Beauty

Beautycounter Reflect Effect AHA Mask Review

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Exfoliating is a beauty buzzword these days, but why is it so popular? Because it’s a game-changer! Let’s dive into the benefits of exfoliating our skin and why incorporating an exfoliating mask into your weekly routine might be just what your complexion needs to shine.

Beautycounter Reflect Effect AHA Mask

I am not a mask girl. If I ever get invited to a “Mask Spa Night,” I go purely for socialization (and food). Although I pride myself on a 75-step skincare routine (ok, six but it usually feels like that many), my masks typically sit on my shelf and get dusty. Why the dramatic opposition? It’s too much work! You get out the mask, let it sit, and then the clean-up and washing-off process are messy and sticky. Masks take extra time and rarely provide immediate results. Two reasons I left them out of my skincare routine until…drumroll, please…I tried an AHA mask. Friends, the Beautycounter Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask has turned me into a mask girl, truly! Read on to find out why! 

Skincare Benefits of this AHA Mask

The ingredients in this mask are next-level. Not only does a blend of chemical and physical exfoliators brighten and soften the skin, but the mask also locks in moisture and hydrates the skin. The absolute best part of this mask is that you see results after just one use, which is why I am now a self-proclaimed mask girl! After using the mask in the evening, the next morning my coworker, Lindsay, commented on my skin, “Wow, your skin looks so good!” Here is the breakdown of the ingredients that will give your skin results, even after just one use: 

  • Glycolic Acid: this sugar-based acid can do so many things! Because it absorbs so easily in the skin, think cellular level, this acid works hard to reveal your natural glow. According to dermcollective.com, “glycolic acid revitalizes skin by targeting sun damage, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, accelerating collagen production and moisture retention to support the skin’s matrix.” Glycolic acid provides moisture, fights wrinkles, and reduces scarring, while also preventing and treating acne. All of these results provide brighter skin over time. 
  • Phytic Acid: taken from plants, this acid removes gunk and build-up, such as flaky skin, that accumulate over time leaving you with a more even skin tone. Phytic acid plays a crucial role in fighting acne and reducing melasma. 
  • Bamboo Particles: the tiny beads in the mask act as the physical exfoliator, and they softly remove dead skin cells. After application, the beads turn white. 
  • Saccharide Isomerate: an ultra-hydrating, sugar-based moisturizer that combats dryness while soothing the skin. According to henrytianus.com, “this plant-based ingredient, boosts hyaluronic acid production in the skin by up to 66%.” Hyaluronic acid improves hydration in the skin resulting in younger more full-looking skin. Saccharide Isomerate can also provide hydration to the skin for up to six days. Sign me up! 

The AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) in this mask are the ultimate skincare superstars. The main AHA used in this mask, glycolic acid, is made from sugar cane. As the smallest acid, it is ideal for exfoliation making it easily absorbable on the skin. When an acid is absorbed, it sticks to the dead skin’s cells and sloughs it off the surface of the skin. Another AHA used in this mask is phytic acid, it helps get rid of build-up on the skin. These plant-based acids are considered chemical exfoliators, while the bamboo particles act as physical exfoliators. Both chemical and physical exfoliators get the job done, but when you combine them, they provide even greater exfoliating results!  

How to Use the Mask

  1. Thoroughly wash your face before applying the mask. I personally use the mask in the evening, although any time of the day is great. Don’t worry about applying any toners or serums after you cleanse, you simply need a dry, clean surface before applying the mask. 
  2. Apply enough of the mask to cover the entirety of your face. For me, this is about ½ – 1 tablespoon. This tool is great for easy application. 
  3. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and let the magic begin. If you have sensitive skin, like me, you may notice a slight tingling sensation when you first apply the mask. This is normal and should go away within a few minutes. If, however, the tingling doesn’t go away and your skin begins itching or burning, wash off the mask immediately. After about five minutes or so, you will notice the bamboo particles (the physical exfoliators) start to turn white! 
  4. After the ten minutes is up, wash off with a washcloth or muslin cloth
  5. Complete the rest of your skincare routine after rinsing and drying your face – prep (toner), treat (serum), protect (moisturizer). 
  6. Admire your soft baby skin!  
Q Why is it important to exfoliate your skin?
A

According to misumiskincare.com, “In simple terms, exfoliating is the process of shedding off dead skin cells from the skin’s surface by means of tools, acids or basically any other substances that do the job.” When we do this, AMAZING things happen to our skin. Here are just a few of the amazing benefits exfoliating can provide:

  • Unclog pores: By getting rid of flaky skin, dirt, and oil through exfoliation, you are cleaning out your pores, resulting in less acne.
  • Improves skin tone: When you remove dead skin cells, you are exposing the youthful, beautiful skin that is just waiting to come out!
  • Helps you get the most out of your products: When your pores are clogged and dead skin cells are sitting on the surface of your skin, your skincare products can’t penetrate the skin fully. Serums, moisturizers, and oils can penetrate the skin more deeply and effectively after the skin has been exfoliated.
  • Improves the appearance of your makeup: I have noticed a drastic difference between the weeks I exfoliate and weeks I don’t because of the way my makeup (mostly foundation) sits on my face. If you notice that your foundation doesn’t look natural (highlights wrinkles, accentuates flaky skin, or settles into creases), it is probably time to exfoliate. I am always amazed by the pretty finish I get with my foundation during the weeks I exfoliate my skin.
  • Can soften wrinkles: by removing dead skin cells and encouraging the turn over of new skin cells, exfoliating can encourage collagen production. When we get into our late 20s or early 30s, our bodies start losing collagen. Our skin becomes thinner and is prone to wrinkles. By regularly exfoliating you can slow down the aging process and soften current wrinkles.
Q What skin type is best for this mask?
A

Beautycounter products are designed to work well with all skin types, but because every person is unique, it is important to do a spot-check test with the AHA mask if you have sensitive skin. This can be done by swiping a small amount of the mask along your chin, waiting a few minutes, and seeing how your skin reacts. Both Cassy and I have sensitive skin and can use the mask on a weekly basis. Cassy also has rosacea and is able to use the mask without any reactions. Because the amount of AHAs in the mask is only 10%, most people, regardless if they have sensitive skin, are able to use the mask. Dry, oily, acne-prone, combination, and mature skin are all great candidates for this mask! If you are nursing or pregnant, we recommend speaking with your doctor before deciding to use the mask.

Q When should I use the AHA mask vs. the Overnight Resurfacing Peel?
A

Both the AHA mask and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel contain AHAs (chemical exfoliators), meaning they should not be used on the same day. Too many AHAs can irritate the skin. A helpful schedule to go by is to use the Overnight Resurfacing Peel 2-3 x a week and the AHA Mask once a week. Of course, this is all based on what your skin can tolerate. If you have more sensitive skin, you can do the Overnight Resurfacing Peel and the AHA Mask each 1x a week on alternating days. If you are acne-prone and can tolerate it, following the first schedule below would be extremely beneficial to preventing and treating acne. The Overnight Resurfacing Peel includes salicylic acid (a BHA) which fights off bacteria that produces acne.

Non-sensitive skin and/or acne prone schedule:

  • Monday: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
  • Tuesday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Wednesday: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
  • Thursday: AHA Mask 
  • Friday: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
  • Saturday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Sunday: AHA Mask

Sensitive Skin Schedule:

  • Monday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Tuesday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Wednesday: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
  • Thursday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Friday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Saturday: Neither, use your regular night-time serum
  • Sunday: AHA Mask

Q How often can you use it?
A

As a general rule of thumb, exfoliating should not be done more than 1-2 x per week. Anything over this might result in irritation and skin sensitivity to the sun. I have personally found that by using the AHA mask 1x a week, I still have significant results, as long as I incorporate the Overnight Resurfacing Peel (a chemical peel) on alternating days. Although you can apply this mask anytime of the day, DermCollective.com provides some insight on post-exfoliating hydration, “It’s best to exfoliate your face at night so you can follow with a hydrating night cream and allow your skin to replenish while you sleep”. Although putting a hydrating cream after an exfoliating mask is extremely beneficial, the AHA mask includes sugar-based moisturizer, saccharide isomerate, that not only has soothing effects on the skin, but also provides amazing hydration. Because of this ingredient, using the mask anytime of the day would not dry it out.

Tips for Using the Mask

Your skin can become more sensitive to the sun from using the AHA mask. Because of this, it is important to wear an SPF daily, even if you are staying inside! Light from windows can penetrate your skin, lather up with sunscreen despite being indoors. This is a good rule of thumb even if you don’t use an AHA mask, but especially important if you decide to incorporate it into your weekly routine. 

After using the Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask for several months, I have seen my skin go from nice to luminous! It’s so soft, the tone is improving, and my makeup applies flawlessly. I can see why exfoliating on a regular basis is all the rage and a total game-changer for any skincare routine. 

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Lauren Moore

Lauren is obsessed with safer skincare, American history, spending time with her nieces and nephew, running, and eating bacon as often as possible.⁠ ⁠ ⁠
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