As someone who suffers from rosacea, you can trust me when I say that finding products that reduce redness often feels like an endless quest. I’ve had splotchy redness on my cheeks for years now, and although it flares up and then dies back down, it’s never truly gone. Sometimes it shows up on my chin, nose, and forehead as well. I’ve tried everything to nix the redness for good, including a prescription from my derm that gave me cystic acne (thanks for nothing, Metrogel). Recently, in the interest of turning over every stone, I turned to K-beauty. I’ve heard a lot about K-beauty products that help with dry or dull skin, but what about redness?
Fair warning: I still haven’t found that miracle product that completely erases redness, so the quest remains ongoing. However, I do get excited to try any product that promises to calm my skin even somewhat after I have a flare-up. I also get sad when there’s an entire category of products my sensitive skin prevents me from using. Clay masks are great for drawing impurities out of your skin, but they’re also an entire product category I avoid because they’re too irritating and drying. If only calming clay masks were a thing, right? Well, good thing there’s RE:P Bio Fresh Mask With Real Calming Herb, a mask made with natural ingredients that claims to both detox and soothe skin.
I’m new to RE:P (pronounced “ree-pee,” it stands for “Real Elemental Practice”) but after using this mask I’m already a fan of the brand. All the ingredient lists on their products are impressively packed with high quality and natural ingredients, plus I appreciate the fact that they’re cruelty-free and eco-conscious when it comes to their packaging. You can read more about the brand here, but now let’s talk about my experience with their Bio Fresh Mask.
First of all, you get a generous amount of product for the price. I don’t find it necessary to use this mask more than once a week at most, so I can see the contents of the 4.5 oz jar lasting for several months. It has a very thick consistency thanks to the kaolin clay, so you don’t need to use a lot to get a good layer over your entire face.
As per the instructions, I applied the mask to my freshly-cleansed face and let it sit for about five to ten minutes. I did notice a scent, but it was subtle and natural—not overwhelming in any way.
The other thing that I noticed are the little bits of herbs peppering the mask. These seem to add a bit of texture to the mask, so if you find yourself in need of some exfoliating you can easily rub the mask over your T-zone and get some gentle exfoliating action while you’re washing the mask off.
Normally I avoid any form of physical exfoliation for fear of pissing off my sensitive skin, but this was gentle enough to avoid irritation while still making my skin feel extremely cleansed. That also might be thanks to the kaolin clay, which helps to draw dirt and dead skin cells out of your skin—but thankfully, not in the extreme aggressive way that I’ve experienced with other clay masks. Kaolin clay is by far the most hydrating and gentlest of all clays, making it perfect for my dry and sensitive skin.
I noticed my skin was slightly more pink after rinsing the mask off, but that’s what happens any time I wash my face (which makes me think I need to try a sheet mask next). I wouldn’t use this mask on days when my skin is already misbehaving; rather, it’s something I can rely on to soothe a flare-up the night before a special event. It helps even more if I follow the mask with a serum (I like the RE:P Nutrinature Moist Gel Oil) and then a thick sleeping mask like the RE:P All Night Moisture & Relief Mask.
Then voila, the day after using this mask my skin is fresh and clean without feeling dried-out—and yes, noticeably calmer.
I’m pretty excited to have finally found a clay mask that’s not only effective at removing impurities from my skin, but soothing and hydrating to boot. Up until now I didn’t even think that was possible. If you have red or sensitive skin and you’re dying to try a clay mask, I can’t think of a better option than this one.
Kelly is a beauty and style freelance writer (which means she works from home, barefaced and in pajamas). You might see her writing on Bustle, xoVain, and Fashion Magazine, among other places.