Positively Radiant Maxglow No-Mess Sleep Mask

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 19.99
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Brand Overview

Aveeno’s Positive Radiant Maxglow No-Mess Sleep Mask has interesting packaging and some promising ingredients, but a couple of negative aspects wind up landing it in “average” territory.

First up, the packaging: This comes in a plastic squeeze tube with a clear silicone “paddle” applicator attached. Squeeze the tube, and the creamy mask comes out of a hole in the paddle, which you then use to spread the mask across your face.

Because the surface of the paddle applicator is flat on both sides, it can’t hug all the contours of your face, which makes even application tricky. However, since it absorbs quickly, there’s no need to rub the formula in much, so this works. Although this method of use isn’t necessary, this does an OK job if you like the concept of a “no-mess” application.

The mask itself is lightly hydrating and leaves skin looking immediately dewy without being overly sticky or shiny. In the morning, skin looks rejuvenated and plumped.

This isn’t a powerhouse formula in terms of beneficial ingredients, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t beneficial aspects. Aveeno’s much-hyped soy extract is here, and soy is a source of antioxidants and skin-soothing benefits. There’s even some research showing it can improve an uneven skin tone. Alongside the soy are skin-conditioning silicones, and kiwi fruit water, another antioxidant (though it’s not here in a great amount).

The biggest issue though, is that this has a strong fragrance, and fragrance puts skin at risk of irritation. It also contains lemon peel extract, which can stir up further irritation.

While this isn’t terrible, it just doesn’t have what it takes to match up to the options you’ll find on our list of best face masks.

  • “No mess” applicator works as advertised.
  • Mask is lightly hydrating and makes skin appear rejuvenated and plumped.
  • Soy extract is a good source of antioxidants and has skin-soothing benefits.
  • Has a strong fragrance which can irritate skin.
  • Lemon peel extract is a skin irritant.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Wake up to luminous skin. Infused with soy and kiwi complex, this unique overnight face mask helps even skin tone and texture, while replenishing lost moisture in your sleep. Apply with the no-mess applicator and leave on overnight for a radiant, dewy complexion.

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, lsononyl lsononanoate, Dimethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, lsohexadecane, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydroxyacetophenone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Fragrance, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Yeast Extract, Dimethiconol, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Water, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

Aveeno At-A-Glance

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.

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