Oat Mask Soothe
Aveeno’s Soothe Oat Mask with Pumpkin Seed Extract is poised to “pamper with pumpkin” and prebiotic oat flour. Although both ingredients are present, the pumpkin barely makes an appearance and isn’t capable of rebalancing skin as claimed. Adding to the issues, the added fragrance keeps this clay-based mask from being as soothing as the claims state, and jar packaging hinders its overall benefit as we outline below. At best, this a decent mask for normal to combination skin not struggling with signs of sensitivity.
Housed in a wide-mouthed jar that won’t help keep the natural ingredients stable once opened, this mask’s clay (kaolin) is “buffered” by the inclusion of emollient cetearyl alcohol and hydrating glycerin. The amount of oat kernel flour kicks in more absorbency, but it’s made less drying from the overall mix of skin-softening ingredients, including a triglyceride. Skin is left looking smooth and shine-free, but not dried out.
Interestingly, this mask is easy to apply but tricky to rinse. We left this on for 5-10 minute as directed but found we had to do a lot more rubbing while splashing with water. All the extra rubbing needlessly pulls and tugs at skin, which can hasten sagging.
Back to the soothing oat flour: Oats are a good source of prebiotics, which are food sources for the helpful bacteria--probiotics--that make up a portion of skin’s microbiome. It’s a nice addition, but skin will benefit more from daily use of prebiotics in a leave-on product, not a mask you rinse after a few minutes and apply infrequently.
The plant extract feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) is also present, but its ability to calm skin is muted due to jar packaging. In our view, this mask has too many drawbacks to make it “perfect for any self care session”. See our list of best face masks for better options.
- Easy to apply.
- Soaks up excess oil without leaving skin dried out.
- Skin is smooth and shine-free after rinsing.
- Difficult to rinse without rubbing at skin.
- Jar packaging won’t keep the natural ingredients stable once opened.
- Inclusion of fragrance, even though subtle, isn’t soothing.
- Pumpkin cannot rebalance skin, especially not when barely present.
Time to pamper with pumpkin. This prebiotic oat face mask has just the ingredients you need to revive your skin’s natural, hydrated glow. Its pumpkin seed extract helps to rebalance your skin while feverfew extract calms and soothes. Combine this rejuvenating formula with its rich, velvety texture and you’ve got yourself a mask perfect for any self care session.
Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.
Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar wont remain stable.
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson-owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin, just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.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.