welcome to SKINCARMA!

These are the musings of a skincare junkie + writer + brand guru with 25+ years of product wisdom put into action to demystify skin care. 

You can change your skin’s destiny.™

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : The Body Shop's 100% Vegan Masks 🍚🌿

I've never really been one to appreciate the vegan trend. Is it even a trend any more? It's actually a way of being for quite a few people in my life, particularly my own niece. (Happy birthday, Nic!) From my first exposure to the vegan lifestyle living in LA in my 20s and 30s, I thought of it as, well, not my thing. I couldn't relate. It was a big deal if you lived in Santa Monica or Topanga Canyon. Hollywood, not so much. I'm not sure why, but it's certainly not something that has occurred to me when it comes to my skin care. 

Until now.

The new natural and 100% vegan masks from my friends at The Body Shop have shifted my perspective — or at least my appreciation of what it means to use vegan products, eat vegan foods, apply vegan skin care — to live a vegan lifestyle. 

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
— The Vegan Society

I was recently gifted with five of The Body Shop's 100% Vegan/Vegetarian Masks to spa-at-home in vegan style, and I have to say I love them. While three of them are purely vegan, two are "merely" vegetarian. But, they all share a few things in common — in addition to being all-natural, they're each formulated without parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. How au courant  and how unlike the traditional formulation philosophy of The Body Shop's former corporate parent, L'Oréal. They've really begun to find their footing again with their new-found independence!

Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask*
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask
Amazonian Açai Energizing Radiance Mask
Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask*
British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask

*100% vegetarian, not vegan


While each of the masks has been been an intriguing sensorial experience, two of them are by far my favorites! I'm a huge fan of fermented rice masks, cleansers and scrubs, and I'm particularly impressed with the Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask. This rice mask felt like a real treat for my skin. It’s filled with soft, chunky rice as well as ginseng extract to gently, but thoroughly exfoliate skin's surface. The polishing effect is not at all overdone or overly harsh as my skin didn’t feel at all stripped. I'd even go so far as to say "polishing" is too harsh a term for the product. (Oops, I'm a skincare copywriter,  have named hundreds of products, and I'm always judging!) As perfect as it is for weekly masking, I’d imagine it’s gentle enough for everyday use in the shower as a cleanser — especially if you go easy on your skin.


Aside from all-things-rice, I have to admit I get really excited by a charcoal mask of any kind. The Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is right up there with the best I've used; among them the Clinique City Block Purifying™ Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub and my first charcoaly love, Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment from Boscia. Inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, the Body Shop's charcoal formula tingles a bit — though it's not extreme and doesn't irritate my skin with a common trail of redness afterwards. It's infused with bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves and organic tea tree oil for an invigorating effect that does the trick, drawing out impurities and refining the appearance of pores — which I can never refine enough, especially on my nose!

The brush tho...


While I love the immediate effects these  masks have on my skin (and my soul!), what really nailed the whole experience of vegan masking home for me was the accompanying facial mask brush! I've never used a brush to mask before, never thought to use a brush to mask, and now can't mask without a brush. (Shhh... I've been using the Body Shop's brush with all my other masks, too!) But, honestly, the brush has really stepped up my game. Product goes on more evenly and thoroughly than when applied with my fingers. It also allows me to more easily target specific areas of my face (like those enlarged pores on and around my nose) — and helps me to avoid my super light side-burns so they don't stain!

I've long been a big fan of weekly masking — especially on weekends. But, The Body Shop's 100% Vegan Masks are something else entirely. They're an absolute pleasure to use. As if I needed any more reasons to look forward to a calm, people-free Saturday morning chillaxing with Orpheus...

Orpheus is intrigued by The Body Shop's animal-friendly 100% Vegan Masks, too!

Orpheus is intrigued by The Body Shop's animal-friendly 100% Vegan Masks, too!

I invite you to have a look at The Body Shop's Forever Against Animal Testing "Dogumentary" — and to sign their petition. 


SIGN THE PETITION: Together we can end animal testing in cosmetics all around the world. We're even getting our four-legged friends involved! You won't believe who came with us to protest outside the United Nations in NYC... Together with our friends at Cruelty Free International, we're campaigning like crazy to take 8 million signatures to the UN.
PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Blithe Patting Water Packs (aka Splash Masks!) 🚿💦

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Blithe Patting Water Packs (aka Splash Masks!) 🚿💦

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Deciem’s NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester

PRODUCTS I 🖤 AND BELIEVE IN : Deciem’s NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester