I initially connected with the amazing Liz Cardwell, founder of the The Granola Goat, through social media. I was immediately drawn to her sense of humor, willingness to give back to causes that matter to her, and commitment to providing cruelty-free, vegan products. Liz uses a minimal amount of ingredients in her products, keeping them simple yet effective. No fillers, preservatives, artificial colors, or fragrances are used. And then there’s that logo — adorable, right?
I liked so many products that I tried, but my favorites were the Amazing Face Serum, the Starry Night Face Serum, the Queen of Green Mask and the Let’s Get Glowing Mask. I’ve noticed a clearer, brighter, even complexion with all of these products, which include some of the most antioxidant-rich, fortifying ingredients like red raspberry seed oil (a natural SPF), organic orange peel powder, cold-pressed marula nut oil, and matcha, just to name a few.
The Granola Goat’s face masks are all delivered dry, eliminating the need for preservatives. Plus, that allows us to ultimately decide which liquid we want to mix the mask with, whether that’s regular water, coconut water, molasses, tea, etc.
Knowing that I’m not the only one newer to the art of masking, I reached out to Liz for a little Masking 101 and she very graciously obliged. Read on for her words of masking wisdom below!
Hi Liz! Thanks so much for taking the time to enlighten the new maskers. First question: Should I be using a cleanser, exfoliating, or washing my face before I mask?
You don’t have to do anything! A mask will cleanse and gently exfoliate your face. However, I do like to wipe my face with a wet washcloth when masking on a no-makeup day. And I always remove any makeup with an oil cleanse before I mask to make sure the nutrients have a nice clear path to absorption while they’re on my face. I wouldn’t recommend exfoliating right before a mask. Keep your skin fresh on a regular basis, but if you exfoliate and then immediately mask, you might anger your skin – especially if you let your mask dry completely. By the way, if you ever use Midnight Magic and notice a gray residue after rinsing, you’ve not stained your face, you’ve got bits of charcoal clinging to dead skin. A gentle exfoliation afterwards will remedy the problem and you’ll know you need to pay more attention to how often you exfoliate day to day.
In what order should I use products when I’m masking, using products such as toner, serum, moisturizer?
Masking is like a workout for your skin. You’re going to increase circulation and physically manipulate your skin with the mask, all while dosing it with nutrients. If you can, go easy on your face afterward. A quick oil cleanse or toner wipe are both great options to remove any remaining residue, but masking should come first. Drink a big glass of water and apply a light serum to really keep your glow intact.
Do I have to wait until a mask dries before taking it off?
No. In fact, most skin types don’t handle it well when you let your mask completely harden. You’ll want to get as close to 20 minutes of wear as possible without letting your mask completely dry. There are a few ways to do this – you can spritz your face with water periodically while wearing your mask. You can use a clean, untreated sheet mask. If you don’t have any, or don’t want to use disposable products, you can use an old t-shirt. Just cut it to fit your face and add a few holes for your nose and eyes. Then just wet it and lay it over your face once your mask is on (I like to wait a few minutes to let it ‘get set’). This is a super classy option and only recommended for the ultra-eco-chic. 😉
You know I’m all about this ultra-eco-chic t-shirt mask. Do you have a specific brush recommendation for mixing masks?
I use a flat brush that got worked out of my normal makeup use rotation. I highly recommend using a brush to prepare and apply your mask. Your brush doesn’t need to be a particular shape, but you don’t want one that’s too fluffy or it will absorb a lot of the product. Not only is that kind of a waste, but it makes it very difficult to clean.
How do I know the best ingredient to mix the mask with?
I think we need to follow our intuition on this. If you think something sounds good, it’s probably good for your skin. Does a mask mixed with orange juice sound fabulous? Do it! Does a mask mixed with cooled chamomile tea sound divine? Make it happen. All my masks are made to be mixed with plain water, so you don’t have to be adventurous if that doesn’t suit you. But if you do decide to try some kitchen alchemy, just be sure and read the ingredients before you put it on your face. You’re looking for pure and simple, so choose fresh squeezed orange juice instead of o.j. manufactured with “flavor packets” and the likes. My current favorite is cold coconut water.
How often should I be masking?
You can mask everyday. You don’t have to, but you can. You can mask 3 times a day, 3 days a week. It’s up to you and your schedule and your ritual. You will notice a difference in your skin when you mask regularly. I’d say it’s the single biggest thing you can do at home to improve the look of your skin. You’ll never hear anyone say, “My face looks so dull, it must be all the masking.” Mask at least once a week.
Totally, just like you’ll never hear anyone say, “I really shouldn’t have gotten up and gone to that candle-lit yoga class.” Can I apply multiple masks simultaneously? If so, which of your masks are a fit for which part of the face?
You can mask each part of your face separately. It might even be fun! But it’s too much time and effort for most of us. Rather than using 3 masks at one time, use each mask on your whole face daily for 3 days. As far as which fit what parts… Midnight Magic is great for use on areas that need a more astringent touch. That’s likely to be the t-zone. Let’s Get Glowing is specifically for brightening, so use it on cheeks and anywhere else you may have sun damage. Green with Envy and Queen of Green are both just hard core food for your skin. Use them everywhere else.
Should I be applying the mask to my neck as well?
Absolutely! This is a great question to bring up an often neglected subject. Don’t wait until you hit 40 and realize you’ve forgotten to care for your neck all this time (which is what happened to me). Always include your neck in your skin care routine.
*Please note: I was sent complimentary products, but all opinions are my own.