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L'Oreal Paris

Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Mask

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 24.99
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Brand Overview

It seems L'Oreal's idea of aging perfectly involves putting a lot of irritating denatured alcohol on your skin. If this type of alcohol was anti-aging, we'd be all for its use, but the damage it can cause is actually pro-aging, as we explain in the More Info section. Because of this, Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Mask isn't recommended.

Alcohol isn't the only cause for concern, though: This artificially-colored mask also contains a high amount of fragrance and its jar packaging won't keep the natural ingredients it contains stable once opened. Both issues are further addressed in the More Info section below.

What about the exfoliation claims around the fruit acids? These ingredients might seem like natural sources of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) but there's no research proving they can exfoliate skin.

The pumice this five-minute rinse-off mask contains will exfoliate, but it's quite abrasive—this kind of roughness can make skin look rosy, but it stems from irritation, not the welcome return of the enviable rosiness of youth!

Sadly, there's nothing about this mask that's redeemable. See our list of Best Face Masks or, even better, Best Exfoliants for products that can make a remarkable difference for your skin.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • High amount of alcohol can dry and irritate skin (pro-aging).
  • Highly fragrant formula poses a strong risk of irritating skin.
  • Jar packaging won't help keep the natural ingredients stable.
  • The fruit extracts can't exfoliate skin.
  • Pumice is too abrasive to use on skin, and this formula isn't buffered well.
More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There's no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they're included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn't lead to negative long-term outcomes!

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin's protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we've presented about alcohol's effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…." But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.

Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It's important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

References for this information:

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16

Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49

Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551

Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366

Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Jar Packaging: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

References for this information:

Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106

Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259

Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660

Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683

Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88

Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin's barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin's surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202

International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes
Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Mask is formulated as an intensive anti-aging treatment to exfoliate dead skin cells through the action of AHA Fruit Acids and the physical exfoliation delivered by an ultra-fine mineral exfoliant. As a result, skin feels instantly refreshed, with a renewed, rosy blush. After just 5 minutes of this powerful yet gentle antiaging face mask, skin has a radiant and healthy glow and is better prepped to absorb our intensely moisturizing Rosy Tone Cream.
Aqua/Water, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Pumice, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Saccharum Officinarum Extract/Sugar Cane Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Disodium EDTA, Parfum/Fragrance, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract/Orange Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon Fruit Extract/Lemon Fruit Extract, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Acer Saccharum Extract/Sugar Maple Extract, Ci 14700/Red 4, Ci 19140/Yellow 5

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.