About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Masks: Fighting Dehydrated Skin & Pores

The weather here has been horrendous because of the cold temperatures and that's not good news for skin, especially CFIDS/ME/CFS and/or fibro nor hypothyroidism skin.  Once we factor in the "windchill" factor it's been hard for even normal, healthy people to function.  I'm in bed (yay!) resting up as much as possible, sleeping off and on a lot, hoping like mad that my body finally realizes that I'm trying to work WITH it and not against it.  So far the body's not getting the message, but I keep trying, and keep on truckin', as we would say waaaay back when.

With this freezing weather, the central air heating is working steadily and my skin is getting more dehydrated each day.  I've been too exhausted and in too much pain to keep up washing my face properly and to take advantage of these in-bed days by doing all sorts of "girlie" things. However, yesterday I couldn't take it any longer and decided it was time to try to get back to taking care of my skin.

Ahhh.  And there's been another complication to add to the entire aging fiasco:  my face has been extremely dehydrated from all the high fevers I've been running.

Last night I took a bath that was entirely too warm for this time of year.  It was an oh so wonderful feeling, though the hot temperature is "bad" because the skin gets too dry and dehydrated and then is compounded by my NOT putting any moisturizer on my body because usually I can't stand anything on it. I did "do" my face since, hey, as I always say, the face is sacred!  I thought I'd try one of the paper or cloth-like masks, which are filled with product and you put on your face for a certain amount of time.  Since pores are something I'm always battling against, I thought I'd give the Masqueology Pore Minimizer I'd purchased this past summer a try.  (Why do I keep saving these things for a special day?  Half the time I wouldn't recognize a special day if... well, I just wouldn't and all those things I save go way past expiration dates or out of style...  but I know, back to topic at hand!)

I love these sorts of masks in general.  They are loaded with product and so easy to apply in bed.  Better yet, you use it and then discard.  (Hallelujah!  I have enough clutter in my life!)  After my face was clean, I laid back in bed for 20 minutes and let the mask work its magic.  This was easy to do because I was absolutely exhausted and drained from the entire bath experience and in shell shock as to how much of my hair keeps falling out.  OK... Sigh, I know: again, back to topic at hand!

At first I thought the solution was a tiny bit on the sticky side and wasn't sure I'd like that.  There was a bit of excess of the product after the mask was in place and I used it on my extremely dehydrated arms, elbows, shoulders and even my 30 inch arm/hand scar.  Within a couple of minutes those areas - which are so hard for me to keep hydrated - were no longer sticky, but extremely soft and well on their way to being hydrated.  I couldn't wait to see what would happen to my face after 20 minutes.

Simply the idea of these "cloth" masks thrills me because there's so little muss and fuss. They're extremely popular in Asia and since the Asian market is so far ahead of us in quite a few beauty areas - the BB and CC creams are great examples that come to mind - I thought I'd give them a second try.  

Furthermore, I love how this mask came to be.  According to sources I read, "Masqueology worked with top Korean dermatologists to develop a rayon-cellulose fabric that best delivers product into the skin and paired with a patented pro-vitamin D3 gel that fights UV photo-damage."  The first time I used another "cloth" mask is explained just a little bit here with an embarrassing picture of moi. I've learned from my mistakes and won't be doing a repeat of that again for the world to see.  I also thought I'd done a proper review but evidently not.  Will do so in the future.  Sorry!  That's what you get with fibro-brain!

But back to the mask at hand: the "cloth" is extremely thick so in that sense it's easy to work with - it's not about to tear as you adjust it to your face.  It's quite cold (it felt absolutely wonderful for someone who's been running fevers and getting clammy constantly) and the product consistency feels quite a bit like the gelatinous aloe vera - that is, slimy.  This, it turns out, is to our advantage because it helps the mask adhere to the face so much better, stay where you put it and not dry up after 20 minutes.  In fact, after I removed the mask I bunched it up, squeezed what product was left into my hand and then spread it again on my elbows, arms, decolletage and shoulders: heaven!!!  And so very soothing!  The slimy feel lasts only a moment or so.  It's not much of a factor in my book.

But back to the beginning: I ended up even covering my eyes with my mask and all but the nostrils of my nose. To cover the eyes, mouth and nose areas is optional, though breathing was most certainly not optional!  (Right? Right!)  While waiting for the twenty minutes to pass, I talked to hubs who had been watching TV but found my face with the mask ever so much more entertaining.  Poor hubs: he's under the mistaken impression that I'm the only female out there who does this sort of stuff to her face and when assured otherwise, he's then so pathetically happy that he was born a male.  

Anyway, while he gawked, I thought about what I'd read on the Masqueology web site and here's what the key ingredients are and what they do, taken right from the Masqueology web site, words and all.  In other words, their PR people probably went a little overboard as PR people generally do.  However, they weren't too awfully far from the truth!

• Minimizes the visible appearance of pores [so-so]
• Refines skin’s overall texture and appearance [agreed!]

Key Ingredients:
Comes in a 3-pack.
Sodium Hyaluronate [incredible, all of it!]:
Helps skin absorb more water effectively
Reduces any sort of trans-epidermal water loss 
Small molecular size makes it especially penetrative
Holds 1000 times its weight in water
Panthenol [fantastic!]:
Improves hydration
Reduces itching and inflammation
Accelerates and improves healing of epidermal wounds
• Mushroom Extract [great!]:
Reduces inflammation and irritation
Impacts the appearance of lines and collagen production
Helps brighten, fade sunspots and acne scars
Prevents cell breakdown and exfoliates the skin
• Ceramide 3 [yep!]:
Repairs damage to the skin’s moisture barrier
Smooth away wrinkles and crows feet
Repairs skin tone"

Perhaps what is best is what Masqueology does NOT contain:
-Synthetic Dyes

In the past I've tried quite a few products with Hyaluronic Acid, and while they helped somewhat, they were not enough to really combat the severely dehydrated skin associated with fibro, CFIDS (etc) AND hypothyroidism.  In fact, I thought that it was simply my skin and that I couldn't expect better since we do have such funky skin.  However, I was so wonderfully mistaken with this cloth mask and its abundance of product.  This product worked like a charm.  I'll need to retry my other products with Hyaluronic Acid because at this point I like the Methodology best, even better than the Clarin HydraQuench Cream, the Clarin HyraQuench Cream-Mask and Clinique HydraQuench Bi-phase Serum.  And though it kills me to say it, I think I like it better than even the Sisley Express Flower Gel.  I want to say, "say it isn't so, Joe!"  So another testing of said products needs to be done!  (Especially since they're sitting in the cabinets lonely and waiting for me to start using them again!)

Furthermore, I liked the anti-inflammatory ingredients, which worked well with the itchiness on my arms. I'd used that excess product well for a problem I just spoke about in Friday's Tidbits last week.  (Darn!  Wish I'd thought to put some of that product along my back!  Next time?)

At $8 a pop, this mask is pricey but if you compare it to a facial by a professional, then it's a huge bargain.  I liked this much better than the few professional facials I've had in the past, so....

And finally, if you're going out for the evening, I can see spending a little bit of extra time and using this mask before putting on makeup, etc.  It just gives a nice finish to the skin.  It'd also be great to take on a trip or vacation since the packette is so thin, non-bulky and there'd be nothing to drag home! 

Altogether, I'm so glad I bought the three-pack and look forwards to using it again soon. Masqueology is available at Amazon, Sephora and Dermstore dot com.

In the meanwhile, I hope everyone is feeling their best, only better.  Ciao and paka! 


  1. hon there are sooooo many make at home mask recipes that us all natural products. Have one of the kids or the hubby whip something up for you. Far cheaper than $8 per use :)

    I have done similar, but am buying from a Canadian gal in Winnipeg who makes natural skin products. You can see my review of her stuff on my site.

    1. I know, Shannon! I just happen to like to pamper myself with indulgent, luxurious products every once in a while...I need SOMETHING to keep me going! I can't go to movies, etc. I have no social life. I think it would be much too cruel to take away what I still have. Thanks! xx