Cheapie but Goodie: Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A few months ago, I wrote a post on a green clay mask that really impressed me--the Queen Helene Mint Julep one. I've used more than one tube of it thinking it was really great stuff, until this Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask came along and blew it out of the water.

Both products sound very similar--clay based substance you spread all over your dampened face which dries and tightens to extract dirt from your pores. Honestly, both of them do that, but the Burt's Bees one does it so much better! I still stand by what I wrote earlier on the Queen Helene--that it helps my pimples dry up and my pores look smaller after using it (short-term effect, I'm afraid). But the Burt's Bees performs so much better in those departments, which is what I'm looking for a good face mask to do. What I immediately noticed about this fabulous gunky clay stuff is how much more it tightens and tingles (because of the menthol) than the Queen Helene. I could barely move my face with the Burt's Bees on, and when my air conditioner blasted me in my face, I was tingly for a good half hour. I rinsed off my face, moisturized and hit the sheets and woke up to some seriously improved acne! Normally because of my cystic acne issues, my face is sprinkled in splotchy red lumps pretty much all the time. Now, this Burt's Bees stuff is no miracle worker, because it was mostly still there, only a lot less lumpy and red. The Queen Helene does well for taking out my blackheads, but its never had that kind of success on my cystic acne before.

Both masks have surprisingly short ingredients lists as well--around 10 components are listed for each. For those of you are into more natural products, it's worth noting that Burt's Bees lists "shavegrass herb", "calendula officinalis flower" and "French green clay" while Queen Helene has "kaolin", "glycerin" and "zinc oxide."

Clearly then, I prefer the Burt's Bees mask by far. The only problem is that their product comes in a little glass jar of clay powder. Yes, powder, meaning that you have to mix in the liquid yourself. It's kind of fun to do sometimes, and you can customize the mix to suit your skin's needs (they recommend different fruit juices for various skin types) but on lazy nights, the already made mask in a tube (Queen Helene) is just easier to use.

The other point of controversy here is the difference in amount of product and price. I usually pay $4 for 8 ounces of the Queen Helene, but the Burt's Bees clay powder is roughly $10 for 1 ounce. That sounds slightly ridiculous, but 1 ounce of powder is actually a very substantial amount, and even mixed with water, it will last you a while. (Tip: the directions will tell you to mix in 1 tablespoon of water to get the right consistency for the mask, but that's way too much! Start out with a small amount and then add more as you see fit).

Even so, the Queen Helene is clearly the better value of the two, but I like the Burt's Bees so much more that I'd gladly spend $10 on it any day!

Sorry, Queen Helene, but you've been given the boot! Burt's Bees FTW!

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