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This review contains PR samplesº and affiliate links* You’ve seen those smurf blue texture shots all over Instagram and probably wondered what the heck they’re all about: well, wonder no more because today’s review will, ahem, clarify whether or not the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask lives up to the hype!
I’ve been extra keen to share this review today, since the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask is currently one of those “it products” in the Korean beauty community that seem ubiquitous. I see it everywhere on social media! No wonder, really, given the fact that this smurf blue clay mask looks extra attractive in a texture shot close up.
Urang is a brand that I feel very strongly about, especially after meeting the founder of the brand at the Vivaness, the world’s largest trade fair for organic skincare. Not only are Urang products aesthetically pleasing, they are also carefully formulated to comply with even the strictest standards of organic beauty. Now, I am not and very probably never will be a fully “green” beauty blogger, but I’ve always had a deep love for organic brands. I just admire the strive for ethical and sustainable beauty products, since it really isn’t easy to follow that path in an industry that is all about consumerism and quick, fleeting trends.
I received my pot of the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask at the Vivaness, together with a few other samples from the brand that I’ll definitely also be blogging about in the near future (that Rose Ceramide Cream, guys – heavenly!). As I predicted in late 2018, “blue” products containing azulene are currently trending like crazy in Korea. The Clarifying Blue Mask is already Urang’s second deep-blue item, after the much-beloved and truly excellent Urang Brightening Blue Oil Serum. As always, I will first tell you all the basics about the Clarifying Blue Mask, from its purpose to its ingredients, and then follow up with my personal impression of this organic K-beauty clay mask.
Urang Clarifying Blue Mask – the Basics
It’s blue, it’s new and it’s making many skincare lovers super curious. But, what exactly is in this azure-tinted, creamy wash off mask? Well, the main, colour-giving star ingredient of the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask is guaiazulene, which I’ve spoken about a number of times already on this blog and on my podcast. Basically, it’s a derivative of azulene, and it is usually won from either blue tansy or chamomile oil.
Azulene and guaiazulene have a number of positive effects on the skin, mainly soothing and anti-inflammatory in nature. The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream* was one of the first K-beauty products to make use of azulene’s skincare benefits, and it remains one of my all time favourite overnight treatments if my skin is having a freakout.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask:
“Water, Kaolin, Glycerin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Niacinamide, Bentonite, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Alpha-bisabolol, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Guaiazulene, Allantoin.”
Now, first things first: if you have a problem with essential oils in general, and citrus oils in particular, then this mask is not for you. Urang is based on aromatherapeutic ideas, so all their products contain a blend of essential oils. Here, it is of course the chamomile oil that provides the blue-tinted azulene goodness, but there is also grapefruit, lemon and bitter orang oil to be mindful of, since those oils can be triggering for sensitive skin types.
The Clarifying Blue Mask is a clay wash off mask, and it uses two types of clays – kaolin and bentonite. I love clay masks, since they are a wonderful way to deeply cleanse especially oily areas of your skin. These natural clays have the ability to soak up excess oils and thus are especially well-suited for people with oilier skin and large pores. Clay masks can’t “shrink” pores (nothing can), but they can help make them appear smaller with consistent use. Clays also gently exfoliate the skin when you wash them off with water.
And speaking of exfoliating, the Urang Blue Clarifying Mask contains natural jojoba beads for some extra scrubbing – they are the small, darker specks you can see in the texture shots. I am not going to lie: the beads provide quite intense exfoliation, and I would say that people with sensitive skin should be careful about using the mask all over the face.
Apart from the azulene, there are also other, skin-soothing and strengthening ingredients in this mask: camellia flower extract is a strong antioxidant and used to combat polluaging, while pulsatilla koreana extract and alpha-bisabolol are both anti-inflammatory.
Urang Clarifying Blue Mask: My Thoughts on this Product
If I were to sum up my feelings about the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask, I would say they are probably “mixed to positive.” I do think that this mask is not for everyone, but my rather resilient, oil-prone skin quite enjoys a deep cleanse once in a while. And, well, this is really what the Clarifying Blue Mask can provide: a deep cleanse and scrub, which removes any excess oil, dirt and deep-seated “gunk.”
The mask has a creamy texture and applies smoothly on clean, bare skin. It has a pleasant, sweetly herbal scent that mostly seems to be a result of the added chamomile oil. There is a cute little mask brush included with the product, which is a nice touch. Since this is a wash off mask, the way to use this is right after your cleansing steps and before all other skincare steps. Urang recommends applying a thin layer, then scrubbing in that layer for maximum exfoliation, and then applying another layer, leaving the mask on for 5-15 minutes.
Since the jojoba beads, in my experience, are actually quite large and provide a pretty intense scrub, I would actually advise against the scrubbing step and just apply one generous layer on your face. I also think that the mask should not be left on for longer than 10 minutes, since like most clay masks it dries quite quickly, absorbing not just oils but also moisture. If you have dry skin, you should either mix the mask with another, creamier mask type – the best one, in my view, is the I’m from Real Honey Mask* – to keep the clays from drying out your skin too much, or only apply the mask to your T-zone.
For my oily combo skin, applying this all over in a thicker layer and leaving it on for 10ish minutes works really well. I use a cotton wash cloth that I soak in tepid water to very gently take off the mask, again avoiding any excessive scrubbing. Honestly, the jojoba beads are still doing their job of physically smoothing my skin without extra tearing of my skin, so this method works best for me.
After using the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask, my skin always looks so…well, clean! The mask just seems to provide an extra deep cleanse for my face, making it look brighter, clearer and baby soft. I love using this right before my period, when my skin tends to be oilier and more breakout-prone, and it’s been a godsend during those days. Apart from my all time favourite clay-based wash off mask, the Tia’m Trouble Drying Pink Bubble Pack* (check out my German review of this mask for appealling, baby pink texture shots!), this may become a new wash off mask favourite.
Urang Clarifying Blue Mask: the Bottom Line
All in all, I would say that this is more of a mask for resilient skin types, since it does contain a number of potentially skin-aggravating essential oils and strong physical scrubbing agents. If you have very sensitive, but still troubled, acne-prone skin and want to give this deeply cleansing wash off mask a try, I would suggest only applying it on your T-zone or even just the nose area. I would also advise you to wash off the mask with the help of a soft wash cloth instead of using your hands, as this will cause less friction.
Personally, I really enjoy how super clean, clear and purified my skin is after using the mask, and how smooth it feels! I would suggest applying a few hydrating layers after using the mask such as a hyaluronic acid toner* and a gentle, hydrating serum like the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum.*
If you are interested in buying the Urang Clarifying Blue Mask, North Americans can get this at Ohlolly* for 42$, and we Europeans can buy the mask at Skinsider for 33£. Urang is a small-batch style, premium organic brand, hence the higher pricing – you only need a small amount for use, however, so I personally find the prices totally acceptable given the quality of the brand in general.
Let me know in the comments: Are you a fan of clay masks? Have you tried any Urang products yet?
Take care guys!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by Urang – I am not obligated to write this blog review, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!