I Bought My Favorite Face Mask At Trader Joe's


I feel like Jonathan Van Ness really gets me, you know? He calls all his beauty products "she"; he uses beauty as a conduit into other interesting conversations (figure skating, for instance); and, like me, face masks weren't always his thing. Evidence, in his Top Shelf: "In my 20s, I had too many hormones going on and when I would do a moisture mask it would be like zit city." Same, Jonathan, same. Maybe it's not quite a city in my case—perhaps just a small town or village—but masks, as much as they promise, haven't been cutting it in my routine. If they're not colonizing my forehead with acne, then they're just...not doing much. It's hard not to think, A lot of other products could do this better—and with less sit-at-home-alone time.

Honey—manuka in particular—is a different story. It doesn't even have to be a mask. It can be a cleanser a la Laura Yeh, or it can be a spot treatment. However you want to use it, please do because I am convinced it's a wonder drug. Manuka honey comes from bees that eat the tea tree plant. Everybody knows: Tea tree oil is a wonder zit zapper thanks to its bacteria-killing powers. So these very smart bees eat it and essentially become flying acne warriors. Another reason to save the bees! Their honey also becomes enhanced with the tea tree's antimicrobial abilities. It is for this very reason that you should put it on your face immediately. And not just when you're breaking out or dealing with irritation or otherwise looking to fix something. Honey is as powerful a humectant as you can find. How do I know? It's really frickin' sticky. It'll hold on to moisture without ever feeling oily. Not only are your pimples better, but they're not dried out from the process. Quite the opposite, in fact. There's also the added security of knowing exactly what's in it. It's one thing. Just honey. And you can find it anywhere. For whatever price you want to pay. I get mine at the Trader Joe's on the ground floor of Glossier HQ. It ain't pretty, but it doesn't matter. Maybe it's even a good thing: Zero branding to get in between me and the plump, fresh skin of my dreams.

—Emily Ferber

Photo via ITG.