Remember Biore strips? Of course you do! You’ve probably been seeing and hearing about clay nose masks, perhaps like the Hell Pore mask, which goes on like a pack or mask but cleans out the pores like a Biore strip. It’s also oft-mentioned as “the most painful mask on the planet” (dying to hand over your cash yet?!).
I recently picked up a similar product, Jeju Volcanic Lava Peel-Off Clay Nose Mask, from a The Face Shop outlet in Cambodia. The Face Shop is a Korean beauty company that sadly doesn’t yet have any outlets where I live, so I feel like a kid in a candy shop whenever the opportunity becomes available to shop at one.
I found it in the “men’s care” section of the store. It has no discernible fragrance and the clay nose mask consistency is very thick and white. It has a very shiny finish.
After double cleansing, I applied the mask rather thick over my nose and alongside, where my pores tend to get most congested (aka where the old biore strips would sit).
I like to double mask, especially when using a more drying mask like clay masks typically are. I usually apply a very hydrating one under and around my eyes to sit while my nose is cooking. This one is from Paula’s Choice.
It takes 10-15 minutes or so for the clay nose mask to set all the way. Your experience will vary depending on the humidity level of your house. When it’s completely dry, start at one side and start gently peeling it off.
When you have it off, flip it over and see what kind of goodies you’ve fished out of your pores (be honest, this is the best part, am I right?).
The Lowdown on The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Peel-Off Clay Nose Mask
Pain level: low, for me slightly less uncomfortable than Biore strips
Pros: with a clay mask, you can customize the fit to your own nose and needs. The skin under the mask felt very soft after I peeled this off. Also, I found this to be more effective than the black peel off masks I’ve found in Japanese drug stores.
Cons: for me, not available locally so must be purchased online or while on vacation.
Cost: around $7 USD plus shipping/tax as applicable.
Ah, Cure Gel. I don’t mean the band (though my wedding song was by them, so I’m a bit of a fan). Cure, or more accurately Natural Aqua Gel Cure, purportedly is sold every twelve seconds, in Japan alone. It’s reached major cult classic status. And for good reason.
What Cure gel does: throughly exfoliate your skin, getting rid of any rough, dry or scaly bits. What it doesn’t do: aggravate your skin. There are no physical scrubby bits in this.
How to use it? After cleansing (double cleaning, ahem), thoroughly dry your face and hands. Put 2-3 pumps worth in your hands and apply to your face. Let it sit about 10 seconds, then gently start rubbing your face with a circular motion. You will feel the product start to ball up (this is both the product AND your dry and nasty skin). After about a minute, or when you feel you have exfoliated to your little heart’s content, rinse your face throughly with water. And that’s it. Voila. Your face should feel smooth as a baby’s ass.
Follow the Cure gel with whatever skincare ritual you have. And like all exfoliators, be kind to your skin. Don’t use more than 2-3 times a week at most. With exfoliation, more is not more.
Are you dying to try it? If you’re in Japan, pretty much any major department store (Aeon, San-A, etc) will have it, as will most larger drug stores. Regular price is about 3000 yen for a large bottle that will last you eons (I’ve literally had mine two years and have yet to reach the halfway point).
Outside of Japan, you can try Amazon.com or Amazon.jp. There are copycats out there as well: Peter Thomas Roth makes a version, as does Korean brand Skin Inc.. My advice? Go for the original. The copycats cost more per ounce, and don’t do any better job than the OG Cure gel.