Woman in the Iron Mask (Facial)

Skin care goes heavy metal with the "Maschera al Ferro"

No, I'm not starring in the sequel to Leo's sword-swinging period piece. Instead, I tried to fight clogged pores and some pesky breakouts with the latest facial to hit New York (it's been popular for decades in Italy) at the Ildi Pekar Skin Care salon.

Heavy metal maiden

Although the "Maschera al Ferro" (or iron mask) may sound like a heavy-handed treatment, it's actually perfect for sensitive skin or for those who fear extracting. The main attraction—a mask from Dermophisiologique—contains ultrafine iron particles that penetrate dead skin cells and adhere to sebum, sweat and dirt.

After the grey-tinted cream was applied to my face and neck, some cool chemical wizardry happened. A magnet (and not the kind off the fridge) was drawn across my face, removing the iron microspheres (along with the yucky stuff), leaving behind a white moisturizing mask. I could actually feel a slight pulling sensation as the magnet lifted the metal bits from my skin.

Unlike other treatments, where I might end up with red and splotchy skin from an overzealous aesthetician, this facial offered deep pore cleansing without a lot of poking and prodding from excessive extraction.

Now I'm totally ready for my close-up!

$200; for more information, visit IldiPekar.com.


Recession remedy

Can't afford the hefty price tag or a trip to New York? Try the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask from The Body Shop ($22). This DIY treatment cleans out impurities and absorbs excess oil with a clay complex containing negatively charged irons, which act like magnets to draw out grime from your pores, while the seaweed helps balance out your skin tone.


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