5 Days, 5 Masks with Peter Thomas Roth
A few weeks ago, I'd written about the soft launch of Peter Thomas Roth in the Philippines. From there, I was able to glean that Peter Thomas Roth is a clinical brand. Peter himself grew up in a family that managed two spa resorts in Hungary, and when he started his own skincare line, he tried to incorporate all those natural traditions with 21st-century innovation. This is why you will see extremely trendy feature ingredients like hyaluronic acid in one line, and truly exotic ones like Irish moor mud in another.
To get a taste of the brand, media were given the Mask-A-Holic 5-Piece Kit to try. This is a lot of masks, and considering that masks aren't even recommended for daily use, I really had to sit down and think about a good masking schedule that would give ample allowance between the resurfacing and detoxifying masks. Here's what I came up with:
(Hydrate) Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask
The Blue Marine Algae Mask is what they recommend for hydration. Given that I'm a super dry person, I thought I'd start my trial with this one. You apply a thick layer after cleansing (to the point where it really feels like a mask) and leave it on for 10 minutes before finally washing off. You may use it 2-3 times a week, or daily.
Of all the ingredients, Rich Tea from Jeju jumped out to me. It's very rare when Western brands embrace Asian ingredients, and this is what I find most fascinating about PTR. It doesn't just stick to strictly clinical nor strictly traditional. It takes the best from both words in the best effort to deliver actual skincare results.
The texture is thick and gel-like, very close to aloe gels. It has shimmers which I wasn't sure if it was just for cosmetic effect or was an effect of one of the ingredients. It was pretty cooling, much more felt in a warm room than in an air-conditioned one. It does form a film over the face, so I found the included mask removal tool super helpful! The mask removal tool is a silicone pad with bristles, and I suppose other facial cleansing tools like silicone brushes, face brushes and sponges can help speed things up. I tried removing the mask by plain water at first, but it took way too long!
(Exfoliate) Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer
Now that my dry skin was sufficiently hydrated, I was ready for something more stripping for day 2. I chose the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This triple-action mask is ideal for dull, aging and crusty skin like mine. It works three ways, again using an interesting combination of innovation and tradition: Pumpkin Enzymes exfoliate, AHA reveals and aluminum oxide crystals polish.
You are supposed to apply a thin layer to clean skin, before massaging it. Because of the actives, you may only leave it on for 3-7 minutes, and use 1-2 times a week only. I left it on for 5, because I'm already used to acids but didn't want to go the full 7 because I was afraid of over-exfoliation. If new to acids and AHA, start with a 3-minute masking session at first and take it from there.
It had a very annoying cinnamon smell, that thankfully wore off pretty soon. A spicy pumpkin did linger, though. I was able to roll and rub the physical exfoliants for a hot minute before the thin layer of mask kind of set and became too sticky. I was pretty shocked at how it left my skin after! I looked so glassy?! It was definitely good, and I need to be careful with this one. I and my dull, crusty skin could get addicted.
(Firm) Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Mask Pure Luxury Lift and Firm Mask
For day 3, and since it fell on my birthday, I thought I would treat myself to the most luxe and indulgent mask in the kit: the 24k Gold Mask Pure Luxury Lift and Firm Mask. This mask is infused with pure 24k gold and colloidal gold to help improve the appearance of firmness. Basically, all the pizzazz is purely cosmetic, but sometimes, we just need luxury.
On the non-cosmetic side, it has Caffeine to help firm up skin, while Peridot (yes, the gemstone) helps re-energize and reduce the look of aging and stress. It also has Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin for intense hydration and plumping, thus fighting that sunken, aging look.
The directions for this mask are: apply to clean skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and use 2-3 a week or as desired. It does feel extremely luxe, and there is a palpable firmness and suppleness to my skin the next morning. I'm not sure how that carries over the long term, but this is a great maintenance mask, especially if you're into gold.
(Purify) Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask
This mask features 9000 year-old black Moor Mud combined with Hijiki Seaweed, Volcanic Ash and Activated Charcoal for the most powered-up pore cleansing mask. Of all the PTR masks, I believe this one features the most natural ingredients.
The Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask is to be left on cleansed skin for 10 minutes. It can be used 2-3 times a week or as desired, though personally I could not go for more than 1x a week with clarifying masks given my dry skin.
Even with acids in my skincare routine, my pores remain stubbornly dark. I loathe to say it without photographic evidence, but I do feel that the black mask helped my blackheads and I look forward to boosting the effect by using this mask on my BHA days!
(Detoxify) Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator
For my last day, still kind of recovering from the beach, my scheduling of the Cucumber Gel Mask was serendipitous. This gel is supposed to help soothe, hydrate and detoxify "troubled" skin. That could include anything from sunburns, waxes, facials, extractions or even acid overuse, I guess. You're supposed to apply a generous coat on clean skin for ten minutes. And you can even refrigerate it for an even better cooling effect!
The texture is highly similar to the Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask, and I would say they're pretty interchangeable. Between the two though, even though my concern is more hydration than detoxifying, I'd still go for the Cucumber because it has that extra soothing effect.
It was nice to see the immediate and boosted effect these masks delivered. Though they felt slimy, they didn't really impede with my skincare absorption as I expected them to. And my skin felt really supple and "reinforced" the next day! Hard to describe, but it just didn't seem as cracked up nor fragile as it normally does.
It's hard to recommend a singular mask because I think you should choose masks based on your consistent and longstanding skin concerns. My skin is dry, but it's dry because it's agitated so the Cucumber Gel Mask is my perfect choice for maintenance masking. That said, the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is clearly my favorite because it was the only mask which compelled me to take after photos!
These masks actually work, but it is kind of heartbreaking to me how they're all wash-off masks. Life would be perfect if they were all sleeping masks!