I’m a Beauty Writer Who Doesn’t Use Face Masks — Can Go-To’s The Repair Shop Change That?

Ruby Feneley tries Go-To Repair Shop

When Go-To’s The Repair Shop, ($50.00) plopped itself on my (home office) desk last week, I was in the middle of a complexion crisis. As a beauty writer, I count my calm skin as a blessing. It’s low fuss and no matter how many products I throw at it, pretty non-reactive (unless faced with an AHA).

Whether it was wild weather, a new job (yes, hello, nice to meet you) or a reaction to one of the 200 different products I try a month, my skin was tight, painful, itchy and with a smattering of… peculiar rashes.

Enter, a hydrating face mask that claimed it would repair my skin barrier in 15 minutes, backed by skincare guru turned mogul Zoë Foster-Blake. It would seem like a no-brainer for most beauty writers — but not me!

I’ve simply never been a masker. I’m DRY. Sahara desert dry. During my early twenties, my skin got into a bungle with my contraception, the clear complexion I’d been blessed with my whole life was replaced by painful cystic acne. One round of Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) later, the acne had cleared up, but my skin type had been upgraded from dry/normal to bureau-of-meteorology-warning-level parched.

I’ve managed my very dry skin with a consistent routine of potent serums and moisturisers. Because my day-to-day skincare regime is rigorously on-point I’m not always sold on the value of a face mask. The skincare you use every day is doing the heavy lifting, so why mix things up unnecessarily?

When I do mask it’s usually the overnight hydrating variety that I can lazily slap on. The idea of applying a mask, waiting, then washing it off and applying something different seems… challenging.

But, having ditched all my actives to no avail, when Go-To The Repair Shop arrived on the scene I was desperate enough for my masking laziness to be overwhelmed. Why not give it a shot?

What’s in Go-To Repair Shop?

The ingredients list, which reads like a barrier-repair all-stars, had me interested. Go-To Repair Shop hydrates at all levels. You’ll find:

Moisturisers: Ceramides and Provitamin B5 (Panthenol)

Humectants: Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin

Soothing oils: Vitamin E and Buriti Oil

Ceramides and Provitamin B5 repair the skin barrier, while Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin bind water to the skin. Meanwhile, Vitamin E, Buriti Oil and Avocado Oil make for a rich, calming texture.

The Repair Shop Experience

Go-To's new The Repair Shop face mask
Image credit: Go-To Skincare

As directed, I slathered Repair Shop on thick. The cream has a dense, lotion consistency and a banana yellow hue. Repair Shop has an unobtrusive, slightly floral fragrance. After 15 minutes, I rinsed off with a gentle cleanser and warm towel and applied the rest of my skincare routine.

While the mask felt soothing on, I was doubtful of the long-term benefits it would have. Colour me pleasantly surprised.

Post-mask my complexion felt velvety soft and hydrated. More importantly? It felt CALM for the first time in weeks. And stayed that way. The next day my skin felt better than it had in ages — like an antihistamine in a bottle.

I suspect panthenol is responsible for dialling back my skin irritation — the ingredient demonstrated wound healing, skin soothing and hydrating properties in double blind clinical trials.

While official Go-To instructions recommend Repair Shop be washed off, I did reach for it after a late night — my favourite way to use hydrating masks. I woke up with calm, plump, hydrated skin that based on the previous night’s activities I absolutely did not deserve.

Would I Use The Repair Shop again?

Absolutely. While I remain very mask-lazy Go-To’s The Repair Shop has earnt its place on my bedside table, where it will be on hand for skincare emergencies and late nights.

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