Beauty writers often have niche interests, and mine is the glorious face mask. They’re ideal for compulsive multitaskers like me—I don’t know of other products that actively pamper skin while I write, research, cook or do laundry—so I’m always on the lookout for my next favourite. Consonant Skincare’s DHE Mask ($45) promises to be as much of a multitasker as I am, and I needed to know if it really does detoxify, hydrate and exfoliate (like the name DHE suggests) all at once: the short answer may be “yes,” but the more accurate answer is “yes, to varying degrees.”
I’m sceptical of multitasking products because it’s rare that each promise is delivered to the same extent. Though the DHE Mask is a winner when it comes to smoothing out fine lines and impurity removal, it falls short in the exfoliation category when up against a bona fide sugar polish or even a standard facecloth. Manicouagan clay extracted from Central Quebec really is excellent at evening out skin tone and pulling out finer impurities, but the light, chemical exfoliation of alpha hydroxy acids and fruit enzymes can feel lacking when you have tougher, oily skin like I do. This mask would be a big hit for paler friends who need regular, weekly maintenance, but for committed masking aficionados like me, it may be best to stick to separate masks for more tailored benefits. (That being said, this mask is smashing as a spot treatment and a lifesaver when angry pimples attack.)
The DHE Mask goes on incredibly smooth and you’re to leave it on for 30 minutes. Pro-menthol folks will doubtless enjoy the tingle that comes from the inclusion of peppermint oil, but it’s easy to feel alarmed if you’re unused to the cooling sensation. The quality of the clay is miles ahead of that in competing masks, so perhaps that’s why the Detoxify takes first place in the product’s name, but the mask is no slouch at hydration either. It may not be as effective as a sheet mask or a leave-on, but the clay mixture does dry without cracking, and a blend of argan, grapeseed and coconut oil ensures your skin drinks as much as possible while the mask is on. Tea tree and brown algae ensure that oil production is brought under control as well, and once I rubbed off the silvery-white paste, my skin looked clean and felt soft and supple to the touch.
I love that all of Consonant’s products are all-natural and proudly made in Canada, and just to check the compatibility of their DHE across skin types, I even enlisted my mother’s help in test-driving the mask when I recently visited her. Mom gamely reported similar results, pointing to visibly smoother, cleaner, gleaming skin as a plus while mentioning that she could have used a teensy bit more grit by way of exfoliation. She too tried on the mask while fussing about with dinner, and she mentioned that it adhered well as she worked, never cracking or jumping into the dish she was bent over.
“How would you rate it, out of 10?” I asked in passing, sitting down next to her at the dinner table and peering at her skin.
“Seven, maybe 7.5,” she said, after pulling on her cheek reflectively. In classic mom fashion, she said little else and started doling out food, but for whatever it’s worth, she did ask me to leave the mask for her as my visit came to a close.