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Mario Badescu

Whitening Mask

2.00 fl. oz. for $ 24.00
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Claims

Ingredients

Brand Overview

Recently reformulated, Whitening Mask from Mario Badescu presumes that occasional use of brightening ingredient like kojic acid and licorice root will be enough to improve an uneven skin tone. Sadly, that’s not the case—what counts far more is what you do daily.

What if you use this mask daily? We wouldn’t advise it. The thick cream clay mask is packaged in a jar, which won’t keep the air- and light-sensitive plant extracts and discoloration-fighting kojic acid stable once opened. See More Info for the full story on the problems jar packaging presents.

The clay (kaolin) will absorb excess oil, but that’s about the best you can expect from Whitening Mask.

In use, this mask can be tricky to spread but what’s really disappointing is how much effort it takes to rinse! Once rinsed, skin is left with a wax-like film plus lingering fragrance—this mask has a strong scent that poses a risk of irritating skin, which is never a good idea.

Our list of the best skin-lightening products has superior options if dark spots are your concern, and of course you can check out our picks for best face masks, too.

Pros:
  • Absorbs excess oil.
Cons:
  • Fragrant formula (which lingers after rinsing) poses a risk of irritating skin.
  • Jar packaging won’t help keep the plant extracts stable once opened.
  • Difficult to rinse.
  • Leaves a film-y feeling on skin.

More Info:

Jar Packaging: Beneficial anti-aging 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 also is 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, 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:
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

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

This is a skin-perfecting mask specially formulated to address discoloration and dehydration. A unique blend of Kojic Acid and Extracts of Licorice Root, Mulberry, and Grapeseed helps minimize the look of uneven skin tone. Olive Leaf Extract and Vitamin E nourish as Beeswax locks in essential vitamins and nutrients—leaving dull complexions bright and hydrated.

Aqua (Water, Eau), Kaolin, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax, Cire Microcristalline), Sorbitol, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil, Huile Minérale), Propylene Glycol, Cera Alba (Beeswax, Cire d’abeille), Cellulose Gum, Kojic Acid, Tocopherol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Rhizome/Root, Morus Nigra Root, Scutellaria Galericulata Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Polysorbate 80, Methylparaben, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Sodium Chloride, Parfum (Fragrance), Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Benzoic Acid, Magnesium Aspartate, Panthenol, Potassium Asparate, Potassium Hydroxide, Propylparaben, Sarcosine.

Mario Badescu At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; the company includes complete ingredient lists on their website (though many of the ingredient lists don't follow FDA labeling requirements); most of the products are fragrance-free; a few good cleansing options.

Weaknesses: Repetitive, lackluster moisturizer formulas; terrible products for acne; the daytime moisturizers cannot be relied on for sun protection; poorly formulated exfoliants and scrubs; mostly irritating masks; boring toners; several moisturizers contain irritating ingredients.

Fashion magazines have been mentioning Mario Badescu products for some time, and in New York the Badescu salon has been around since 1967. Unfortunately for your skin, most of the products seem to be stuck in that era, when the state of skin-care knowledge was vastly different (meaning backward, simple, and naive) from what it is today. The company claims to use natural ingredients with advanced technology, but the formulas only support a small part of that assertion.

A tempting hook for this line is the number of celebrities and models who not only have facials and other services performed at the Mario Badescu Salon but also claim to use the products. We can't confirm whether or not celebrities really use these products, but even if there are some who do, plenty of other celebrities are using lots of different products, so that's no way to make an educated skin-care decision.

It probably goes without saying, or at least you won't be surprised when we mention it, that none of these products are natural in the least. They contain all the same old standard ingredients that show up throughout the cosmetics industry. The prices are more than reasonable, especially in comparison to other spa or boutique skin-care lines, but products that leave skin vulnerable to sun damage or cause irritation are never a good idea at any price. The sparse amounts of skin-identical ingredients, antioxidants, and anti-irritants included in the preponderance of products here is not in line with current skin-care science. The cleansers are unimpressive, the acne products are an irritation waiting to happen, and the AHA moisturizers either don't contain AHAs, don't have enough of the ingredient, or have a pH too high for them to be effective as exfoliants.

Several of the Badescu products contain an ingredient called "seamollient." As exotic as the name sounds, it's just a fancy term for water and algae. Given that the Creme de la Mer products also brag about algaeand charge an astronomical sum for itif you want algae on your skin, you may as well put it there via the Badescu products for far less money. (Actually, algae is not the fountain of youth for anyone's skin, which is why its continuing popularity befuddles me.)

As consumers become more savvy about ingredients and insist on examining a product's contents before purchasing, it should be pointed out that the Mario Badescu products engage in a bit of deception by disguising their use of commonplace ingredients such as mineral oil and petrolatum with trade names. For example, rather than listing mineral oil or Vaseline in their products, Badescu uses trade names such as Sonojell or Protol. Further, and most distressing, is that doing this means Badescu's products fail to meet either FDA or European labeling requirements. This act of cloaking ingredients in trade names and ignoring FDA labeling guidelines doesn't help the consumer, though it does help the cosmetics companies make their ordinary products sound more mysterious and natural.

For more information about Mario Badescu, call (800) 223-3728 or visit www.mariobadescu.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.