The $230 Face Mask I Can’t Quit

waking up after an evening that involved negronis, champagne, and sake…

I first discovered Valmont via a handful of generous samples included in my bag by a lovely sales associate after a spontaneous purchase at Osswald in Downtown Manhattan. The Swiss brand is not widely available in the States and stays in its niche lane a la Biologique Recherche. With slightly less mystique. The packaging isn’t grabby. If anything, the European chicness appears dated, dare I say. Friendly reminder: never judge a book by its cover. 

Valmont is often spotted at high end spas and consistently raved about by some of the most sought after celebrity aestheticians. The formulas are infused with Swiss Glacier Water and bio active ingredients that the brand cultivates at its own Phyto Alpine Garden in the village of Vens. These fancy harnessing methods and decadent textures translate into a very luxe product experience. Every time I reach for my Valmont Clarifying Pack, I am reminded of the reasons the $230 price tag (right up there with the best of sticker shocks) is justified. As cliche as it sounds, it’s totally a facial in a jar. Before & After photos of me a few paragraphs below.

What is it?

The Valmont Clarifying Pack is a weekly brightening face mask that delivers instant and visible results to my skin when it needs a quick post-party recovery. It’s a creamy rinse-off treatment that applies smoothly and dries soft. There will be no flakes of product in your morning coffee, no tingle, nor any redness — only an illuminating glow after a ten minute treatment. 

What’s in it?

I’m not going to romanticize the ingredient deck since it’s pretty straightforward. I’m familiar with all of them (and a massive fan of most) so it’s thrilling to see this glow boosting cornucopia in a single jar. Yay. Here they are: glycolic acid (smoothes out imperfections), papaya enzyme (provides surface exfoliation), niacinamide (helps refine pores and brightens the skin), allantoin (hydrates, protects, heals), hexylresorcinol (an antioxidant with skin brightening properties), rice starch (gentle physical exfoliation), and zinc (replenishes moisture and illuminates). 

How to use it? 

It’s super simple and mess-free. Since the lush consistency spreads easily, you don’t need a lot of product. A jar will easily last a few months. Apply to clean, dry skin and let it sit for up to ten minutes. I use my fingers but for those who you enjoy washing things, there are face mask brushes out there for you (seriously, from E.L.F. through Origins to May Lindstrom). Before you rinse it off, wet your hands and massage the mask into the skin (water activates the enzymatic exfoliation of papaya extract) for a minute. The mask removes very easily with a damp cloth, which is my preferred method. 

Before & After of me in the morning after a very fun night, natural light via window in front of me, no flash, no filters, no product

Results

In a word: phenomenal. I save this Valmont jar for mornings when I awake a bona fide wreck and only have 10 minutes to play with before getting out of the house. My pores don’t disappear, but the overall radiance is remarkable. It takes a lot for a face mask to impress me this much. And even more to justify this splurge, especially when you consider the volume of product that lands on my desk each day. Does your skin become dull this time of year? Are you looking for something ‘extra’ before hitting the holiday parties on the horizon? I can’t recommend the Valmont Clarifying Pack enough.

My most recent jar came from lookfantastic.com but it seems to be gone from the site at the moment. You can also find it at shoprescuespa.com and

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