La Prairie

Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 300.00
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For what this moisturizing mask costs, it should not only contain real caviar (it doesn't) but also sing you a lullaby so you drift off to a peaceful sleep! Sadly, despite the claim that this is both a mask and a night cream, hence 2-in-1, you're really getting a good emollient moisturizer for dry skin, and not much more. If that's sobering, it should be: The cost for this creamy mask approaches off-the-charts ludicrous!

Perhaps most disappointing is the jar packaging; when you're paying this much for a moisturizing mask, you want to ensure your skin is getting the most from each ingredient. Unfortunately, jar packaging means this product's many light- and air-sensitive ingredients (many of which can benefit skin) will become less and less effective with each use. See More Info for further explanation on why jar packaging is the wrong way to go for products like this.

Although Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask contains some great emollients to smooth and soften dry skin, none of them are specific to a good night's sleep nor do they need to be used at nighttime only, but at least La Prairie isn't making such claims.

As for the exfoliation claim, this is due to inclusion of the enzyme papain. Typically derived from papaya, papain is considered a weak exfoliating ingredient due to its instability. Enzymatic ingredients are highly sensitive to light and air, so any potential efficacy that somehow survived the product manufacturing process will likely be depleted once you open the jar.

Last, this mask contains a smattering of fragrance ingredients, such as eugenol, that pose a slight risk of irritation. As for the caviar? It's present in extract form, but despite the luxury association, there's no research proving any type of caviar is a must-have for younger-looking skin.

  • Contains some very good moisturizing ingredients for dry skin.
  • Makes skin smoother, softer, and more supple.
  • Drastically overpriced for what you get, which isn't a 2-in-1 or exfoliating product, but just a moisturizer.
  • Jar packaging won't keep some of this product's most exciting ingredients stable once opened.
  • Contains a small amount of fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation.
More Info:

The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you're introducing bacteria that causes further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Together at last. An overnight moisture firming mask that's also a transformative night cream. It's the ultimate care your skin craves. Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask is imbued with caviar extracts that nourish with advanced nutrients and boost skin's long-term firmness. The luxuriously textured formula brushes on and simply melts into skin where it works its magic overnight. The natural exfoliation enzyme technology smooths, softens and improves the skin in as little as one application. Wake up with time on your side.

Water (Aqua) Dimethicone, Glycerin, Squalene, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Jojoba Esters, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Nylon-12, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan, Caviar Extract, Valeriana Officinalis Rhizome/Root, Papain, Indula Crithmoide Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Tocopherol Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiales, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Panthenol, Plankton Extract, Disodium EDTA, Hydrocupropyl Cyclodextrin, Verbascum Thaspus Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-100 Stearate, Algae Extract, Propylene Glycol, Magnolia Acumnate Bark Extract, Algin, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Yeast (Faex) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomber, Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum) Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol, Eugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Red 4, Blue 1.

La Prairie At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the makeup categories present at least one good, though needlessly expensive, option.

Weaknesses: Very expensive; overreliance on jar packaging; many products contain a potentially irritating amount of astringent horsetail extract; no effective skin-lightening options; poor options for anyone dealing with blemishes (though La Prairie is concerned primarily with selling wrinkle creams anyway).

La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.

Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.

A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.

For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.

La Prairie Makeup

The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.

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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