wasn't already the pits, there are also those joyful, lingering dark marks known as acne scars to contend with. In the party that is life, acne scars are the guy that shows up uninvited, gets drunk, trashes your house, and then passes out on your couch and can't be woken up no matter how much you scream at him.
I've spent almost as much of my time, money, and energy fighting acne scars as I have fighting the actual acne. Maybe even more. On my super-pale skin, the blemishes only last a few days, but the red marks they leave behind can stay on there for weeks.
Which is why I'm infinitely more interested in uncovering products that help diminish acne scars, rather than those that boast zit-fighting powers. Usually those scar fading wonders come in the form of serums and spot treatments designed to deliver a concentrated burst of brightening power to the spot, breaking up and ultimately fading the pigment. So, I was a little confused by Talika's Bio Enzymes Purifying Mask — how could a sheet mask for my whole face deliver both pore-purifying results and scar fading without totally wrecking my already sensitive skin?
Made with cinnamon, Argan oil, and alpine herbs, the mask bonds to the face like a second skin, making pores, pimples, and acne scars look visibly diminished (according to the brand) after just one use. I was skeptical of these claims, but I nonetheless gamely plastered it on my face.
I've applied many a sheet mask in my day, so the sensation of having the slimy fabric on my skin wasn't anything new. A bit disconcerting was the tingling sensation that followed after about five minutes — cinnamon in action. I waited the recommended 30 minutes, then peeled off the mask and patted the residual serum/goo into my skin.
The very first thing I noticed was how downright clear my complexion looked. While the mammoth geyser that had taken up residence on my face was still there, it was dramatically reduced in size and had gone from an angry red hue to a more subdued pink. My pores looked relatively unchanged — no magic retouching wand effect there — but my acne scars had all but vanished from my visage. I could still make them out faintly but the mask had again toned down the redness, so the light pink hue provided less of a stark contrast against my ghostly pale skin, in turn making them look much less noticeable. They looked like what my scars usually looks like after I've patted some concealer on top of them.
While there's really no product on the market that can actually make your spots and bumps pull an all-out Houdini (dear beauty product developers — please make this happen soon. Thank you. Signed, everyone ever), this was the closest any product has come for me. To see such a noticeable difference after just one use made this magic mask worth every pretty penny to me.
Talika Bio Enzymes Mask Purifying, $12, available at Talika.