Historically, I’ve always gravitated toward products that do more than one thing. Simple enough, right? More bang for your buck, and the more the merrier and all that.
This is especially true of face masks, because the multi-masking phenomenon is just not for me; I don’t see the appeal of going through the trouble to apply different formulas to different parts of your face. I’m a person who loves a good shortcut, and prefer to do almost everything in the least amount of time possible, so I’m always game to jump right on a mask that offers up multiple benefits. 2-in-1 is good, 3-in-1 is better. But 5-in-1? Next level.
That’s the idea behind the new First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask ($38), which I’ve been applying to my entire face a few times a week for the past few weeks. It has five purposes—to nourish, calm, refine, firm, and plump, all very nice adjectives and all things I’d like to happen to my skin. It’s easy to make those kinds of claims, though, and results are more compelling than marketing buzzwords. Fortunately, this “10-minute facial in a jar” has both.
But first things first: I am obsessed—obsessed!—with the mask’s texture. It is, indeed, bouncy, a clear, viscous gel that regains its shape shortly after you scoop some out of the jar. Tap it with your finger, just for fun, and watch it rebound like jello. V. cool. My initial concern was that it would drip all over everything, but there’s something smart happening here that enables the gel to sort of mold to the face. It also smells faintly, pleasantly of rose, which is delightful in and of itself.
Left on for the short(ish) fraction of time it takes for me to get dressed in the morning, the mask is pretty transformative in all the ways it promises. The potent combination of gently exfoliating fruit and plant extracts, vitamins that promote collagen production and smooth out wrinkles, a marine plankton that strengthens the skin, and another thing from the sea (algae?) that firms instantly work to make my skin absurdly soft and clear, like I’ve never given myself a raised scar from picking at a zit before in my life. It’s immediately refreshing and revitalizing—a real pick-me-up, as they say, even for very sensitive, reactive skin types like my own.
A red carpet-ready complexion, which the mask touts as one of its many benefits, is not necessarily something I’m concerned about, given that I do not frequent any red carpets nor do I plan to do so in the near future, and also, I’ve zoomed in on enough celebrity photos to know that perfect skin is not a prerequisite for fame. But! As far as being “the perfect solution for a flawless face after a late night,” now that is something I can personally attest to. To be clear, this face mask alone cannot soften the blow to your liver (or your dignity), but it’ll spare you the morning-after feeling of looking in the mirror and feeling as if you’ve aged twenty years over the course of five cocktails, so cue up R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and get sippin’ on Coke and rum.