Several nights of burning the scented candle at both ends had taken its toll on my skin. It showed every minute that the clock had ticked past my bedtime on late nights and gave away the fact that I hadn't been sleeping well when I did eventually hit the hay.
Pretending that I was testing the extreme longevity claims of foundation one night that I slept in my make-up didn't do anything to help my already dull and wan and worn out looking complexion; nor did having a poke at the pores on my nose and chin.
As luck would have it, though, a tube of Aqualia Thermal Mask for Sensitive Skin, €13, arrived for my perusal slap bang in the middle of this period of extreme exhaustion/skin abuse, and it sounded like it just might right all my wrongs. Tested on sensitive types, this stuff's hypoallergenic, allergy tested, and paraben free, and contains the mineral-rich thermal spa water present in all Vichy products.
It's a mask that billed as soothing and plumping with the capacity to intensively rehydrate skin for 24 hours after application, and since it's formulated with hyaluronic acid I reckoned it should be able to make good on that claim.
Its gel cream texture felt smooth and silky to the touch as I slathered it on, and my skin immediately felt refreshed. Two thumbs up for first impressions. When I removed the excess 10 minutes later, my face looked an awful lot calmer. Squeeze-induced redness was almost completely eliminated and the promised plumpness was very obviously in evidence. My complexion generally looked brighter and there was not a hint of tiredness to be seen, and in the hours that followed my skin felt comfortable and hydrated without any hint of greasiness.
Like so many Vichy products, this one is pretty unassuming in its white almost clinical box, but it does exactly what it says on the tin.