(I did not actually taste the Pore Pudding.)
I received a sample of a weird clay mask in my Sephora Play box (yes, another SP sample — I like trying new stuff, and — as we have discussed — it is a terrible idea to splash out for a full-sized expensive item when you haven’t sampled it first). (I’m feeling a little defensive right now about reviewing deluxe samples, I guess. IT MAKES GOOD FISCAL SENSE, GUYS)
ANYWAY, I ended up with a generously-sized pot of the Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment ($38/2.8oz; my sample is about .8 ounces, I think?). Now, I like pudding, and I like activated charcoal, but I wasn’t too sure about some of the other ingredients it boasted — kaolin and bentonite clays, mostly. Products that promise to shrink pores tend to be drying (or at least oil-absorbing), and my body only produces about 10% the amount of oil as a normal person anyway. (Thanks, Accutane!) (No really — thanks, Accutane.)
But I like smearing goo on my face, so I decided to plow ahead.
First impression: GOOD HEAVENS this stuff smells strong. Remember when I was all like “wow the Sunday Riley cleanser is quite potent, I can’t imagine a skincare product that has stronger fragrance”? Yeah, well, I was wrong. This stuff is pungent. The best description I can come up with is that it smells like an alcoholic geranium got beat up by the bigger flowers, and then the bigger flowers got massacred by their rival gang The Weeds. (If you have tried this, please tell me what you think of the scent.)
ANYWAY. When I got a whiff of this, I was like “whoa this is probably not a good thing to put on my skin.” But then the texture was so unusual — like chocolate pudding thickened with a little clay powder — and visual effect of the swirling black and white was so pretty that I was like, “What the heck. I’ll do it For Science For The Blog Because I Am Bored And Foolhardy.”
That pretty swirl effect that induced me to try it? Yeah, turns out it’s actually kind of annoying in practice. The two colors contain similar-but-not-identical ingredients, so if I wanted to benefit from both equally I needed to get roughly equal proportions of black and white — but neither skimming off the top nor digging straight down gave me the 1:1 ratio I was looking for. In the future, I might just stir it before using. (I mean, it blends to a dark grey on the face anyway.)
The pudding itself is gloopy and a little cooling (I don’t think the cooling effect comes from the ingredients; I think it comes from the fact that I was really hot and the jar had been kept in an air conditioned room). It spread so easily across my face that the application process itself was a bit soothing.
I kept expecting this product to dry down — it’s a clay mask! That’s what clay masks DO! — but it stayed flexible and damp on my face. I left it on my face awhile (less than a “Galavant” episode) before rinsing with a wet washcloth. (MAJOR GRIPE: IT STAINED MY WASHCLOTH, AND THE STAIN LASTED THROUGH A LAUNDRY CYCLE. NOT COOL, BOSCIA.)
Were the results super miraculous? Do I still have pores?
No, the results were not super miraculous. Yes, of COURSE I still have pores. Unless I get punch excisions and a doctor-administered 100% TCA spot-peel, I will always have pores. I didn’t notice any particular minimization, but what I DID notice is that my face felt soft and calm and pleasant.
“HOLD UP” you say. “A clay mask hydrated your skin but didn’t minimize pores?”
Super backwards, right? Kaolin usually dries me out, but something else in the mask — probably the glycerin or hyaluronic acid (you think I didn’t see you, sodium hyaluronate? You can’t hide from me!) — played nicely with my skin.
Next morning, things were a little different.
You know those small keratin plugs that are dry and hard and live under the skin, but don’t cause too many problems? For whatever reason, the tips of those were surfacing. (I wasn’t getting tiny little irritation pus-pimples; these are the type of hardened clogs that just live under my skin for months at a time.)
Problem: Not enough of each plug was surfacing to actually extract. Other problem: If I feel something within my skin, I WILL PICK AT IT. I’m an obsessive picker. It’s not my fault — I even pick at uneven skin in my sleep. (True story.) So I kept harassing my skin until it was as red and angry and irritated as it hadn’t been post-mask.
I finally broke down and did a lengthy oil cleanse, which seems to have solved the problem. (I don’t know whether it loosened the plugs enough that they came out when I exfoliated right after, or dissolved the tips of the plugs so that they’re no longer reaching the surface — regardless, there’s nothing to pick at.)
VERDICT : Pretty good? Chocolate pudding > face pudding, but this pudding is nice too. I’ll probably use it again in the future, but this time I’ll know to do a thorough oil cleanse the morning after to thwart my personal picking problem. I would DEFINITELY not recommend it for those who are sensitive to fragrance, but I WOULD recommend it to the dry-skinned folks who think they can’t wear clay masks. (Because of the fragrance, I’m not going to try to use it more than once a week. I make terrible skincare choices, but I AM capable of exercising caution once in awhile.)
Tried this one? Enjoy face puddings or nah? DISCUSS.