This $40 face mask changes color as it cleans out pores - it helped clear my skin after I developed bad acne

AlienistAlgenist

  • I've been using the $38 Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask for a month after moving to Los Angeles and developing some bad acne because of the pollution, and it's cleared up my skin so well.
  • It's made with probiotics, algae, and bentonite clay to help soothe skin, clear out pores, and hydrate.
  • It doesn't burn or sting to signify that it's working. Instead, it changes colors from green to light brown. You can also use it as a face wash.
  • It's extremely gentle for sensitive skin, and I actually use it more often than my other resurfacing masks.

Finding a good face mask that has all the benefits you're looking for (and some that you didn't even know about) can be a challenge.

When I was younger, I used St. Ives face masks religiously because it was the face mask brand I really knew of and I didn't really start shopping at Sephora until I was in college.

I recently relocated to sunny (and polluted) Los Angeles, California. Now, I have mostly clear skin after having used tons of products, acne creams, and masks over the years, but somehow the very first night I landed in LA with a bag full of dreams, my face broke out - and just refused to stop.

With that, I headed directly to Sephora, desperately looking for answers to clear my skin.

While in the store, not one but three of the sales associated recommended looking at the brand Algenist. For some reason, it was a brand I didn't see a lot of in-store and therefore didn't know anything about, but according to them, Algenist has been in stores for years and it's also one of its clean brands.

The sales associate told me that the Algenist ALIVE Prebiotic Balancing Mask would be the way to clear my skin. And with its reasonable $38 price point, I was intrigued. She told me that while it is a mask, I can also use it as a face wash as it only has to be left on for a couple of minutes - further justifying the price tag.

Her instructions were simple - rub a small amount of the green mask onto dry skin until it turns a tan color, hop in the shower, and wash it off, or wait up to around three minutes to wipe it off with a wet or damp face towel. As if I didn't already have a jar of the mask in my hand ready to make my purchase, she did a demo on the back of my hand so I could see the results, and boy, my hand felt renewed.

But what exactly is in this mask?

It's full of probiotics which help fight off bad bacteria trying to make its way into your skin (similar to what yogurt does to help aid digestion), prebiotics from algae that balance out skin, Algenist's patented alguronic acid which helps firm and even out skin tone, and finally, bentonite clay which unclogs dirt, oil, and grime for your pores.

I immediately broke this mask open once I got home because I knew it was going to be incredible. The Sephora associate gave me a couple of small spoons to help scoop a teeny-tiny amount onto my skin since you don't need to use a lot. And while you do only need just a thin layer of this product to work, I've found it's more efficient to place tiny dots of the mask around my face as it's easier for me to blend. Once you begin rubbing the mask into your skin, you really have to commit to the task and run until the clay turns - which takes all of 10 seconds.

The mask only needs to stay on for 3-5 minutes per the jar's instructions, and that's totally accurate. I've read some reviews online saying it stings, but I've never experienced this. I will say though that sometimes when I have more breakouts than usual, I'll feel the slightest tingling sensation, but that's it. Nothing that ever hurts or makes me think twice about my purchase.

After two minutes are up, the mask is time to come off. I hate having to scrub and irritate my skin by rubbing my face with a washcloth just to get a mask off my face. It's the worst and I feel like it defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to achieve. This mask comes off so easily and gently that I barely have to touch my face. If I'm in the shower, rinsing off is even easier.

I've been using this mask for about a month now. Typically, I'll use it at night after coming home with a face full of makeup and when I know my skin needs the extra help.

Back when I started, I had a lot of little blemishes and one giant zit on my cheek. The small blemishes went away almost immediately after trying out this product. The bigger blemish (which ended up being tough to rid of) went away after a couple of weeks, but I do believe this helped.

While I use Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser brighten my skin, I think this helps set my skin up for success and the two products work well together to give my face the overall brightness that I want - and see every day.

This is going to be one of those products that I constantly come back to even though I like to switch up my skin-care routine a lot and see if there is something better out.

Currently, on my bathroom counter, I have this mask and the Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask. While both of these serve a slightly different purpose, the result is the same - clearer skin. The resurfacing mask doubles as an exfoliator, which can be a bit harsh on my skin if I use it too often, so I've been reaching for my Algenist mask because it's more gentle on my skin.

Buy the Algenist ALIVE Prebiotic Balancing Mask from Sephora for $38

Buy the Algenist ALIVE Prebiotic Balancing Mask from Amazon for $38

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