Get Tight: On Skincare & Budgets
Happiness to me is finding an effective skincare product that doesn’t make my wallet writhe in pain. So let’s just say it was a glorious day when I found Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay at my local organic market and paid less than the price of two lattes.
What is Indian Healing Clay? Don’t let the muscle milk-like branding on the jar fool you (“THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL FACIAL; FEEL YOUR FACE PULSATE!”). It is a mask made from finely milled calcium bentonite, or volcanic ash (which is surprisingly also used for kitty litter). The clay clears pores and detoxifies skin, behaving like a liquid sponge for the dirt and grime your normal cleanser can’t reach.
The directions called for the mixing of equal parts clay and apple cider vinegar. At this point I knew two things about apple cider vinegar: it smells like boots worn on a transcontinental hike, and when ingested, it travels down your throat with the same agreeability as a sulfuric acid cocktail. Despite my reservations, I mixed the clay powder and vinegar and slathered it over my face.
The mask did not sting or burn, it tightened. It tightened in a way where it felt like a handheld vacuum was suctioning my face. The experience was pleasant, nonetheless (but maybe not so much for the child who caught me leaving the laundry room in full mask, sorry apartment 3C). I washed my face after 30 minutes and my skin was deliciously smooth (as a baby’s bottom, they say), but it was also red.
Red as in I just received a prescription-grade chemical peel, red. I smoothed Dermalogica’s UltraCalming Serum Concentrate followed by Kiehl’s Abyssine Cream on my face and the redness subsided in 10 minutes. The next morning I noticed my blemishes appeared smaller and my skin retained a healthy glow. Radiant skin without breaking the bank? Happiness I tell you.
Photo by Ashley Weatherford