If I had to label my skin, I wouldn't categorize it as "dry," or say, "sensitive." It's more like, "perennially irate." I know what you're thinking: It's not one of the five typically talked-about skin types — but to be honest, my epidermis is far from typical.
You see, I was born with a rare genetic skin condition called Netherton Syndrome (which I go into detail about here in case you fancy a read about living with chronic skin woes), an auto-immune disorder characterized by scaly rashes and persistent redness, which tends to find its way to my complexion on more days than not. Put it this way, folks: I'm lucky if I have one or two "good" skin days a week. at most. (By "good," I really just mean less blotchy and irritated than usual, LOL.)
Now that you know what I'm working with here, allow me to introduce you to a brand-new, very exciting launch from Eau Thermale Avène, which just so happens to be one of my failsafe brands for sensitized skin types. Enter its first-ever Soothing Sheet Mask, which I creepily eyed up like a hawk on my boss's desk before she noticed and generously gave me the product to take home to try. I had an inkling it would work well for me purely based on the fact that, a) it has the word "soothing" in its name, and b) because I'm a fervent fan of Avène's OG Soothing Moisture Mask. I also love its cult-favorite Thermal Spring Water, which I have haphazardly strewn around my apartment for whenever I'm in need of some instant relief. (So, often.)
Also featured in the moisture-packed formula is sorbitol (or hydrogenated starch hydrolysate), an ingredient that is similar to the Thermal Spring Water in that it also aids in soothing and hydrating. Some other key features worth mentioning are the fact that the mask is biodegradable (claps for eco-friendly skin care!), offers a satisfying cooling effect on the skin, and has a SensitiveCell Technology, a proprietary technology, which helps to ensure the calming ingredients penetrate as deeply as possible.
So what's my verdict? I'm a fan — a huge fan. Picture this: I awake on a Saturday morning, hungover, cheeks still red as apples from the surplus of wine I'd downed the night before. Oh, and did I mention I have a brunch date in two hours? My first thought was, "I'm fucked." But then I remembered that I stashed the Soothing Sheet Mask in my vanity for mornings exactly like this. (Thanks, past me!) So I wiped off any traces of post-party night grime and plopped the mask on, which to my surprise, stuck to my skin — and actually stayed there. Imagine that!
As promised, my skin was immediately met with a cooling sensation that suggested it was actually going to work (hopefully soothing my splotchy face). You're supposed to leave it on for 10 minutes, but I left it on for a cool 30 while I watched the last episode of Broad City because I live life on the edge. Once the show was over, I stripped off the mask and patted the excess of liquid-serum into my skin for an added boost of moisture. Then it was time for the moment of truth — i.e. checking to see if it had improved the state of my skin — to which I'm elated to report it did. (Cue a happy dance in my bathroom.)
The redness wasn't completely eradicated, but my face, overall, felt softer and more even-keeled with a subtle pink glow left behind, which I actually find to be a flattering look. I also appeared visibly dewier, so I suppose you could say it was a "glow up" moment.
My final thoughts are that this is fab-u-lous product for those who suffer from severely sensitive skin like I do. And that means it will only work even better for those with mild sensitivity. It was a quick fix, which I'm all about, and, thus, has been dubbed my new go-to remedy for when I need to do damage control, stat.
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