First off, it’s got a pretty impressive blend of ingredients. This mask is clay-based, which is where it gets its mattifying powers from. New York City-based board-certified dermatologist David Kim, MD, previously told Allure that clay masks are “really good for oily skin” since this ingredient can absorb any excessive pools of oil that make your face look greasy.
It’s more than just a clay mask, though. Caudalie’s famed skin-care product is also infused with caffeine, just like your morning latte. Thankfully, it won’t give you the jitters, but what it will do is increase circulation and calm inflammation, so your skin will look more luminous and less puffy. “Caffeine does for your skin what it does for your soul — wakes it up a bit,” Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, previously told Allure. “It’s an antioxidant that is a great vasoconstrictor, meaning it [temporarily] tightens up blood vessels.”
Speaking of antioxidants, this mask will also treat your skin to polyphenols, which fight free radicals (a.k.a. external elements like sunlight and pollution that can negatively impact skin health). Polyphenols can be derived from a plethora of botanicals, but in Caudalie’s case, the brand sourced this antioxidant from grapeseed, which also happens to be a great moisturizing agent that is safe for sensitive skin and helps restore elasticity, according to cosmetic chemist Vince Spinnato. “Grapeseed oil is noncomedogenic,” meaning it doesn’t clog pores, “so even the most sensitive of skin types can use this oil,” he previously told Allure.
Once all signs from my endless TikTok scrolling — I mean, serious pre-trial research pointed to a bright complexion with an evened-out skin tone, I threw all caution to the wind and decided to try it out anyway. So, I quickly prepped my face by cleansing with the Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Enzyme Foam Cleanser and slathered on the mask. It has a thick mud-like consistency, but it easily spreads down to a thin layer, so four little dollops are all I needed to cover my entire face. I spread it across my face with my fingers, my personal favorite beauty tools, and let the mask sit for 10 minutes. During that time I could very slightly feel the mask drying and tightening as it absorbed blackhead-inducing dirt and excess sebum, but it wasn’t irritating in the slightest.