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Product Review: Astara Activated Sea Mineral Mask

Yeow! My face feels like it's on fire. Okay, maybe not a full-blown blaze, but there's definitely some tingly heat going on thanks to the Astara Activated Sea Mineral Mask ($25–$42) I just applied. I'd always heard good things about Astara, and after using this mask I understand why there's so much buzz.

The mask has an unusual sort of sea smell, and that's not surprising. It features a lot of natural (and in some cases, organic) ingredients: oatmeal extract, five different kinds of mineral-rich seaweed, kaolin clay, and citrus extracts just to name a few. It also has menthol to cool skin, but as I said before, it tends to warm mine up more than anything. In fact, every time I've used this mask, it has one side effect I'm not crazy about. For a picture of that,

Well, there's no getting around this: This mask makes my face tomato-red for about 45 minutes to an hour. Sexy! The first time I used it was before Mr. Bella was taking me out for dinner, and I was nearly too embarrassed by my lobsterface to leave the house. So learn from my mistake: Use this mask only when you don't need to go anywhere immediately. Fortunately, the redness fades after a while, and then you get to enjoy the results.

And what results they are. Immediately after rinsing off this mask, my skin always feels incredibly soft and smooth—just like a baby's dupa. It also brings burgeoning pimples to a head sooner, and it definitely helps with blackheads. Makeup artist Charlie Green uses this mask on models at photo shoots to make the skin radiant, and I can see why. After the redness dies down, you get to bask in clear, healthy-looking skin. So is a little stinging and redness a fair exchange for the effects of this mask? I say yes.


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htiduj htiduj 9 years
ooh i am personally going to stay away from this one. even though it gives such good results.. i have super sensitive skin. if a biore pore strip bruises my face, i dont want to think about what a product which burns faces will do! this reminds me of that sex and the city when samantha gets a chemical peel the night of carrie's book launch party. OUCH!
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 9 years
Your skin looks awesome! Even with the redness :)
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
my skin is really sensitive so there is no way I'd want to put this on my skin. I'm sure there are other products I can use that will work for me just as well as this.
rosyrose rosyrose 9 years
I wonder how thinly can you apply it and still make it work. I have sensitive skin but I can usually get away with it if I use extra thin layers of everything (blending everything with foundation brushes).
misslilad misslilad 9 years
I haven't used this mask before, but the moisturizing mask is amazing.
Rabbit88 Rabbit88 9 years
a great mask that i use: Osea black algae mask. no redness. just works GREAT! everyone should try it.
emalove emalove 9 years
I don't know if I'd use this...
mbrown81 mbrown81 9 years
Bueaty is painfull isn't it.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
thank you for answering my question bella! I have sensitive skin and just looking at your redness made my skin ache in sympathy! lol. I get red just from using differin and benzaclin products. you do have great skin though. *jealous*
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Aw, thanks, Candyhunnie. That's kind of you to say! And yes, if the results were just so-so, I'd be really upset about the redness. But since it goes away after an hour, and my face remains soft this morning, I figure it's worth it. (Plus, my dermatologist has a mask that smells a lot like this one, and that one leaves me red, too—and both have great results.) If you have very sensitive skin, though, I'd probably take a pass.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Ouch...
Candyhunnie Candyhunnie 9 years
Cool, I might try it. And god what beautiful skin you have Bella!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Oooo yes, your face was red... I don't like when products turn my face red, it makes me feel like they shouldn't go on your face...
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