In Latinx cultures, it’s common that your abuelas are the ones who start giving you all the beauty advice. I remember that my grandma from my mom’s side once told me to tap my neck with the back of my hand as an exercise to tighten my neckline. I sometimes do it and imagine her smiling from wherever she is. Whenever I see something is inspired by abuelitas, I’m all in—just to feel that closeness and familiarity that I wish I had with mine. This is exactly why Skin by Jem's Rosa Clay Mask initially caught my attention.
Founder Jessica Monzalvo (who is also Latinx) created her brand based on the natural skin remedies she learned from her abuela. The Rosa Clay Mask was the first product she launched with the intention of making it customizable for all skin types, since it’s the user’s choice to add just water to the powder formula or mix it with the elixir of its liking. The idea of having a clay mask that could transform depending on what I added seemed like the perfect addition to my ever-changing beauty routine.
About My Skin:
I have oily-combination skin. I remember that time in middle school I discovered that moisturizing actually made my skin less oily and, since then, I avoided anything that made it dry out. This is why I’m very picky when it comes to cleansers and clay masks—they should never leave my skin feeling too tight. Since this one contains rose ingredients that are known to have moisturizing and calming benefits, I gave it a go.
The powder contains kaolin clay, which is the responsible for absorbing excess oil and impurities. Known as one of the mildest and gentle clays, this one stands out when it comes to cleaning your pores because there's no irritation and over-drying, which makes it perfect for all skin types. Yes, even sensitive ones!
Another amazing ingredient that makes this formula so appealing to me is the colloidal oatmeal, which is a skin soother with anti-inflammatory agents. It also acts like a protectant by strengthening the skin’s barrier function and retaining its moisture.
And last but not least, the rose-derived ingredients—petal powder, dry red rose buds and petals, and 100% pure rose oil blend—are definitely the cherry on top of this formula. Not only do they make this a multi-sensory experience with the therapeutic scent and stunning pink shade, but they also keep your skin calm and hydrated.
How to Apply:
I know that having to make your own mixture is not always ideal, but hear me out. The first time I tried this mask, I just mixed it with water on the palm of my hand—but now, I mix it in a small dish to create the paste and, for some reason, it makes the process feel so luxurious. The powder format allows you to mix in your favorite floral or herbal tonic to create a paste (but mixing it with just water already gives you all the benefits).
I like to apply it all over my face since I’m not worried that my dry patches are going to get even more dry or irritated. After a few minutes, I start feeling a very light tingling sensation (Monzalvo says that “totally normal for clay masks to tickle when they are completely dry," and to add a drop of vitamin E oil for additional hydration if you're not a fan of the tingling).
Let me tell you something: this clay mask is a game-changer. Once I washed it off in circular motions to exfoliate my skin, I couldn’t believe how soft my skin was. I know I’m not supposed to touch my face that much during the day but it was just so smooth that I couldn’t stop. Also, unlike others I’ve tried before, I didn’t feel that uncomfortable, tight feeling that makes me run to grab my moisturizers the second I rinse the mask off.
After a few more tries the following weeks, I noticed that some of my blemishes were fading out and I didn’t break out, which is something that happens to me with most clay masks. I also made my roommate and my boyfriend try it—it was just too good to keep it to myself—and they both loved it as much as I did.
The Rosa Clay Mask is priced at $27. For a 2.1oz crystal bottle with amazing ingredients inside, it’s just about right. Also, with just one teaspoon, you can cover your whole face, so no need to use too much product every time you use it. Plus, the adorable packaging will make your skincare corner look even cuter.
To be honest, I’ve never fallen in love with a clay mask before. Once I’m done with the one I’m currently using, I just forget about it and try another one. But with this one, I’m always looking forward to using it while having a me time. It feels very luxurious and the smell is just very nostalgic. It really makes me think of my abuelita.
Monzalvo created for Skin by Jem with sensitive and melanin-rich skin types in mind, which is just another reason why I would recommend you to invest your money in this small, POC-owned brand. Monzalvo found herself curating custom skincare regimens for her clients while working on set as a makeup artist, and this is how Skin by Jem was born. The results is a thoughtful, fun-to-use, effective product made with the one ingredient you can always feel: love.