Fun fact: I was a fan of the Kate Somerville skincare range back when ExfoliKate was called Kate In A Jar. Social media didn’t exist at the time, so I relied on QVC and sales pitches from the brand’s founders to learn about the latest skincare must haves. Years, or decades to be more accurate, later, I’m as excited by new launches from the brand as I was when I tried that iconic resurfacing treatment the first time. This month, the brand unveiled Mega-C™ 30% Vitamin C Brightening Mask, an in-home alternative to the in-office Mega-C Radiance Facial one can get at the skin clinic on Melrose Avenue. Since I’m all about the next best things when it comes to pampering and results, I couldn’t wait to slather this newness all over my face. More info below.
What is it?
The new Mega-C mask is a 20-minute rinse-off treatment that is meant to be used up to twice a week. Dubbed ‘facial in a tube,’ this launch has been formulated to address hyperpigmentation issues, ranging from sun spots to stubborn post-acne marks. It also promises to brighten and even out dull, lackluster skin. Think of it as a quick pre-event glow booster with a long game plan. A tip from the brand founder herself: use it on the back of your hands. Brilliant.
What’s in it?
Mega-C has a silicone base for one very important reason. The product contains 30% Vitamin C (in the form of Ascorbic Acid), which has to be kept anhydrous (a proper sciency word for waterless) in order to remain fresh, potent, and stable. In this way, the Vitamin C won’t oxidize and turn brown. It also ensures that each application is indeed mega brightening.
For some, Vitamin C may be too strong. To prevent any type of potential irritation, the new mask includes skin-soothing Bisabolol. This anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredient is derived from German Chamomile and boasts impressive hydrating benefits. Other important botanicals on the INCI include Sea Buckthorn Oil (cell regenerating and healing), Licorice Root (soothing), Ginger Root (purifying, brightening), and Astragalus Root (stimulates circulation). Equal nods also go out to Ceramide NP and Niacinamide for their skin barrier strengthening properties.
How to use it?
Mega-C delivers a powerful dose of potent Vitamin C to brighten the skin using the short contact therapy method. Think of it as an intense burst of Ascorbic Acid that will rapidly tackle pesky brown spots or acne marks.
There are a few rules you should follow to achieve optimal results.
- Follow directions. It’s recommended you leave Mega-C on for no longer than 20 minutes. Avoid the area around the eyes. Don’t be a hero.
- When you first try, Mega-C, commit to back-to-back applications a day or two apart to achieve the most visible results.
- Skip any acid-based resurfacing serum after rinsing off Mega-C to avoid over-treating the skin, which may lead to redness or irritation. Load up on Hyaluronic Acid instead.
- I’d probably avoid using Mega-C and ExfoliKate in the same sequence. Use one on a day you are skipping the other.
- Wear broad-spectrum SPF when introducing treatment products with a high concentration of key ingredients (in this case, Vitamin C).
After a few uses, I’ve found Mega-C works best for me as part of the morning routine. Its texture resembles a traditional makeup primer because of the silicone base. It glides on the skin and feels a bit slippery. There is no tingling. This new mask doesn’t rinse-off super easily so I’ve removed it with a foaming or enzyme-based powder wash during my morning shower. If you opt to take it off sinkside, have a hot cloth on hand. The good news: I’ve used Mega-C twice within 3 days this first week and am noticing a visibly radiant glow.
$72 (60ml) at katesomerville.com, ulta.com, sephora.com