I’ve always wanted to soak in silica at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. So when I found myself in Maine over the long Labor Day weekend (closer and less expensive), I figured I could replicate the geothermal spa experience with Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask, made with natural charcoal, at a lake instead.
Like their Deep Cleansing Pore Strips applied in a mummification manner, the experience of the One Minute Mask is novel. Splash your face with water (from the tap is fine but not as refreshing), squeeze some black ooze from the silver foil package, and rub the thick substance on your face. It smells faintly fruity. “Self-heating' is also no lie—I do not recommend should you suffer from a sunburn or have highly sensitive skin or both. Applying in direct sunlight was probably not smart, either. After one minute, rinse for a lingering, tingling astringent quality and nicely matte skin. While my pores seemed purer and more petit, it was probably just a placebo effect—though my skin tone definitely appeared more even.
The package recommends every 2-3 times per week. I would apply maybe once or twice a month. Or the next time (probably far from now) I find myself at a lake in Maine.
Though “natural charcoal' in the form of charcoal powder is present, the self-heating mask is far from unprocessed. Its first four ingredients include butylene glycol, zeolite, kaolin, and PEG-8. But, a pack of four is less than $8—or, 937.20 Icelandic Króna.
Photos by Alexis Cheung.