Photos, Please Brightening Tightening Mask
Versed’s Photos, Please Brightening Tightening Mask is a fairly basic, all-skin-types clay mask that provides a pleasant aesthetic experience but whose claims are a bit over-the-top.
This mask comes in an opaque squeeze packet that protects its beneficial ingredients from light and air. Like the brand’s clarifying mask, it has a creamy-smooth texture. Because of its creaminess and its clay base (it contains both kaolin and bentonite clays), it works for a variety of skin types without being too drying. You’re instructed to leave it on skin for 15 minutes, then rinse with water. Skin is left feeling softer and smoother after.
There are some good ingredients to be had in this fragrance-free mask, among them brightening turmeric root extract and antioxidant vitamin E. Both are more effective in a formula that’s left on skin longer, but they’re still appreciated here since their anti-inflammatory benefit kicks in immediately.
The reason this doesn’t rate higher is twofold: first, this can’t exfoliate skin as claimed. There’s no ingredient in this mask that has the ability to accomplish this (no chemical exfoliators or even scrub particles), so if you’re purchasing this for that benefit, you’ll be disappointed.
Versed claims the kaolin is an exfoliant but it simply doesn’t have the ability to work in that way (though it does absorb oil, which can temporarily make oil-enlarged pores appear smaller). We suppose if you roughly massage this over skin when rinsing the clay would become abrasive enough to “scrub” skin, but please avoid doing this, as it can trigger redness and irritation.
The second thing holding this back is that this contains witch hazel extract. While witch hazel does have some soothing benefits, it also has the potential to cause irritation, making it a mixed bag when it comes to its value in skin care products. It’s best not to include it to avoid the potential for issues, especially given the large range of plant ingredients that deliver only benefits.
All told, while not a bad mask, it’s nowhere near the ranks of the alternatives you’ll find on our list of best masks.
- Creamy clay formula works for all skin types.
- Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother.
- Including oil-absorbing clays + antioxidant ingredients.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Brightening ingredients are more effective in a leave-on formula.
- Cannot exfoliate skin as claimed.
- Contains witch hazel extract, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
This is the mask you turn to when your complexion is feeling blah. Mineral-rich red kaolin clay tones and gently exfoliates skin while antioxidant-rich turmeric brightens and evens skin tone. It’s not only a soothing experience (thanks to the creamiest clay you’ve ever felt) but also a satisfying one. In 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll see and feel noticeably brighter, tighter, smoother, softer skin. Use it before a big event or whenever your skin needs a jump start (aka Monday).
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.