I have a serious and not so secret love affair with Brown Barn Botanicals line of all natural skincare products. One of the things I enjoy the most about this line is how versatile the products are. As Brown Barn Botanicals owner and chief “Guinea Pig” tester, I am one of the first people to trial a new product.
I noticed immediate results with all of our new highly active moisturizing products and thought they could get no better until I was asked to test the new Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask. This mask was the final piece to the program and with good reason – it pulls together all of the elements in this program and helps our new moisturizers work most effectively.
Now my skincare routine looks like this, applied in this order:
Cleanser – Willow & Iris Gentle Purifying Cleanser AM & PM
Botanic Elixir – I use this instead of Toner AM & PM
Face Oil – I use whatever I happen to fancy that day, lately I’ve been favoring Winter Forest Facial Oil. AM & PM
Cranberry & Honey Brightening Face Serum – I generally add this in the PM or when I feel I need an extra boost. This is, in fact, a “booster” product so it makes perfect sense that I don’t feel the need for this item every time I wash my face.
Arctic Bloom Eye Creme – AM & PM
Rose Hip & Red Currant Resurfacing Scrub – Weekly as needed
Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask – Weekly as needed or on problem spots almost daily.
At 55 years old, I have dry skin that will turn red or break out with new product testing. That’s normal for me, and in fact for most of us. When I first applied the new age-defying moisturizing trio I instantly turned Beet red and had a hot sensation! This lasted for about an hour.
After my initial panic subsided I realized this reaction was due to the blood flow that was stimulated as a result of the highly active hyaluronic acid used in the new products. After using the products for about 2 weeks this subsided. Although I do sometimes still experience some redness, it doesn’t bother me as I know its just my product doing its job on my old skin.
Also when testing our newest age-defying products I noticed I broke out at a slightly higher incidence than I normally do in new product testing. I think this was due to the rapid results these products delivered, breaking apart dead skin cells and debris may have resulted in some cells temporarily blocking pores in their rush to exile. Thankfully I can report that after four weeks of use the break-outs had ended and my skin looks younger and more radiant than it has since I was about 10 years old.
Of all of our skincare products, our newly launched Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask stands out for having the widest variety of ways to use this product. This is an AHA/BHA mask made with hydroxy acids and salicylic acid naturally found in fruit, maple sugar, and willow bark. It’s 100% natural however it is highly formulated and quite advanced, making it very effective and fast-acting.
The mask is a gel – that means it is not a dry compound you mix with water to form a paste, nor is it a paste in a jar, nor is it a peel-off mask. It is a gel. You smear it on your face, let it dry and wash off.
Because of all of the active ingredients in this product your skin may at first react with warmth or redness that can last up to 2 hours. Be sure to test your skin tolerance before using this mask for longer than 10 minutes at a time. If you have sensitive skin either skip this product or test it on a small part of your cheek before using on your entire face.
Some skin types are too sensitive to use the mask longer than 10-15 minutes or you may need to build up tolerance to AHA/BHA application. I used the mask weekly for 10-15 minutes at a time on my entire face for the first 3 weeks, then I started adding mid-week applications to my problem areas and for spot treatment. For me, that means targeting large pore areas on my nose and chin and on some facial “spots”. Now I find myself using the mask in some way almost every day.
Do not use the Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask if you are already using BHA products as it will be too much for your skin. If you would like to try our mask, then we recommend waiting at least 2 weeks between ending use of your “old” BHA product and starting a new one.
Avoid sun exposure for up to 48 hours after using a BHA mask and use sunscreen if you know you will be in the sun.
Once you’ve determined the Neroli & Maple Mask is a good fit to your skin type and needs, you can start using it in more creative ways than simply a weekly mask:
– To increase effectiveness cleanse first with an exfoliating facial brush. Loosening debris and dead skin cells will make the mask more effective. On days when you are feeling especially dull or oily use the mask as either a spot treatment to whisk away oily or dull patches or on your entire face for an extra lift.
– Create a weekly spa treatment by cleansing, then using Rose Hip & Red Currant Sugar Resurfacing Facial Scrub, follow with Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask. (Note: This is a pretty aggressive treatment, be sure you have tested each product on your skin before cocktailing them together.)
– This mask can also be used as a spot treatment or targeted area treatment. Simply dab on, wait up to 30 minutes, rinse. If you want even more action apply a second lay of mask after 10 minutes.
– Cocktail with facial wash for an exfoliating facial wash, wait five minutes before rinsing off. Massage Willow & Iris Purifying Cleanser over face then apply a layer of Neroli & Maple Resurfacing Mask. Wait 5 minutes then remove by massaging face with warm water. These products will work together to activate exfoliation.
– Combine with a Facial Steam. Apply a layer of mask while water heats. Remove hot water from stove. Hover over water to enjoy a facial steam – drape a towel over head and shoulders to trap steam. The heat of the steam will help activate the mask and open pores for a deeper cleanse. This is my favorite weekly routine. I add dried chamomile and rose petals to my water for an aromatherapy boost. I’m a little claustrophobic so usually can only steam for up to 7 minutes, use your best judgement on what is comfortable for you.
– Try wearing a thin layer of mask while working out. The mask dries clear so nobody will know you are cleansing while working out! Body heat and sweat will work with the mask to help detoxify pores as you sweat. Rinse off at the end of your work-out, sweeping away toxins and debris. (Again, wait to use this tip until you are certain your skin can maintain the mask for the length of your workout.)
Thinking creatively about skincare is what makes it fun and effective to use. Make an effort to incorporate products into your daily life for maximum results. Carrying toner in your gym bag gives a cooling boost at the end of a work-out, applying mask spot-treatment during your favorite television program, or keeping your face scrub in the shower so you don’t forget to use it all help make skincare a breeze!