Unblemish Clarifying Mask
Rodan + Fields’ Umblemish Clarifying Mask is an acne treatment throwback that’s likely to cause more issues than it can solve, making it a product we don’t recommend.
Packaged in a jar that compromises hygiene and the potency of some of its beneficial ingredients (see More Info for details below), this mask’s creamy texture is blended with small, soft exfoliating beads. You’re instructed to smooth this all over skin, leave it on up to 10 minutes, then rinse it off and pat skin dry. We found this applied easily, and rinsed cleanly as well.
This mask’s clay base means it can help reduce oiliness in the short term, and there are some beneficial ingredients present, including oat bran extract and vitamin C.
Unfortunately, this product’s active ingredient – 10% sulfur – is an issue. In the past, acne treatments often featured sulfur because of its strong antimicrobial properties but sulfur, especially in this amount, is drying and irritating. Despite its benefits, the level of irritation sulfur imparts has the potential to make acne breakouts worse and impede healing (see More Info below for details).
Sulfur also has a high pH that can, ironically, increase bacterial growth on skin. Because of this, benzoyl peroxide is preferred for antibacterial acne treatment, or azelaic acid may also be considered if you find your skin doesn’t do well with benzoyl peroxide.
This also contains tea tree oil (its medicinal-herbal smell is apparent – and strong – as soon as you open the jar this come in), which can have some benefit for acne, but again has fragrant and irritating properties that make it an iffy ingredient.
- Clay-based mask can temporarily reduce oiliness.
- Rinses cleanly.
- Contains a high amount of sensitizing sulfur.
- Tea tree oil has a potent smell and poses a risk of skin irritation.
- Packaged in a jar, which compromises its beneficial ingredients.
Jar Packaging & Beneficial ingredients: Beneficial ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.
References for this information:
Molecules, July 2018, ePublication
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Using harsh, irritating ingredients or cleansing brushes with stiff bristles is a serious problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.
It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427
Unmask your clearest skin. Our blemish-fighting formula uses Sulfur to instantly reduce excessive oil and shine while preventing new pimples from forming over time.
Rodan + Fields At-A-Glance
Many of you are probably familiar with physicians Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields from their appearances on infomercials about their successful ProActiv line of anti-acne skincare products. The Rodan + Fields approaches are advertised for those suffering from a variety of skin conditions, and are claimed to work for anti-aging, skin discolorations, sensitive skin, and acne.
Most consumers want simplicity when it comes to making decisions about what skincare products they should use. The Rodan + Fields marketing strategy is to make it simple. They eliminate the confusion about what products work together by creating streamlined, prepackaged product groups, each aimed at specific skin-care concerns. Each product group is enclosed in a clever, take-along parcel that is the skin-care equivalent of a sack lunch. (Products are also available separately for those who want to customize their routine or add products outside the predetermined routines.) This structured approach has merit, but, each routine has at least one questionable or lackluster formulation, or a problem with packaging.
For more information about Rodan + Fields, call (888) 995-5656 or visit www.rodanandfields.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.