As you might have already inferred from my chosen line of work, I’m not afraid to experiment with beauty products. In fact, I’m most interested in trying out slightly strange and unusual things that seem likely to be a total gimmick—because what’s better than being pleasantly surprised by the efficacy of a product that practically begs suspicion with its over-the-top claims?
I wanted to believe in Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud mask ($58) from the get-go. A “9,000-year-old beauty secret,” moor mud can be procured only from the depths of the black bogs that break up the greenery of the Irish countryside. This mud, long rumored among the locals to be a source of antiaging and healing properties, was then mixed up into a witches’ brew with hydrating hijiki seaweed, volcanic ash for detoxification, and activated charcoal to pull impurities from the skin.
It all sounds very nice in theory, but obviously it warrants a look at the actual ingredients. At the top of the list is peat, which is characteristic of boggy ground. It’s followed by charcoal powder (check!), lava powder (check!), and sargassum fusiforme extract—that’s the scientific name for hijiki seaweed. Then there’s kaolin and bentonite, which are well-known cosmetic clays that are great for refining pores and clearing out debris. All said, the mask promises purifying, refining, decongesting, and hydrating effects, each of which is backed up by the promising ingredients.
Slapping the thick, pitch-black formula onto your face is half the fun, but what is fun with skin care if it doesn’t produce results? After several minutes of wear, all of which were prime for scaring the shit out of my unsuspecting boyfriend while he was watching TV in the dark, my skin was left smooth, clear, and—ahem—radiant. It is, above all, my very favorite mask to use for any reason, whether it’s for a special occasion or when my skin looks truly godawful—or even just when I have a few extra minutes on my hands before work (rare).
It won’t stain your skin, nor your sink, but you should definitely use a damp washcloth to remove it so that the mud doesn’t make too much of a mess while you splash around. It’ll come off that washcloth in the wash too—but to be fair, I’d probably still use it even if it meant tossing out a cloth every single time. It’s that good.