ultimate miracle worker pearl mask
The ultimate miracle worker pearl mask attempts to go beyond just being a moisturizing mask by claiming to provide "the anti-aging power of a serum" and promising to transform your skin by "harnessing the power of pearls". It's great marketing copy but the truth is in the ingredients, and that's where this mask comes up short.
This mask comes in a jar filled with small, pale pink, pearlescent, round balls. You also get several small, single-use, muslin cloth bags and a spatula. You're directed to scoop 10 pearls into the bag, and then hold that to your face, applying pressure to breakdown the pearl balls, releasing their fluid contents into the muslin sack to seep through and finally get to the face. Geesh! We're exhausted just trying to explain this absurd application procedure to you.
Although the pearl packaging helps keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients in the mask stable, the application method is far more convoluted than useful. In fact, applying this mask as directed can be messy, as all of the pearls may not break at the same time, and some may ooze more of the mask fluid than others—not to mention the uneven process of trying to smooth the "popped" pearls over your face and neck through a muslin baggie.
What's inside the pearls isn't a miracle for skin either, not even a minor one. You get mostly water, non-fragrant plant oil, hydrating ingredients, alcohol (the amount is likely too low to be cause for concern), and preservative. This combination will make skin feel smoother, softer, and restore suppleness, but so can many facial moisturizers and regular moisturizing masks whose formulas offer skin far more—and often for a lot less money, too (this mask is pricey)!
This mask also contains mineral pigments (mica, tin oxide, titanium dioxide) which provide an instant, radiant glow. It's a nice effect, but strictly cosmetic—it has nothing to do with harnessing the power of pearls for skin especially considering this product doesn't contain any pearls!
We'd rather see a formula at this price bursting with proven anti-aging ingredients like ceramides, retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C, perhaps a peptide or two, among dozens of other brilliant anti-aging ingredients but such ingredients are mostly absent, which is disappointing. Add to that the awkward application method and that this won't replace a great anti-aging serum and you can see why we're not proclaiming this philosophy mask miraculous! See our list of Best Face Masks for superior options.
- Provides an instant, radiant glow from cosmetic ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Shockingly overpriced for what you get.
- Formula doesn't provide the "anti-aging power of a serum", as it lacks a good mix of anti-aging ingredients.
- Doesn't contain pearls but even so, pearls have no special ability to transform skin beyond adding shimmer.
- Contains more alcohol and preservative than antioxidants.
Strengths: Relatively inexpensive;some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-brightening product.
Weaknesses: Irritating and/or drying cleansers; average to problematic scrubs; at-home peel kits far more gimmicky than helpful; several products contain lavender oil; several products include irritating essential oils;the majority of makeup items do not rise above average status.
Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store lan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors,we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.
Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...
So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products, but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned by Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.
For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.
Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.
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.