Ode to a Brand: REN – masks and treatments

Following on from Saturdays post, today I continue my lectures on the wonders of REN Skincare with a closer look at their masks and treatments. Here’s my pick of the bunch!



left – right: REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask, REN F10 Smooth and Renew Mask, REN Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask

REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18)

This is a brilliant mask, just going to put that out there. It’s by far the cheapest of the three, and over time it really brings results. This is my second tube of the stuff, and I use it about once a week, or just when my skin is looking clogged and dull. This is a clever little thing, in that it acts as a clay mask, detoxifying and sucking all the goop out of my pores, but also an exfoliant as it dries and you can rub it off, the rubbing action sucking away dead skin cells, along with the aforementioned goop (I just like the word goop… ‘say goop again’ ‘goop’ – Mean Girls). This isn’t an instant miracle worker, but if you want a good, reliable mask which performs at the highest standard, this is your one. Also good for those of you who just like the feel of a mask drying on the skin – you know the ones which don’t allow you to smile without making your face crack. Over time this keeps pores clear and therefore blackheads and other nasty things are reduced. Only a thin layer is required, so this will last a good few months.

REN F10 Smooth and Renew Mask (£20)

Everyone and their dog knows and raves about REN’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Well, this is that mask, except for sensitive skin and for 10 pounds less. Not bad. Obviously, the results with this mask aren’t as drastic as with the original, and just for the record I do like the original, but this is not to be sniffed at, nor do I think it’s entirely fair to consign this to the shadow of its bigger sister and leave it there, condemning it a mere ‘weaker version.’ This doesn’t aggravate my skin at all, and so it perfect to use just before a big event, which no fear of the dreaded ‘red splotch’ (the worst horror film villain), whereas the Radiance Renewal can tingle and sting. The results over the time are the same; scars are reduced (regular exfoliation ftw!), skin toned is even and I run about the house imploring family and guests to ‘touch my face! touch my face!’ Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to your best judgement, but I’m a big fan. Perfect for all, especially those with sensitive skin – same results, less pain.

REN ClearCalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask (£30) – can’t find this online, discontinued?

As I said in my review of the cleanser from this range, I will not be repurchasing this. That is not to say, however, that is no good. In fact, it is very very good, and something I still enjoy pulling out of my basket and plastering over my face (it’s oddly cooling, so nice to use after a long hot day, really gives you that ‘aaah!’ feeling) when I’m looking a bit spotty. This immediately cools and calms the skin, visibly reducing blemishes in only 20 minutes without drying out my skin in the slightest. Mmmmm. The only reason I’m not repurchasing is that I love the cleanser so damn much and can’t fully justify having the two in my collection, especially when the mask costs £30. Basically the mask is an uber-version of the cleanser – faster acting, thicker and extra soothing, so if you want a quick fix, or if you only get blemishes at that time of the month, the mask is your friend. If you have persistent blemishes and imperfections that need constant treatment, I’d plump for the cleanser.


left-right: ClearCalm 3 Clarity restoring mask, some marmalade F10 Smooth and Renew Mask, Invisible Pores Detox Mask


REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate (£30)

I, like many others, was excited to try Alpha A Liquid Gold. I wanted that glowing, even, clear skin that so many testimonials promised me. And, if we’ve established anything thus far, it’s that I’m a sucker for hype. So I swooped in the BeautyBay Christmas sale, snapped it up and excitedly popped it on my face, ready to wake up to a face like Emma Watson. Alas; it wasn’t to be. In fact, it was rather terrible. Flaking, dry, red and itchy, the reaction lasted for a few days and I was forced to admit that Liquid Gold wasn’t for me. Not to be deterred however, I began to lust after REN’s offering, designed to be used more often and for all skin types, including sensitive – you’re allowed to apply a nightcream on top, which my parched skin likes. I got it cheap on eBay, and ahhhh, it’s much better. Although the results aren’t maybe quite as drastic as those of Liquid Gold, I maintain that is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it has gradually and gently lightened my post-blemish marks with little irritation. I do find, however, that after a few nights of subsequent use, this does start to irritate, so I’d say start using it twice a week, and then reduce/increase your dose from there, according to your skins needs. A winner, but not sure I’ll repurchase, as I think I have quite enough exfoliating products, and for me, nighttime is a time to spoil my skin with rich plumping moisturisers! According to the gaps in your skincare regime, I would recommend hand-on-heart to those of you needing a post-toning lotion à la Liquid Gold.


REN Skincare


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