Harmoinie Calm Comforting Milky Gel-Cream Mask
This mask is said to be for sensitive or reactive skin, and is also meant to be applied around the eyes, but given this product’s formula, think twice before doing that. Abundant research has made it clear that sensitive skin doesn’t need fragrance—yet this mask contains a lot of it. Its lightweight, gel-cream texture feels good, and some of the plant extracts are soothing, but the fragrant plants plus the addition of several synthetic fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation make this a no go for all skin types.
Whether or not sensitive skin is your issue, fragrance is always a problem. A mask can be a helpful, even relaxing, addition to a skin-care routine, but not when it exposes skin to irritating ingredients.
- Smoothing, gel-cream texture helps attract moisture to dry skin
- Contains some good soothing agents.
- Some of the plant extracts are fragrant, and fragrance isn’t what sensitive, reactive skin needs.
- Several synthetic fragrance ingredients known to be irritating are a problem for calming anyone’s skin.
Designed for sensitive and reactive skin types, which experience discomfort around the fragile eye area, this high-tolerance treatment instantly soothes, softens, calms and refreshes the eye contours.
Strengths: None of note.
Weaknesses: Expensive; pervasive use of volatile essential oils that have limited to no benefit for skin and are known irritants; almost all the sunscreens lack the right UVA-protecting ingredients; no product to address acne or skin discolorations; inappropriate jar packaging.
What can you say about a skin-care line where almost 85% of the products contain volatile, fragrant plant oils that have research showing they are irritating to skin? Few lines in this book received so many unhappy faces for this reason aloneyet those very oils are Decleor's claim to fame. This spa-oriented company was begun in 1975 by a massage therapist and is now owned in part by Japan-based Shiseido (whose sunscreens trounce Decleor's by leaps and bounds).
Decleor is all about aromatherapy for skin. They speak freely of the purity of the essential oils they use and the distillation processes that keep them active, but that's precisely the cause for concern. Yes, lavender, bitter orange, rose, geranium, neroli, and other "essential" oils smell wonderful, but the very ingredients that create those intoxicating scents are what is responsible for causing skin irritation, inflammation, and, in some cases, phototoxic reactions. These essential oils have active constituents but, because they are not regulated as such, any company can use whichever ones they like in any concentration. Moreover, companies don't have to indicate the quantities that were used, leaving the consumer to guess. The concept of aromatherapy has well-established benefits concerning inhalation of scents and the effects they have on one's mood and, sometimes, physiological function. But enjoying these oils via inhalation (where they really can be beneficial) is different from applying them to skin, where hypersensitivity is well-documented and topical usage is cautioned (Sources: Current Pharmaceutical Design, December 2006, pages 33933399; Phytotherapy Research, September 2006, pages 758763; European Journal of Oncology Nursing, April 2006, pages 140149; The Journal of Nursing, August 2005, pages 1115; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Not only are most of Decleor's products a giant step backward for your skin, they're also a real misfortune when you consider Decleor's terrible sunscreens and lack of truly state-of-the-art ingredients. In short, experiencing these products in a relaxing spa environment may make you feel refreshed or invigoratedbut if your goal is establishing a sensible, effective skin-care routine, youll need to keep shopping.
For more information about Decleor, call (888) 414-4471 or www.decleor.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.