Guest Writer, Jana Droloc on Masking: My Favorite Self-Care Practice
My name is Jana Drolc and I'm an author and content creator at Small Bits of Loveliness. My main focus is cruelty free, natural and organic beauty, and I'm passionate about healthy lifestyle in general. I love to write about different beauty products and help others on their own "green beauty" journey. Connecting with my lovely readers is my favourite thing ever and over the years of blogging I consider many of them my friends, and I'm so grateful for that. If you would like to get to know me better head over to my blog and you can also follow me on Instagram at @smallbitsofloveliness.
I have been a massive fan of Earthwise Beauty and Ava’s creations for a few years now, and just recently I really got into their powder masks. Sungod and Catharsis Face Masks are both so very beautiful, unique and potent, and it truly is a joy to use them.
Sungod Face Mask
A "reparative mask for all skin types", created for the souls who always crave sun rays, who worship the sun's power, and who, during dark winter months, dream about sun-washed beaches and cliffs. I live for summers, sun and beaches so Sungod was practically made for me. Sun, as well all know, is so extremely important and not only because of the Vitamin D. But what goes hand in hand with the majestic sun are the unwelcome effects it can leave on our skins, from sun damage, hyperpigmentation, premature signs of aging. Sungod helps and reduces all those effects and also contains plants that are supposedly anti-cancer plants, like Maitake and Shiitake Mushrooms, Wildflower Pollen and Goldenseal. This precious mask nurtures with sun-reminiscent and historically sun-associative botanicals such as Calendula, Sunflower and Turmeric. All the roots, the mushrooms, flowers, leaves and so on, make Sungod a very potent, active and nurturing mask.
If you read the description of Sungod it is described as a mask that rebuilds skin tissue that is compromised, damaged from environmental factors, sensitized, or unhealthy. This is not a face mask that offers a quick but ephemeral brightening or purifying effect. In my experience Sungod is in fact brightening but know that this mask needs a bit of time and regular, weekly use to really show itself in all its potential. I completely agree with Ava's description that Sungod is a reparative mask. It repairs and rebuilds the skin and helps the skin to heal faster and improve texture & elasticity. They say that you can also expect an improvement in chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and cold-sore outbreaks. I love that it's so nurturing and just a wonderful mask to use weekly for brighter, thicker and healthier skin.
How do I mix and use Sungod?
Sungod smells like pollen and is recommended for all skin types. If you have very sensitive skin I would recommend doing a patch test, because it's very potent. It depends on how my skin is feeling but I like to use it two different ways. Lately I've been loving mixing it only with water. I use warm water and treat the mask almost like tea, hence the quite warm water. I'm very particular when it comes to mixing powder masks and I highly recommend doing it my way, if you don't mind me bossing you around haha. First I put a desired amount of the mask into a mixing bowl. I usually use about a teaspoon. Then I sprinkle in some water with my fingers. I run my fingers under the tap and then sprinkle in water so that only a few drops fall into the mixing bowl. That way I don't add a lot of water at a time and I never end up with a mixture that is too runny. And if it is, just leave the mask for 5 minutes and it will thicken up a bit & will be easier to apply.
The second way I like to mix it is with water and raw organic honey (and sometimes with a drop or two of oil and/or a toner, but usually I just stick with water). I prefer to mix it with honey when I feel like my skin needs a little extra moisture or when I don't want the mask to be too active. When I only mix it with water, I do experience a rush of blood into my face which is shown by slightly red skin after I rinse off the mask. This is just an increased microcirculation (which goes away in about 10 minutes) and is actually a good thing because it helps nutrients to pass into the skin. I leave the mask on for 10 - 20 minutes and that works great for my skin. What I also find very important when it comes to masking is that they always work best when they are hydrated, when they don’t just sit on the skin and dry up. Every once in a while I therefore mist my face with water or a face mist, in this case with Earthwise Beauty Cistus and Moonlight Face Mist.
For the end of my Sungod Face Mask review let me tell you that this mask wants a committed relationship. If you have it, you better use it regularly and you will really reap all the benefits. I’m very impressed with this mask.
Catharsis Face Mask
This mask differentiates from Sungod in a way that you don't need to use it weekly to notice results on your skin. It's an instant gratification mask and that is often what we expect from masks. The same as Sungod, Catharsis is also very potent and active but it contains less ingredients, only five to be precise. There is Aloe Vera, Neem (the star ingredient of this mask), Spirulina, Chlorella and Orange Peel. Neem is a very well known ingredient in India and has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Neem is strongly antimicrobial, healing for acne of all types. "Fun" fact about me and neem is that I had some toenail fungus and I treated it with organic neem oil & it worked like a charm. Sure it doesn't have the best scent profile but if a plant oil can do that on fungus, then imagine how beneficial it must be for reducing acne. Supposedly it's also great for rosacea because of its cooling and anti-inflammatory nature.
How do I mix and use Catharsis?
Catharsis is described as a "firming, acne-reducing mask", it removes impurities and provides a strong detox and skin brightening effect, but is nonstripping, nondrying, moisturizing, and gentle. You can mix this mask the same way as Sungod but I prefer to only mix it with water. Neem turns into this unique consistency when mixed with water and honestly it's harder to achieve an even application with it. I love applying Sugod with a masking brush but Catharsis works best when applied with fingers. Don't fuss around with it and try to make it look all cute. The mask feels very cooling on the skin which is quite pleasant actually. I love the anti-inflammatory vibes that it gives me. I find it very interesting and unique that when you have the mask on the skin it feels cooling, but once you remove it my skin starts to feel warm and looks flushed. Skin feels very tight, but not like dry skin tight, but like "did I just get botox?" tight. It is definitely firming, and plumping. The perfect way to describe it is that is that my skin feels invigorated. And soft and radiant. I really like it. Plus there's the whole detoxifying aspect of Catharsis, which is something I always appreciate.
This mask is vegan (Sungod contains humanely-gathered flower pollen), smells like neem (the scent is kinda bitter and green) and is suitable for all skin types, especially acne-prone, mature, and with rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema.
When it comes to masking I find that it’s best to listen to your skin. Take a closer look and see what it needs. If you’re having problems with hyperpigmentation marks, acne scarring (as in post-acne redness), if you feel like your skin lacks in overall appearance and needs to be strengthened and nurtured, then mask with Sungod. And when you wish more plump, radiant, firm skin or when you have some acne or redness, then masking with Catharsis is the way to go. It will instantly reduce redness & inflammation and help smooth your skin.