I am no stranger to the face mask trend.
I will try pretty much anything that is supposed to nourish my face and make it smoother than I ever thought was possible.
After years of dealing with eczema, I try to take care of my skin as best as I can without using harsh chemicals. Face masks seem perfect.
I’ve tried many different kinds: Korean sheet masks, peel off charcoal masks (DIY version), clay that tightens, mud that feels slimy until you wash it off, and my personal favourite, this one that smelled like chocolate cake.
I recently got my sister to jump on this band wagon with me. After putting on her first face mask, she shouted “Why is my face burning?”
It’s just a little tingle. Nothing to be worried about. It’s working, I reassured her.
Honestly it wasn’t until today that I even questioned that. I’m currently sitting here as a black tea mask dries on my face. It feels fine now, but 30 seconds after I put it on my face started BURNING. I was full on sweating, my eyes watered; I questioned whether it would be better to wash it off immediately, or if I should leave it on to get my money’s worth.
Obviously I picked the second option.
Up until now, I had only experienced mild tingling. I wonder if that’s what my sister felt, or if she felt this burning?
Beauty is pain. I told myself.
Excuse me, what?
Why do we accept that? Why do I, a self-proclaimed feminist since before it was common-sense, continue to live by this misogynistic rule?
To be fair, I’m wearing this face mask because it feels like I’m treating myself. I don’t have a date tonight. I’m not wearing it to impress someone else. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m wearing it because I have time.
I just want to know why when my face started burning my first reaction was to repeat the phrase that has been passed down among women for generations. Beauty is pain. Why do I have to be in pain to be reassured that something is working? Why is my pain beautiful? Why are we taught that to be beautiful, we must first endure pain?
And for the love of god, why did my face burn so much?!