Welcome back to another installment of Skincare Saturday on this beautiful morning! For this month’s Skincare Saturday, I wanted to share the brand Ascension with you all.
[DISCLOSURE: All reviews on this site reflect my opinion of a product or service I have used. I will always disclose in the review if something was gifted to me but, unless otherwise noted, assume a product or service was purchased with my own money. Links in my reviews may be affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation for you using my link to make your purchase.]
Ascension is a Black-owned skincare brand started by Max Hemphill in 2018, after an illness caused him to reevaluate his outlook on health. Having transitioned to veganism, Hemphill realized he needed to clean up other aspects of his personal health as well – leading him to create a skincare brand based on simple, minimally-processed and plant-based ingredients. The star of the brand is their diatomaceous earth (DE) powder, which comes in Original (sold in a cardboard container for $16.00 for 260g) or Activated (a charcoal blend that is also sold in a cardboard container for $22.00 for 260g). Both options have a wooden spoon included for scooping the powder, and both have the option for a monthly subscription. I’ve been a fan of the Activated blend for the last couple of years, having been introduced to the brand by Osmia’s Dr. Sarah on Instagram. Ascension has also expanded their line to include Rose 528 (a rose water face and body mist) and 4.22 Serum (a healing hemp seed and rosehip-based serum). I haven’t tried the mist or the serum, yet, but I really want to try them eventually. (I have way too many fun skincare products to use up right now, I need to use up more of what I have before I buy more. Waste less!)
What The Heck is Diatomaceous Earth, Anyways?
Diatomaceous Earth (also called diatomite) is powdery sand that is made up of fossilized algae called diatoms. It is white or off-white in color (that would be what you get with Ascension’s Original powder) and can contain clay, volcanic ash, and minerals such as silica and iron oxide. Ascension boasts that their DE rates highly in the amount of silica, which is said to boost the elasticity and anti-aging properties of skin. Iron oxides are meant to create a more even complexion.
As I said, I’ve been a fan of the Activated powder blend for a few years now. I don’t use it as often as I should to get the optimal results, but I do love how my skin takes to the masks. I’ve used it on my face and décolletage area, as well as my shoulders and upper back area, and my skin always comes out feeling soft and clean. I don’t think I’ve ever used it weekly or even biweekly, but I don’t like to overuse masks because my skin can get irritated easily and I don’t want to trigger any skin issues by over-loving it. In fact, last week I used it for the first time on my underarms. The skin was feeling a little irritated after I waxed my underarms, and I figured a little pampering might help soothe the skin. Except for the fact that my friend told me it looked like I had thick black underarm hair, I found that the mask left my underarms feeling soft and soothed.
I’ve mentioned before I don’t have any severe acne or old acne scars that might heal over time with any of these skincare brands I’ve been reviewing. My skin is far from perfect, but I’m not going to have those acne commercial before and after pictures to show you.
The brand recommendation for mixing the mask is a 1:1 ratio of the powder and a liquid – their recommendations are water or apple cider vinegar. Personally, I use a 3:2 ratio of the dry powder to liquid to make my mask mix – the liquid is about 3:1 water to apple cider vinegar. I mix it up using a little wooden bowl and spoon and apply using a silicone mask spatula. I’m sure that you could mix in honey or yogurt, but I like to keep things simple. Even if the mixture seems a little bit too runny, it dries down easily enough without causing a massive charcoal mess.
On the Ascension site, they also state that their DE mixtures are food-grade and safe for consumption – they even recommend mixing the powders into your drinks or recipes for full body detox. The Activated blend can even be used as a tooth-whitening treatment! I’m not an expert on that, I don’t use the powder in that way; but if you are someone who does like the full range of uses for DE, that may be a good selling point for you. I would recommend if you do plan on using DE internally as well as externally that you consider the monthly subscription, just based on how much you would be using daily.
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to support and share Black-owned brands that I use and love. This isn’t me picking some random brands and buying them for clout and pictures to fake a review as clickbait, I just want to support small brands and share them with my followers.
I love face masks, even if I don’t use them twice a week like some people might. It just doesn’t fit in my schedule to do that. But I love pampering myself and feeling fancy.
If you do plan on trying out some Ascension powder in mask form, be it face or chest or back, I do recommend that you rinse off in the shower just for ease of removal. Last week when I used the Activated blend under my arms, it was quite the task to rinse my underarms without getting the black water everywhere because I made the foolish decision to do the mask after my shower and I didn’t want to get back in the shower to rinse off.
I am not a doctor or a scientist, so I won’t recommend that you consume the DE internally, but I do recommend that you do your due diligence and consult with your doctor about whether DE is suitable for you and your health needs. Especially in the case of the Activated blend – I know that consuming charcoal can interact with medications and, in some dosages, render them useless, so please be cautious with introducing something like DE internally if you are on any medications.
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