Masquerade: African Botanics

African Botanicals ($85 FOR 60 ML / 2 OZ)

With the product packaging/names, prices, consistencies, and benefits, I would expect to find African Botanics amongst the shelves of Sephora in the company of other conventional luxury brands. This is a brand that exceeds in bridging the gap between green skincare and conventional skincare. As of now I have purchased from Credo Beauty both their Mineral Cleansing Mask and their Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum, a product which I am very much enjoying and will review later.

What originally drew me to try this brand was the unique ingredients they utilize from Africa. Of course it is important to understand that “exotic” ingredients aren’t necessarily more beneficial for us- all plants from mother nature are amazing, whether it’s the weed in your backyard to a shrub that only survives in the harshest conditions in a remote area. That being said, I do believe Africa has a plethora of unique botanicals that are yet unexplored and of interest. In addition, with areas that have more extreme living conditions, do come fascinating plants with unique abilities and with them the potential to harvest these to benefit our own skin. It comes down to which botanicals are the best, no matter where they are from. A huge plus for the company is that aside from their commitment to bring us all natural and non-toxic products, they also utilize environmentally friendly packaging, as well as use sustainably sourced and mostly organic ingredients.

Of all the different products I own, I have the most masks than in any other skincare area, and this is due to the fact that they are concentrated and powerful products to include in your skincare routine. This mask is no different, and to me it feels like a simultaneous mask and serum in one product. African Botanics includes the two minerals of Hematite and Zincite in the Mineral Cleansing Mask to “restore skin’s density to regain its firmness, protect cell DNA, plump and stimulate cellular turnover.” I’m not sure about the DNA part, but so far so good. Also included are the beautiful oils of Marula Seed and Baobab, which is considered a super-fruit in Africa. According to their site, Baobab oils have the benefits of powerful antioxidants which protect skin against free radical damage, a high Vitamin C content to assist with skin elasticity, and Vitamins A and B which work to firm, tighten and hydrate skin. So while we have the inclusion of white clay to help detoxify our skin, we also have the added ingredients of oils, minerals, and botanicals to give us many varied benefits; we get a detoxing, toning, nourishing, inflammation and redness-combating, circulation-boosting product all in one. For more information about the ingredients, such as plant stem cells, click here. I never add anything extra to this mask since it is already so well-balanced, whereas with powder masks I will usually add honey, vitamin c, micellar water, or other powdered masks with the mix as well.

The Mineral Cleansing Mask smells of clay and roses, and although I’m not crazy about the scent, I still enjoy it nevertheless. Of all the masks I have on my shelf, this is the easiest to apply because it’s not only pre-moistened, but it’s very velvety and smooth. I like that when it dries up, it doesn’t get as grainy and rough like most clay masks do if you leave it on for too long; it’s much gentler and easier to remove due to the inclusion of oils. That being said, when I do first apply it, I always get a tingling feeling for a few seconds which I’m not a fan of. I’m not sure if this is due to the inclusion of the alcohols in the mask- something I’m not crazy about either- or from what, however after a few seconds that feeling subsides and doesn’t return. Once washed off, my skin indeed is less congested, soft, and plump. Due to these results and taking the ingredients as a whole, I still use the mask once every two weeks to help give my skin a detoxing and rejuvenating boost at the same time.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Kaolin (White Clay), Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil**, Adansoania Digitata (Baobab) Oil**, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Cetyl Alcohol, Myrothamnus Flabellifolius (Resurrection Plant) Extract, Asparlathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Smithsonite Extract, Hematite Extract, Rhododendron Ferrugineum (Alpine Rose) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Rosa Damacena (Rose) Essential Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Roseum (Rose Geranium) Essential Oil, Citrus Clementina (Clementine) Peel Oil, Isomalt, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tocoperhol Acetate (Vitamin E), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Iron Oxides, Citral*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool, *Methyl Eugenol*, Neral* May Contain ± [Ci 77499] {*Constituents Of 100% Natural Essential Oils Used. **Certified Organic Ingredients. 100% Vegan. Gluten-free.}