A probiotic mask worth investing in | MRL Restore

It’s telling that in the time it took me to write this review, the product has changed name… I need to be more up-to-date with my reviews!

This mask is now called Restore but the brilliant formula is the same. As I’ve touched on in this article, it’s a game changer. If you’re like me, you might be skeptical reading this statement. I know that I pondered about getting this mask for months before actually purchasing it.

Usually, I tend to budget my skincare and spend the most on serums and actives and go for more affordable options for the rest of my routine (following Caroline Hiron’s excellent advice on spending the most on the middle of a routine). 68£ seems too much for a mask and it is if you’re thinking about regular masks and their benefits. (I wouldn’t pay 68£ for a clay mask for example!)

Indeed, masks usually have an immediate appreciable effect but don’t have much of an impact on skin health on the long term. So they’re not worth the high price in my opinion. This isn’t the case with Restore and it’s the only reason I invested this much money in a mask.

Marie Reynolds, the woman behind Restore, is a brilliant facialist who takes a holistic approach to skin health. She formulated this powder mask with probiotics and phytonutrients literally as skin food to balance the microbiome and heal and rejuvenate the skin.

Topically, probiotics are said to “strengthen the skin barrier, restore acidic skin PH, maintain proprer balance of the skin’s community of microbes, alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress, lessen photoaging, help keep skin hydrated and promote the production of collagen, fats and ceramides” (If you want to know more about this topic, I highly recommend Dr Whitney Bowe’s book – The beauty of dirty skin – from which this is quoted.)

Restore includes 8 strains of live bacteria culture using a patented coating to keep the bacteria strains alive.

So how to use Restore? I mix half a teaspoon of powder with a bit of water until it forms a paste (as seen here). I then apply this blend on my face (even under my eyes as this helps with dark circles) and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off. As it hardens on the face, I experience the similar tightness I get when I use clay masks. To mitigate this effect and make it more comfortable, I tend to mist my face with water throughout the application. Similarly, you can also add a few drops of oil into the mixture.

After using it for the first time, my face became quite red. I panicked and thought that I was reacting to the product. However, it went down 10 minutes later. I wanted to mention it in case you have a similar first experience. Now, I don’t get this reaction but I’ve noticed that the red marks/blemishes on my face stand out just after rinsing the mask, only because the rest of my skin is so much brighter and clearer in comparison.

Restore strengthens the skin barrier and accelerates the healing process of the skin. The next day after using it, I notice that my blemishes look smaller and my complexion is more even. Overtime it also helps to refine skin texture. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and brightening and works on acne, scars and pigmentation. I’ve even used it on some eczema patches and it helped alleviate the itchiness I felt.

I love this mask. It isn’t just a temporary fix but participates in keeping my skin healthy. In fact, I’m already on my second tub!

It retails for 68£/80g. However, it lasts a long time (using it around twice a week, my first pot lasted 7 months).

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