Ultra or not, neither skin nor skin cells harbor toxins, but even if they did, the ingredients in this mask are not capable of expelling them. Toxins in the body are filtered and broken down by the liver and kidneys, not the skin. And, not surprisingly, no one at Dior can adequately explain which toxins this mask removes. They could mean oil, dirt, or dead skin cells, but in reality, none of those are toxic and they are easily washed away with far less expensive products than this.
All you're getting with this mask is a mix of water, slip agents, alcohol, vitamin C, film-forming agents, and plasticizing ingredients (think hairspray) that make your skin feel temporarily tighter after you rinse. It also contains some good water-binding agents to hydrate slightly dry skin, but the amount of alcohol keeps these ingredients from working as well as they otherwise would. Salicylic acid is on board, too, but the pH of this mask doesn't allow it to function as an exfoliant.
This mask doesn't contain "superpowerful" ingredients and, in fact, most of its claims are hokey and unproven, couched in scientific terms that don't really make sense. Well-formulated masks (which this one is not) serve their purpose for dry skin or for oily skin, but detoxification is not one of them!
Alcohol in Skin-Care Products
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,"Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Irritation From Fragrance and Fragrant Oils
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Eliminates toxins and has a profound restorative action on the skin. The secret? A ten-fold higher concentration of Détoxinyle™, Dior’s detoxifying active ingredient, for skin that is like new: perfectly smooth, plumped up and glowing. The extra-cool gel texture becomes a face mask which, on contact, is absorbed into the skin, diffusing into the very heart of the cells its superpowerful active ingredients.
Water, Glycerin, Polyglycerin-3, Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Pentylene Glycol, Urea, Maltitol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Glycine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Decyloxazolidinone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal GumSalicylic Acid, Algin, Laureth-7, Parfum (Fragrance), Adenosine, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Tocopheryl Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Plankton Extract, Kluyveromyces Extract, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Afromomum Angustilfolium Seed Extract, Red 4, BHT, Tocopherol
Strengths:Nearly all of the SPF-related products offer sufficient UVA protection; a few extraordinary foundations and mascaras; a good liquid concealer; an excellent powder eyeshadow set; some good lipsticks and eyeliners.
Weaknesses: Expensive; lackluster moisturizers and serums that contain more fragrance and preservatives than elegant ingredients; irritating toners and self-tanners; ordinary masks; lack of products to address the needs of those with blemishes or skin discolorations; some foundations with SPF ratings that are too low; mostly average makeup brushes.
If you're looking for a clear-cut case of style winning out over substance, here it is. The Dior name is synonymous with couture fashion and countless other lifestyle accoutrements, but they continue to falter when it comes to establishing a first-rate collection of skin-care products. Of course, the company believes their products are the crème de la crème and if we're judging on aesthetics alone, we see what they mean. However, what's inside the gorgeous components is what counts for your skin, and Dior's formulas leave a lot to be desired. On one hand, it's great that all of their sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; on the other, all of their moisturizers either leave skin wanting more or contain problematic ingredients with no skin-redeeming qualities.
Fragrance is huge for Dior, and a visit to their counter attests to this, as fragrances line the counter right beside the skin-care tester unit. It would be better for skin if the two categories were kept separate, but in most cases the amount of fragrance added to Dior's skin-care products is greater than the token amounts of state-of-the-art ingredients (and the effectiveness of most of those is further diminished by jar packaging). If you wouldn't put perfume on your face, think twice about applying it in the form of an expensive skin-care product.
On the plus side, there are a few very good products to consider if you don't mind spending the extra money. If you're a fan of Dior's fashions and want to experiment with their cosmetic products, you'll find that their makeup outshines the skin care and has improved in ways that keep the panache while making genuine improvements. Despite all manner of claims to the contrary (everything from purifying pores to lifting skin to the point that sagging is a thing of the past), the most attractive part of Dior's formulas is how they're dressed, not how they perform.
For more information about Dior, call (212) 931-2200 or visit www.dior.com.
Always fashion-forward, Dior's makeup is more well-designed and attractive than ever, offering standout products in almost every category. The most notable change over the past several years has been Dior's improved foundation formulas and shades. It's now the exception rather than the rule to find overtly peach, pink, or rose-toned shades among Dior's many complexion-enhancing options. Even better, Dior has recently introduced foundations to compensate for its previous too-low SPF efforts, with formulas available in SPF 15, 20 and 25, a couple of which even include UVA-protecting ingredients. Such a move shows that while Dior may still struggle with an overall lackluster skin care line, they are at least working to meet dermatologist-recommended benchmarks for sun protection.
You will also be very impressed with Dior's powder blush, eyeshadows (though their shiny finish is not the best for Baby Boomer eyes), the DiorSkin concealer, brow gel, and most of the mascaras. If you're a fan of lip gloss and are willing to tolerate a double-digit price, you'll be in cosmetics heaven wading through all the lip-shining options here. On the flip side, neither the standard pencils nor most of the lipsticks are worth the money. With any designer-based line built on artifice, price is more than a matter of dollars. It's indicative of a company’s image and remains a prestige factor that often speaks louder than the products themselves. Dior is guilty of maximizing its assets to play up its image, but with their makeup line the good news for you is that, for the most part, they really pay attention to what’s inside all the luxe containers, too.
One more note: Dior’s makeup tester units are much more accessible and user-friendly than for previous editions of this book. We also found their counter staff to be more accommodating and definitely less condescending than several other European-bred lines.
Note: Dior is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Dior does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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