Sep 28, 2014

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask | Review

Innisfree has seen a huge success since it opened its stores in Singapore in November 2013. Needless to say, I only first heard of them when I went to the hairdresser's in April. As they fussed with my hair, I picked up one of Her World's Magazines and stumbled upon this volcanic ash mask. I was immediately intrigued. I mean, I've never heard of any volcanic ash mask before that day. I didn't even realise how big this product was internationally, until I was watched a YouTube video of the New Zealand Youtuber, Shaanxo, give this exact same product to ItsJudyTime when they swapped products. I remembered thinking: did the hype seriously reach all the way to New Zealand?

Well, apparently so.

With all the hype going on about the Jeju volcanic ash line, I couldn't resist getting my hands on it any longer. Thankfully for me, there was a promotion going on at that time with the Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask. It came in a 'Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask Set' along with samples of Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam (30 ml) and its Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner (70 ml) for the same price! Score!

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Its promise:

'Jeju volcanic scoria intensively absorbs sebum and clarifies pores'

Directions :

After cleansing, apply skin toner to refine skin texture and gently smooth entire face, avoiding eye and lip area. After 10 minutes, roll using fingertips and rinse off with lukewarm water.
( 1-2 times per week) 

How I applied it :

I found that applying it direct didn't work for me at all. It didn't cling on nicely on my skin and some even landed on my sink. So what I did was that I placed a thumb size amount on my palm and made a paste with tap water. After spreading evenly around my T-zone area, where I get the oiliest, I let it sit for 15 minutes. Then washing it off and following it up with my regular cleanser. This is just a precaution to remove all traces of the mask on my face.

First Impressions :

  • Jar packaging; which isn't very hygienic
  • a pleasant scent
  • more 'moist' than an average clay mask
  • yet quite dense; some clay masks I've used was lighter in consistency than this one
  • No visible effect on my pores and oil control from first time usage
Now on to the actual review. I tried these products thoroughly for a little over three months now, and I can only conclude that it wasn't able to live up to its hype. Before I explain why, here are some of the commendable aspects of the product that I found.

-made a nice dent in it after three months-

The Good:

- A little goes a long way:  the method where I mixed the mask with water meant that this product would last me a long time

- Considering how long a 100 ml jar would typically last, at SGD 21,  this is a very affordable product

-  I like that there are lactic acid in the ingredients. Lactic acid is a gentle alpha- hydroxy acid ( AHA) which is a chemical exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin cells on your skin, without having to use harsh exfoliating beads. (Major plus points!) It's good to note that AHA's are commonly used in anti-ageing products to improve the appearance of wrinkles as well.

The Bad : 

Oil control :

This product has been heavily marketed as one that absorbs sebum. Like many ladies out there with oily skin,  I use clay masks with the intention of easing oil production throughout the day. This is especially important if there's an important event the next day and I want to feel confident without having to worry if my face was getting shiny. After multiple use of this product, it is safe to conclude that this product does not help with oil control at all. This is strange because even though I wasn't too sure of the abilities of the volcanic ash,  I was so positive that the kaolin clay added to it would have helped to control sebum. The fact that it didn't meant that you might want to have a go at other masks in the market for the ladies out there with combination to oily skin.

Tightening of the pores:

Enlarged pores typically comes with oily skin, and I am no exception.  I had high hopes for this clay mask, especially having seen reviews where some ladies swears by its ability to slough off their black heads. However, it did not clear out my pores nor did it tighten it. 

The packaging:

It is a typical jar packaging which I do not like for hygiene reasons. Constantly dipping my fingers into it meant that it could potentially introduce bacteria to it. I also don't like that I have to use my fingers to scrape out the content of the jar, which by the way, gets harder when the product gets drier over time. ( I do know that Innisfree sells a plastic spatula for SGD $2, however it's too large to fit into the jar, which in my opinion, makes it no different that a plastic spoon.)

Also, it isn't exactly air tight as well - this means that even after two months ( well, in my case ) ,  it would significantly get drier. Not a good sign of a good mask if you ask me.

To conclude : 

Being one of the first few to introduce a volcanic ash mask into the mass market, I can understand the reason for the hype behind the Innisfree Super Volcanic Ash Mask.

Another possible reason for its popularity are the ladies with dry to normal skin who wants a clay mask that isn't too drying. Such that it does not give the 'tight and dry' feeling that some clay masks provides. This sensation is typical for oil absorbing products and would explain the lack of ability to control oil. On this aspect alone, this mask would be an enjoyable mask to use for many.

All in all, I guess it all boils down to your skin type and your preference. As for me and my oily skin, I would give it a miss. I believe there are better clay masks out in the market for me. My favourite clay mask that I would recommend to those with oily or acne-prone skin is the Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure mask that I mentioned in my post : Clearskin: Exfolation Is Key ( Salicylic Acid).

On a side note, I have found another Korean brand called PureHeals that sells Jeju volcanic ash products in Sephora. It's interesting to note that it's Volcanic Pore Refining mask are of the same price range as Innisfree ( retails at Sephora for SGD 24)  Curious if any have seen and tried it? Let me know in the comments section down below,  I would love to hear from you!


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