There's an old-fashioned beauty philosophy that for something to work, it must cause at least a little pain. In 2018, we know that isn't necessarily true (except for double-process blondes), but there's no denying that there's something very satisfying about a product or treatment that you can really feel working. And this is one of them, for better or worse.
Kora Organics, the more-natural brand from model Miranda Kerr, is chock-full of Ayurvedic-inspired, feel good, new age-y things like Heart Chakra Oil and Lavender Mist, and the latest release stays true to the spirit of the line: A botanical-packed brightening and exfoliating mask that's already racking up buzz in its Sephora reviews... and after just two uses, I understand why.
You'll first notice the muddy, pea green color that most closely resembles vegan salad dressing — or baby vomit (there, I said it). But what it lacks in IG Stories appeal, it makes up for in its ingredient list: papaya enzymes to chemically exfoliate pores and dead skin into submission, aspen bark to naturally fight breakout-causing bacteria, and turmeric, a plant you've probably eaten in its spice form that's historically been used in skin-care for its brightening and calming properties.
Last but not least are rosehip seeds, which make the mask feel like the drugstore apricot scrubs we all used way back when, and thoroughly exfoliate, too. They deliver a light, totally comfortable scrubbing sensation when you apply the mask, but coming off, well, beauty masochists can look forward to the removal process. Since your skin feels a little tender from the treatment — almost like a sunburn that never really developed — the physical exfoliation is very amplified as you remove the mask.
Both my boyfriend's and my skin looked a little irritated immediately after, which is apparently normal. "Sometimes [your skin] gets a little red, but that's good, because it gets the circulation going," Kerr said on Instagram after demonstrating how she uses it. "Don't be alarmed!" I wasn't — yes, I have a mild case of pain-is-beauty — although I think my exact words after I removed it were, "Holy crap, that was intense!" The next day my skin was incredibly soft and glowed... and two days later, I went back for seconds.