Sister Scoop: A Tale of Two (All-Natural) Masks

S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask

We are no strangers to the awesome-ness of the S.W. Basics brand. And this Christmas, Jennifer spoiled me with the S.W Basics Hibiscus Mask as one of my lovely, all-natural presents ($22 for 2.5 ounces). Now, outside of doing a random mask that I might get as a free sample when ordering other goods, I don’t really do masks. I am a washer, a toner, a moisturizer, but not really a “mask” girl. The reason being: I spent the majority of my teen years absolutely destroying my skin with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in layers over layers in an effort to make my pimples disappear and my oily skin go away. Masks have the connotation of being “tightening” and “drying” to me. Now that I am older, I really only like to put moisture back IN my skin, not take it away. I embrace it! Hence, why I generally don’t buy masks for myself. But this turned out to be a really sweet surprise!

With direct-trade hibiscus, french green clay and lavender powder, the mask arrives as a powder. You mix one teaspoon of the mask powder with one teaspoon of water, yogurt or honey. Mix and apply, and you will look SOOO funny! My fiancé said it looked like I just got done murdering someone – the mask, when applied, is BRIGHT red! As S.W. Basics encourages, take hilarious pictures of yourself with your hair up, in pajamas, on your couch with pizza! (Or salad. Salad.)

My skin felt brighter, tighter, and clearer after the mask. My pores looked nonexistent. I keep it on for around 15-20 minutes. It takes a bit of elbow grease to remove: what I do is use water and a little bit of coconut oil or vitamin e oil. This way, I am retaining the moisture, and the mask comes off very easily (no scrubbing).

Masks are fun because they feel indulgent. It’s not something I do every day. It’s something I do to treat myself, when I’ve had a long week. It’s just an added little step to my beauty routine to keep myself feeling special. And that’s why this is a great present for yourself or someone you love! Every now and then, a gal has to take herself to the spa.

Invest in a good headband and enjoy.

S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask

One night in Whole Foods…

(I wonder how many juicy stories start out like that. And how they typically end. “After we finished the organic haggis…”)

Well, mine begins with a 20-minute pit stop in the beauty aisle and ends with me smearing a sea green, gelatinous mask all over my face: Acure Organics’ Cell Stimulating Facial Mask ($15.99 for 1.75 fl. oz.). And lovin’ it. Don’t you just live for all the gems waiting to be discovered at Whole Foods? (Vegan flax milk! Chicken-less nuggets!)

That little green tube stood out to me among all the natural beauty bounty in the Whole Foods skincare section, I think, because I never use masks. (Can you tell Kathryne and I are sisters?) I always forego them to spend my money on something more necessary and practical. But with a deep love for Acure Organics in my heart (I was already enchanted by their argan oil at this time) and a Whole Foods gift card in my hand, I took the plunge. And now I’m writing about this fabulous mask on our blog because I absolutely love it and will buy it again, if I ever brave the serpentine lines at the Whole Foods in downtown DC again.

Let’s break it down. This mask is a deep, vivid green and feels cool and thick when applying to skin. It dries fairly quickly and should be rinsed off after 10-15 minutes.

Like the S.W. Basics mask, it contains French green clay which draws out impurities and makes skin feel exceptionally clean. For me, this mask refines my pores and gives my face a glowing, polished, exfoliated appearance. Emphasis on the glowing. The first time I used this mask, I was feeling lethargic and under-slept (OK, I was hungover). This magic mask perked my skin right up! For that reason, I recommend using this baby before special occasions so that the world can observe your temporary gleam.

It’s not drying: the mask contains nourishing argan oil and seabuckthorn oil. When I’m rinsing the mask off, it becomes slippery in my hands and I massage it into my face, then splash it off with water.

Acure’s product description states that Moroccan argan stem cells and chlorella growth factor spur cell revitalization. Let me reiterate: Chlorella, not to be confused with CHOLERA, which is how I first read it. (!!!) Anyway, chlorella is a type of algae that packs in loads of benefits (including being rich in DNA and RNA…science-y!) and gives the mask its green color.

Go on girrrrl, get your mask on! Or make fun of me n’ Kathryne wearing ours.


S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask ingredients:
Direct-trade Hibiscus, French Green Clay, Organic Lavender Powder

Acure Organics Cell Stimulating Facial Mask ingredients:
Organic Curoxidant™ Blend [(Organic Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Fair Trade Organic Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos)], Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf, French Green Clay, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Vegetable Cellulose Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (from Coconut), Chlorophyll, Organic Chlorella Pyrenoidosa Extract (Chlorella Growth Factor), Glucono Delta Lactone (Sugar Enzyme), Fair Trade Organic Theobroma Cacoa (Cocoa) Butter, Carageenan (Algae), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Stem Cell, Potassium Sorbate (Food Grade Preservative), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, and Sage and Spearmint Essential Oil Blend

What’s your favorite mask? And can we see a hilarious photo of you wearing it?

  • Mademoiselle Nature

    Nice post! I love masks once in a while. I am currently using the Acure one :-)! review to come soon :-)

    I am also very to sorry that your sentence” chlorella is a type of algae that packs in loads of benefits (including being rich in DNA and RNA” )….is incorrect and does not make sense. (I have a scientific background:-)).
    Have a lovely day! x

    • Jennifer

      Hope you like the Acure mask as much as I did!

      My sentence about the chlorella growth factor being rich in DNA & RNA is actually pulled right off the Acure Organics website:

      “CGF is rich in RNA and DNA, the nucleic acids that create life. Your body’s creation of RNA and DNA is significantly reduced in our early twenties, leading to aging. Our CGF contains 10,000 mg per 100g of RNA, the highest source available for your skin. Healthy cells count on the perfect replication of our RNA and DNA. CGF helps boost this process and protect our DNA and RNA during the replication process. CGF is also clinically proven to protect collagen and elastin fibers from the enzymes that destroy them.”

      I also found some sources listing the same thing while I was fact checking this article:

      Hope that helps clarify.

      • Mademoiselle Nature

        Thanks for your explanation butmy opinion remains the same. A growth factor is a protein, therefore it cannot contains in any cases contains RNA or DNA. This is really inaccurate.

        Thanks for linking the link. I like very much Acure but on this case, the information written on their site is obviously not written by a scientist, that is for sure. I hope to get time to write to them and point it out .
        Have a great day! x

  • Mademoiselle Nature

    OK sorry for the typo mistake. “I am very sorry to say that ……”

  • Call It Vanity

    I was thinking, “c’mon guys where’s the silly mask picture at?!” Ah, theeeere it is ;) Are you guys officially into masks now? They’re only the BEST.

    Mayah x

    • Jennifer

      HAHA. If Kathryne and I lived closer, I have a feeling there would be a lot more goofy mask pics on this blog…and yes, I’m officially a convert! My skincare routine was nothing short of spartan before I started this blog, now my medicine cabinet is full of all the bells and whistles. Masks = the good lifeeee.

  • Ru

    Thanks for the review! These 2 masks have been on my radar the longest time, especially the S.W Basics Hibiscus Mask. I’m also lazy when it comes to masks but good ones really benefit the skin! Currently I only have 2 masks on rotation: Andalou Naturals pumpkin glycolic and May Lindstrom the problem solver.

  • Kathryne

    RU- I have been wanted to try a product with pumpkin in it for some time- thanks for the tip, that sounds AMAZING!

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