Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wait, a mask that actually does something for oily skin and blackheads? Review of Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado and Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
So, I really just bought this shit on a whim. I was trying to pick out enough stuff to get free shipping on an Ulta order when I was buying some gifts for my sister and mother. I figured I'd compare it to Queen Helen's Mint Julep mask, another cheap clay mask, which I actually really don't like.

As you may know, the Mint Julep mask is a sort of cheap cult favorite. I was really disappointed with it, though. First of all, the mint is pointless. It's just there to make your skin tingle, so that you think you can "feel it working", when actually it doesn't do you any good. It just causes low-grade irritation (or burning, if you're sensitive), which damages the skin. Beyond that annoyance, it didn't do anything for me. My skin didn't look or feel any better after I used it. It just felt tight and dry and needed moisturizing.

I have oily/combination skin, which means that sometimes my chin/nose/forehead is oily and other areas are dry, and sometimes it's pretty much all oily. So this type of clay mask should be ideal. It's supposed to absorb excess oil. I've tried other clay masks and charcoal masks . . . never impressed. I just never notice a difference.

But the Freeman Facial Clay Mask with Avocado and Oatmeal was $4 (around $6 on Amazon but cheaper if you can find it locally) so I thought, what the hell. It sounded okay, and instead of irritating ingredients, it has avocado oil, which is a great moisturizer. So I gave it a shot.
Pretty, right?
It's easy to use: you just spread a thin layer on your face, wait for it to dry (about 10 minutes - not too long or it can be overly drying), and then wash it off with warm water. When you spread it on your skin, you get all these awesome/gross dots where it draws out the oil from your pores (I assume), and so my nose and chin and the middle of my forehead were all speckled. Cool.

As soon as I washed it off, I already liked it better than the Queen Helen shit. My skin did not feel tight or irritated. In fact, I didn't need to moisturize it at all, and I always need to after I wash my face. My skin felt soft and happy and not greasy. My pores were the same. I have big pores and plentiful/prominent blackheads on my nose. They were still there after I washed the mask away. But good enough, there's your comparison - I was ready to tell you that this was a better option than the Mint Julep mask.

BUT THEN . . .

I decided to play with my fun little blackhead extractor tool the next day, but when I looked at my disgusting nose in the mirror . . . well, it was significantly less gross. My pores were way smaller and less visible. I still had some blackheads, but just little ones that were barely noticeable. So there goes my fun blackhead extracting party.

You guys. This is fucking crazy. The tube says that it "purges pores", but everything says it will get rid of blackheads, but I always ignore that, because nothing ever does. Like ever. I have tried tons of shit, but the blackheads have been the same for the last . . . 5 years? 10 years? I don't even know. I gave up. That's just my face. That's the way it is. Except, now it's not. Something got rid of my blackheads! Mind blown.

Using this mask is the only thing I did differently. Otherwise I've been using my usual products - so the mask is definitely responsible. I was a bit worried that my skin would react badly to it, because the fourth ingredient is titanium dioxide, and sunscreen with that ingredient always makes me break out in cystic pimples. But no problem with that so far. I seriously have no complaint with this product. I mean, you realize I am basically here to complain and swear a lot, so if I actually say nice things about some shit, you know I mean it. No, wait, I thought of something: it makes my eyes water a little when I first put it on. Not sure what that's about. But it doesn't bother my skin. I haven't figured out yet how often I should use it; I think I'll start with twice a week and go from there. But if you have oily skin and/or blackheads, I really think this is worth a shot. I am really fucking impressed.

Did I mention it's only $4-7?

Have you tried this before? What was your experience?


  1. Whaaaat! I have a ton of blackheads on my nose that probably no one else notices, but they drive me crazy because they are alwaysalwaysalways there. I've been interested in trying Freeman's charcoal mask, but now I think I'm going to have to get some of this as well!

    Can you talk a little about your experiences with the blackhead extractor? I've been thinking about getting one, but remember hearing somewhere that you shouldn't really use them unless you're a dermatologist.

    1. I read a very positive review of the charcoal mask on Musings of a Muse. If you try it and like it, let me know!

      You know, I was a little paranoid about using a metal tool on my face without really knowing what I was doing. I think I googled things like "blackhead extractor danger" and "blackhead extractor damage" and couldn't find anything at all. I did watch a couple of youtube videos showing how to use it first. I think that if you are gentle and don't keep pressing on it until it hurts or anything, you'll be okay. Some things are just not going to come out, and you have to accept that and move on, and not keep digging at them until you do something terrible. It's not sharp, so it would be hard to break the skin without using a painful amount of pressure. Honestly, I don't think it's any more dangerous than using your fingernails, which I know you are also never, never supposed to do, but let's face it - I was going to to do it anyway. At least the tool can be disinfected, so I think it's slightly less gross than fingers. I let mine sit in some strong rubbing alcohol for a few minutes before I use it.

      If you find a link to any warnings about using them, I would love to have that information.

  2. After seeing your review I bought sample packets of the one you used and a sample of the Goji Berry Hydrating one. For some reason I can't find full sizes anywhere, but a shit ton of smaller sample type packets. I've only used the Goji Berry one thus far but OH MY GOD. I have dryyyy skin and my nose is horribly flakey. Normally I have to use Aveeno Eczema cream to make it ok for a day. HOWEVER I used that mask two days ago, changed nothing else and my skin looks like regular people skin! It says it helps retain moisture and so far yeah it does, I can NEVER get my skin to be non flakey after like 10 hours or so. I'm flabbergasted and want to now buy everything they make.

    1. Oh, thanks for posting about that! I definitely don't have dry skin, so I never would have tried that one. I love that these things work so well without costing a million dollars.

    2. I couldn't find them for a while (I had to order off which was fine b/c they always have free shipping over $25), but I discovered them at my local KMart and a Discount Drug Mart in the town next to me. So far those are the only stores I have found them! If you have either near you, I'd check there. :) At both stores the Freeman products were on the very bottom shelf, which I occasionally overlook.

    3. Oh, that's great to know, thanks!

  3. Colour me intrigued! Still have the same feelings about this? If so, I will plunk down my $4 now and go grab one.

    1. It's definitely worth trying. I'm still using it once or twice a week, when I remember, and it does make a difference for me. I'm almost through my first tube, and I have a replacement waiting.

  4. i love this mask SO MUCH. and, as a many-year blackhead sufferer, i find that using alpha hydrox's intensive serum nightly softens your skin and helps the mask work even better. anybody else who is struggling with stuck blackheads might want to try it!

  5. I do a major mask every week (and use any samples I've gotten from Birchbox or ipsy as spot treatments) and I think they're so awesome. But I never buy them.
    I think for the best value, buy a bag of your favorite clay (I use French green clay) and mix in a good liquid (water, aloe juice, witch hazel). Essential oils and honey are also good.

    I find that most store brand masks are rip offs since making them is easy as can be, even if you're not a DIY-er. I'm not crazy paranoid about preservatives, but I think fresh masks are the best. Plus you're not paying for any ingredients you don't want or need.

    Still, it's nice to know that there's a cheap ready mady mask that isn't too pricey.


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