Study Break Beauty

Hey guys,

Taking a study break right now. I can’t believe that I’m half way through my accelerated general anatomy course. I honestly can’t wait for this to be over! It’s been quite a whirlwind, and I feel like each week, my brain is bombarded with anatomy. Which is good…it’s good for me…especially when I think about what I can potentially be going through in the next few years if I get into nursing school.

Any who…we all need breaks in our lives…and study breaks as much as they may seem like a waste of time, are actually important. You tend to remember more with study breaks, you’re doing yourself a favor mentally, and let’s face it, we’re human, so we need breaks from intense study sessions.

So…my study break beauty blog (first one), is on how I get rid of one of my biggest skin flaws that I often have to deal with — blackheads and giant pores. As a teenager, this has been one of my biggest insecurities (eczema being the first). Everywhere I went, people would always comment about my big pores, so it’s just one of those things that I often didn’t like about my skin. I wanted what was seen in the magazines –a flawless face where my pores wasn’t an issue. Then I saw a CSI episode on a model and how intense she got with things like pores..and that was when I realized the one thing that I needed to hear and see — everyone has pores. Everyone has blackheads. That flawless face = photoshopped.

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try and take care of my skin, because from a health perspective, blackheads does mean you’ve got some dirt that is leading to a buildup in your pores. So it’s something that I personally like to take care of. I’ll be very honest here — I’m not the kind of girl who does a mask every week, let alone every other day. I’m the kind of girl who will do a mask every other week or if I’m busy, once a month. I like letting my cleanser and skincare products take care of me. Sunscreen to protect my face. In conclusion,I’m a simple girl that wants to take care of her skin.

So, for my blackheads, I do two things (not at the same time). I use the Biore charcoal strips to extract my blackheads every so often, since the buildup can be intense. But the past couple of months, I have been using the Scheming Blackhead Removal Activated Carbon Mask Set. It’s a Taiwanese product that can be purchased on Amazon for $11. It’s something I saw on YouTube by Chloe Morello and a few other YouTube beauty vloggers, and I wanted to give it a try.

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Me…I look…bleh with this on…

My review on this is that — it works! It works, it works, it works! One of my biggest pet peeves when I use the Biore Charcoal strips is that it doesn’t do a good job in removing blackheads on the lateral or side of my nose. In fact, it doesn’t help remove blackheads at the base of my nose where my nostrils are. So essentially, I feel like it’s got it’s greats, but it has its downsides as well. This baby….will take off your blackheads from forehead to the base of your nose and even parts of your skin where your Cupid’s Bow is. Heck, you can even do your whole face if you wanted to (wouldn’t recommend though…that would be a hard mask to remove).

Despite it being a Taiwanese product, it has English instructions, and I will go through step by step of what I do and the results of my study break carbon mask session.

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Step 1 to Step 3 (Left to Right)
  1. Remove make up. I use the Garnier’s Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water (the blue top that removes waterproof makeup). After that use some wet towel (use warm water) and place over areas where you are planning on applying the mask. For me, I placed a warm towel over my entire nose and parts of my chin.
  2. Use the Step 1 bottle. Do apply a generous amount  over the area you are going to use the mask. This step 1 bottle is meant to help soften up the sebum (which is the blackhead) so that the blackhead can come out. Now…the instructions says to put it on for about 2-3 minutes, and I honestly don’t see much effect when I do it for that period of time. I do leave it on for about 5 minutes and then, I wash it off. The instructions does not say to wash it off. HOWEVER, this is key. Wash that sucker off.
  3. Using the Step 2 tubed bottle (black tubed bottle), place a liberal amount of the carbon mask on where you are planning to do a blackhead removal. It should apply over your skin where you don’t see your skin. If you see the swipe of black but still see your skin, you need a little more. How I do this, normally is that I pat and lightly swipe the black mask over the area as opposed to just swiping it over the skin. I find I waste more product because it clings to your fingers as opposed to to patting it and lightly swiping it over your skin.
  4. Wait for it to dry. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. You know when it’s dry, when the glossy glob that’s on your face, becomes dried. When you touch it, you won’t get product on your face. STUDY TIP: For all you glass wearers, when I do this mask, because I get distracted sometimes by going on YouTube or whatever, if you find that you can utilize this time to study, since you can’t quite see youtube on your laptop or on a bigger computer screen, use this time to study. Since I can’t quite see without my glasses, I actually pick up some flashcards or worksheets and just had Spotify going on in the background.
  5. When you are ready to peel off the mask, this does require patience. One of the things that I have a hard time doing, especially when I don’t have nails, is peeping the mask off. While the instructions doesn’t tell you how to do this, the best results happen when you peel from bottom to top. For instance, for the nose, you peel from nostrils to the bridge of your nose. Most of the time, you are able to peel the mask off with the mask in tact. Again, it does require some patience, I know that for me, it takes a bit of time to just find that one place to start peeling.
  6. Look at the results! 🙂 See my results below. (WARNING: It’s slightly nasty).
  7. Use Step 3 bottle. This is such an important step, because this step is to help minimize the size of your pores. Once blackheads are extracted from the pore, if you’ve ever examined the area, what you’ll notice is an empty hole (gross, yes). This empty hole which is your pore, will fill up if nothing is done. So, by using that 3rd step or a toner/essence afterwards will help prevent and elongate the time for more sebum buildup that leads to black heads.

Beyond a removal mask, I do think that there is a need to deal with the blackhead situation. I think cleansers are even more important than the mask itself, because a mask can only do so much. I don’t use high end cleansers. I don’t do the Clarisonic fad. The reason for it is that, women have been washing their faces with simple traditional products for centuries, and their tools are towels, fingers, and water. So, personally, for me, I’m satisfied with a simple dollar facial sponge cleanser, a drugstore cleanser, and continue on with my skincare routine. I’ve used Neutrogena for years and St. Ives as well. I spend more of my $ on skincare moisturizers, eye creams, and serums or makeup that suits my skin.

And there you have it! A beauty study break using a mask! All that’s left is to finish your skincare routine

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