Sonia Kashuk

Detox Purifying Black Mask

2.50 fl. oz. for $ 15.99
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Besides the fact that you can't "detoxify" skin, Sonia Kashuk's Detox Purifying Black Mask isn't recommended due to its irritating mix of ingredients that have the potential to incite pro-aging inflammation. Case in point: That cool, tingly feeling you get after applying this mask… that's your skin's way of telling you it's being irritated from the potent combo of peppermint and eucalyptus oils + other irritants. Eek!

Another red flag? As you uncap the squeeze tube of Detox Purifying Black Mask, its wafting minty smell is an indicator that it contains irritants that could potentially damage healthy collagen production, impair your skin's ability to heal, and cause a myriad of other problems (see More Info for a detailed explanation of irritation's repercussions on skin). What's even more ironic is that for a mask claiming to "absorb oil and impurities from skin," the type inflammation that this formula can trigger makes oily skin and breakouts worse (see More Info to learn why).

And don't even get us started on the detox claim… Even if toxins were to blame for your skin problems (they're not), toxins cannot leave your body through the through your skin—instead they're filtered, broken down, and removed by the kidneys and liver.

Without the irritating ingredients, this clay-based formula would have some purpose as an absorbent mask for oily skin (other skin types would find it too drying). The formula also contains some good exfoliating acids (salicylic, lactic, glycolic and mandelic), but unfortunately the pH isn't quite within the appropriate range for them to function properly.

Otherwise, Sonia Kashuk's Detox Purifying Black Mask contains a few beneficial ingredients including some antioxidant-rich plant extracts, but considering they're outnumbered by the irritants in the mix, this is an option best left on the store shelf. See our list of Best Facial Masks for superior ways to pamper your skin.

  • Contains a few beneficial ingredients, including antioxidant-rich plant extracts.
  • Contains irritants that can make oily skin worse and lead to pro-aging inflammation.
  • Cannot "detoxify" or exfoliate skin as claimed.
  • Despite its promise to soothe, its formula is anything but appropriate for sensitive skin.
More Info:

Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003)

The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).

Irritation's Connection to Oily Skin & Breakouts: Inflammation in skin is usually related to external factors such as irritation that damages the skin's barrier in numerous ways, whether you can see the reaction or not. When irritation on the surface of skin happens it activates specific chemicals called neuropeptides in the brain (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2007). Those substances are specifically the kind that regulates the hormonal system of the body.

When this happens, it leads to the formation of inflammatory chemicals directly in the oil gland. These inflammatory chemicals trigger an increase in oil production, which can increase the size of the pore, and the likelihood of acne—the more inflammation that occurs, the worse the risk (European Journal of Dermatology, 2002 & Dermatology, 2003).

Bottom line: Inflammation and its resulting irritation, whether internal or external (for this discussion externally it would be due to the use of irritating ingredients, hot water, overusing scrubs, etc.), is practically a guarantee you will see excess production of oil, larger pores and more acne breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009 & Dermato-Endocrinology, 2011).

That's reason enough to avoid products with irritating ingredients, which often come in the form of fragrance including the misnamed "essential" oils.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
This clay-based mask contains kaolin to absorb oil and impurities from skin. With superb anti-aging qualities, the mask features a combination of effective alpha-hydroxy acids glycolic acid to slough off dead skin cells, lactic acid to stimulate cell growth, mandelic acid for anti-bacterial properties and salicylic acid to smooth texture. White tea provides antioxidant protection and aloe vera, calendula flower and chamomile extracts soothe and moisturize. Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils have astringent properties to tone the skin, while cucumber and licorice extracts brighten for a more unified complexion.
Water, Kaolin, Butylene Glycol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Menta Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Glycerin, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Maltodextrin, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Leaf Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Cell Culture, Iron Oxides.

Sonia Kashuk At-A-Glance

Strengths: Affordable and widely available (though exclusive to Target stores); good makeup remover; the makeup is still the star attraction, with impressive options for foundation, powder, blush, lip color, eyeliner and especially makeup brushes.

Weaknesses: The concealers, eye pencil, and brow shapers are a letdown; the makeup palettes may seem convenient, but several of the included products perform poorly.

Perhaps best known for her years of work with supermodel Cindy Crawford, makeup artist Sonia Kashuk's well-chosen selection of makeup has been available exclusively at Target stores since the mid-1990s.

Kashuk's brushes have been a strong point, and now that they've been redone they're better than ever, and still affordable. This is definitely a makeup collection worth visiting, and you'll find some premium options among Kashuk's powder foundation, regular powders, and blush. Several other products, from foundation to lipsticks, are also worthy of attention, though this is not a line that caters to darker skin tones. Ironically, it's the latest cosmetic products that met with the most critical reviews, largely due to poor execution or their gimmicky nature.

For more information about Sonia Kashuk, visit soniakashuk.com or www.target.com.

Note: Sonia Kashuk products are also available at select Bloomingdales locations in New York and California. The company also maintains freestanding stores in New York and New Jersey.

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.

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