One of the first face masks I ever used was Origins' Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I remember how weird the idea of spreading charcoal all over my face in the name of beauty seemed at the time. However, the mask's detoxifying properties helped calm and soften my inflamed skin while also reducing blackhead production around my nose. I've been a believer in the product ever since. Combined with my great fascination with and appreciation for the strange, I always kept an eye out for more face masks that seemed beautifully bizarre to me.
Now, it's not just the weird element of certain mask that I love. Discovering new and quirky masks makes me feel like I'm further delving into and unlocking a world of beauty secrets (which will undoubtedly be valuable both to my descendants as well as my own quest for immortality). There's something about using unconventional ingredients with skin benefits that is both empowering and exciting.
Besides the multiple skin benefits they promise, masks are a perfect way to make yourself feel truly pampered as you sit back and allow them to do all the dirty work for you. There are face masks for practically every skin concern and made with any herb, fruit, or vegetable you can think of. Ingredients can range from things like bee venom and wine to snail mucus and semen, and there is a certain claim to fame for all of these ingredients. For example, bee venom is supposed to lift and plump your skin, while red wine is said to be a great pore minimizer. As well as personal testimonies and my own belief in these skincare powerhouses, though, many of the benefits are lauded by scientists and skincare specialists as well.
Here are some of the more unusual face masks on the market right now. Give them a try and see their weirdly powerful benefits for yourself.
The fish eggs known for starring at only the fanciest of dinners can also leave your skin feeling luxurious. The sea minerals in caviar are rich in amino acids (great for younger, less tired-looking skin), and the omega 3 fatty acids in the eggs deliver a dewy glow.
Your favorite way to wind down in the evening just got even more boozy. Use a wine face mask to eliminate dead skin cells, improve blood circulation, and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Pair the mask with your favorite glass of merlot and truly receive all the benefits that wine has to offer. Additional tip: Red wine is best for oily skin as its polyphenol resveratrol reduces inflammation, while white wine is best for dry skin due to its water-binding properties, courtesy of alpha hydroxy acids.
There are many clay masks out there, but none more heavy duty and effective than pure clay. Available at most health food stores, pick up this Indian healing clay (100 percent green clay), and combine with water and/or apple cider vinegar to make a great detoxifying face mask. The jar is good for up to 12 facials!Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, $12, Amazon
My favorite beauty ingredient ever also makes for a great mask. This mask uses rose petals and rosewater (two and a half roses in every jar!), making a product that will leave your skin glowing and supple. Rose is super gentle on all skin types, and will leave your skin smelling amazing.
Sulfur, in small amounts, is actually perfect for reducing blemishes on acne-prone skin. This medicated mask is made with 10 percent sulfur, and combined with other ingredients like clay (to dry problem areas) and aloe (for soothing and calming the skin) helps to clear acne.