Annie Versus The Volcano
There was a trend in skincare that seemed centered on rare minerals from exotic active volcanoes. The most glamorous product hailed from Giorgio Armani. Crema Nera is formulated based on volcanic petrified lava rock from the Sicilian Island of Pantelleria. The texture of the cream was very butter-like. It was not whipped like most of the regenerating creams I have tested throughout the 40 day project. It smelled and looked exactly like Shea butter. The cream felt smooth on the skin in a very silicon way. I checked the ingredients and spotted "dimethicone" and paraffin. It did have a very waxy, lard-like vibe. Crema Nera felt more like a primer than a skin treatment. My personal results were not good. I experienced slight irritations after the first application. This centered along the jaw line. The irritations ranged from minor itching to redness. With long term use, I had issues with clogged pores and general skin flare ups. I gave up after just one month.
When it comes to my skin...I am a quitter.
Once a series of zits appear, I am throwing in the towel and flashing a deuces sign.
MAC released a handful of limited edition volcano based products. They might have made your bath tub a disaster area but the results were immediate and beneficial. The collections sold out quickly. My personal favorite was the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. It is a charcoal color and smells like soot with lemons. It has some light, yet surprisingly creamy lather action. I did not expect suds or my skin to feel moisturized to the tenth power.
It rinses off with minimal effort but leaves the tub looking like an octopus lost a wrestling match. The ink-like mud gets everywhere.
The sugar granules are not uniform in size. You will encounter beads that feel quite sharp like an arrow head. I think it is much too rough to use on the face. I prefer to use it as a shower treatment for the body.
The Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask provided an intense rush of warmth that is disconcerting. I have used thermal masks before but this one really delivered on the heat. The heat level is one step below jalapeno. The heat is fleeting and less than one minute. Many reviewers on Makeupalley stated that the heat returns during rinsing. I never was able to get the fire back. I left the mask on for only five minutes. I never felt brave enough to go any further.
I have to say no. They were worth the original price and deserving to be made part of the permanent MAC skin care line.
Disclosure: I purchased the MAC Volcanic products at my local MAC counter. The Armani cream was a large sample from a Saks Fifth Avenue event.
Credit: Blogdorf Goodman and Melanie Parker/ Veronica Lake in I Married A Witch.