All That Contours Hydrogel Expansion Stretch Gel Mask
All That Contours Hydrogel Expansion Stretch Gel Mask is a new take on the sheet mask phenomenon. Its "plaster-type stretch" material is supposed to deliver, "the appearance of skin-lifting and elasticity improvement." While this mask gives the feeling of taut skin during the 15-20 minutes of wear, the formula doesn't translate to visible results once it's removed, either in the short term of long term.
Among the first three ingredients that make up this mask, you'll find sodium polyacrylate—a film-forming agent that helps contribute to the temporary taut feeling on skin. Let us reiterate: A momentary feeling of tightness on skin is not the same thing as actually lifting skin, improving elasticity, or contouring the face. Such age-related concerns are not remedied by a mask you apply every now and then and especially not with this rather ordinary formula.
On the positive side, the fragrance-free formula contains a handful of beneficial hydrators, although there are certainly more economical and more concentrated ways to get these great ingredients. For instance, the highly touted caffeine is second-to-last on the ingredient list, which means it's being used in minimal concentration (not to mention caffeine is a bit of a mixed bag for skin, as it has some less desirable qualities along with the helpful ones).
Once removed, we were expecting some sort of residue, but were pleasantly surprised the formula absorbed imperceptibly into skin—no tacky, dewy, or emollient feel.
Note that the collagen in this formula cannot fuse with or shore up the collagen in your skin. It's not a bad ingredient, but at best just provides hydration.
A unique feature of this mask is that it's designed with cutouts to go around your ears, which helps the mask stay in place and adhere tightly. In our case, the tension tugged uncomfortably at the ears, but individual experience will vary by face shape.
Overall, this mask ends up being more gimmicky than beneficial. Spend your money on brilliant anti-aging skincare products you use on a daily basis which will net you exponentially better results.
- Contains a minimal amount of antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Gives the feeling of taut skin, but doesn't translate to visible results once removed.
- Highly-touted caffeine is very last on the ingredient list = minimal concentration.
- The tight-stretch design of the mask can tug uncomfortably at ears.
- Won't "lift" sagging skin as alluded to in the claims.
- Overall below average formulation.
The All That Contours Hydrogel Expansion Stretch Mask brings facial contours through a plaster-type stretch mask that can expand to fit onto your face. It features clear contours, strengthened elasticity, and maximized penetrationmaking it the perfect tool for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, loss of elasticity, large pores, and sagging.
Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance
Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.
Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.
No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims
It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.
For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.
Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.
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.