Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask
Versed’s Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask is one of those products that gets its basic concept down right… then adds some extra ingredients that make it a product you’re better off skipping.
To start with the positives: we like this mask’s packaging: the opaque squeeze packette protects its good ingredients from exposure to light and air. Its texture is great too-- the gel feels refreshing and delivers rich moisture that’s ideal for normal to dry skin.
You’re instructed to leave it on skin for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse (although there’s no reason this type of mask can’t double as a leave-on overnight mask).
Turning to the ingredients, near the top of the list is rose hip oil, an antioxidant and fatty-acid rich, non-fragrant oil harvested from rose hips, which are the fruit of the rose plant (not to be confused with irritating and fragrant rose oil, often extracted from the flower itself). Backing up the rose hip oil are antioxidant aloe, apple, chamomile, and raspberry extracts. All are good ways to strengthen and smooth skin (especially if left on overnight).
One note: Versed says this contains a plant-based collagen alternative that smooths texture, though it doesn’t single out what this ingredient might be. Looking at the ingredient list, many of them can smooth skin and help prevent moisture loss, but none of them is analogous to collagen, so don’t count on a one-to-one benefit here.
That aside, the reason we don’t recommend this mask isn’t the ingredient claims; rather it’s the inclusion of multiple fragrant ingredients, which put skin at risk for irritation. They include jasmine, rose, lavender, and orange flower extracts, and you can smell them as soon as you open the container. Even though this is a product that you’re instructed to rinse from skin, it doesn’t take long for these ingredients to trigger irritation, and over time irritation can lead to drier skin, not the hydrated appearance this mask is supposed to deliver.
Give this one a pass, and select instead one of the gentler options you’ll find on our list of best face masks.
- Refreshing gel texture is ideal for normal to dry skin.
- Contains moisturizing and antioxidant rose hip oil.
- Includes antioxidants aloe, apple, chamomile, and raspberry extracts.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Contains fragrant plant extracts which put skin at risk for irritation.
- Includes orange peel extract, which poses an additional risk for irritation.
A hydrating, plumping treatment for when your skin is extra thirsty. This cooling, soothing gel mask is infused with aloe leaf juice, which delivers that instant refreshing burst of hydration. But the real hero here is the plant-based collagen alternative that smooths texture, increases elasticity, and binds moisture to the skin to prevent moisture loss. Rosehip seed oil also helps smooth skin to diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
Versed Skincare is the creation of Katherine Power, former West Coast fashion editor of Elle magazine and co-founder of the LA-based fashion company Clique Brands. Versed is positioned as the sister brand of the company’s Who What Wear clothing line sold at Target, and so Versed is sold there as well as other retailers.
Versed’s philosophy is straightforward: offer affordable, effective skin care products that are both vegan and, in the brand’s words, clean. “Clean” is an ambiguous phrase in the beauty industry that lacks a standard, regulated definition (it varies from company to company), but in this instance it means that there are no so-called “toxic” and “questionable” ingredients in Versed’s products.
While some of these ingredients – such as formaldehyde and artificial fragrance – are certainly best avoided, others are labeled as bad based on outdated research, poorly designed or inconclusive studies, or simply anecdotal evidence, and not on the conditions (or concentrations) in which these ingredients are actually used in real-world skin care applications.
That aside, Versed has an attractive aesthetic that goes along with this clean philosophy: pastel-colored packaging with plain type that explains what each product’s purpose is and calls out key ingredients in each. For the most part, Versed products are packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; however, there are a few instances of clear and jar packaging, which compromise the benefits of some ingredients, particularly antioxidants.
The formulas from Versed are a mixed bag. Some contain a host of beneficial ingredients while totally avoiding irritants, others are good but basic, and some others include fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of sensitizing skin (and we should be clear – fragrance, both synthetic and natural, can irritate skin). It really is a situation where the products are best judged on a case-by-case basis, as the hit-or-miss nature of the line requires more scrutiny than simply choosing based on product claims and skin type.
Despite the extra effort needed, Versed does have some good products to offer, and the convenience of being available both online and in a major retailer like Target, will have a lot of appeal to a good number of people. You can learn more about Versed at https://versedskin.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.