Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Calming Paper Mask
If you're looking to try a sheet mask to see what the trend is all about, this is not the one to check out, even with its relatively inexpensive price!
The reason? Yes To says its Cucumbers Soothing Calming Paper Mask is "soothing" (it's right there in the name), yet it isn't soothing in the least. True, it contains some ingredients that can improve the appearance of skin like cucumber extract, green tea extract, and allantoin, but it also contains a litany of problematic ingredients as well.
This includes a high amount of drying alcohol, which comes in the ingredient list ahead of many of the good-for-skin components. As well as having drying properties, alcohol can weaken skin, too (see More Info for the full details on this).
Then there's the fact that this includes menthol, a potent skin sensitizer, as well as fragrance, which can also aggravate skin. That's about as far from soothing as you can get—ouch!
Definitely skip this one and try one of much gentler, truly calming options you'll find on our list of Best Face Masks.
- Contains some beneficial skin-replenishing ingredients.
- Contains a high amount of drying alcohol.
- Contains potentially-aggravating menthol.
- Contains fragrance, which can aggravate skin
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Alcohol's effect on your skin is similar to its effect on the rest of your body: it steals the good (hydration) and leaves the bad (dryness, redness, and discomfort). Research has made it clear that alcohol as a main ingredient in any skincare product you use repeatedly is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which you'll most often see listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol on the ingredient label.
When you see these names of this type of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin. No way around that, it's simply bad for all skin types.
These types of volatile alcohols give products a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. But those short term benefits lead to negative long term outcomes!
Consequences include dryness, erosion of skin's surface (that's really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
We are often challenged on this information based on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology, July 2007, issue 1, pages 74-81 that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…" The only thing this study showed is that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Think about it this way, if you test to see whether or not you'll get burnt by a flame or slowly boiling hot water, you will quickly get damaged by the fire. You will eventually be damaged by the slowly boiling hot water it will just take longer, but burned you will be.
There are other types of "alcohols", known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for skin. It's important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores. Alcohol can actually increase oiliness because of the irritating feeling it creates, so the immediate de-greasing effect is eventually counteracted, prompting your oily skin to look even shinier.
References for this information:
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, issue 1, pages 41-49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, issue 6, pages 542-551
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, issue 3, pages 179-190
Aging, March 2012, issue 3, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, issue 3
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, issue 5, pages 360-366.
Yes To At-A-Glance
How this Israel-based brand of skin-care products came to be so widely distributed is an impressive marketing feat. Its sold in over a dozen countries and weve seen it locally in such diverse places as Safeway (a grocery store) and Ulta (a salon/spa/cosmetics boutique). Business is booming in the natural products market, and it appears that the Yes To brand is on its way to being one of the frontrunners! Yes To products were even featured on the popular daytime talk show The View. Clearly, this line has attracted the attention both of consumers and the media.
Why all the fuss? Well do our best to explain, but the simple reality is that the success of this brand is due to the fact that lots of consumers want natural products, regardless of whether or not the formula is beneficial for skin. Many women (but not those who read our reviews) are completely unaware that many of the products from the so-called natural product lines contain just as many synthetic ingredients as unnatural brands. Thats no longer the case with Yes To products, but not too long ago, it was!
The Yes To brand is divided into multiple sub-brands. To name a few: Yes To Carrots, Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Grapefruit, Yes to Coconut and Yes To Blueberries. The original launch and the largest group is Yes To Carrots. After the carrot-containing products became a hit, the company began to assemble a tossed salad of other products, including their Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Tomatoes, and Yes to Blueberries. What next? Were anticipating Yes To Lettuce and Yes To Blue Cheese Dressing, that way you can make a complete salad!
All kidding aside, Yes To products are worth a look if you prefer mostly natural ingredients, though not every natural ingredient Yes To uses has been proven beneficial for skin, and some are problematic. As with most natural-themed lines, there are a handful of Yes To products to consider. But few of them are state-of-the-art and there are no products to successfully manage acne or blackheads, lighten skin discolorations, or significantly reduce redness
Although it is commendable that Yes To doesnt make over-the-top anti-aging claims, a skin-care line should help take care of skins daily needs, and this lines products are somewhat lacking. All the fruits, vegetables, and any natural ingredient you can name isnt enough to protect skin from the cumulative damage of unprotected sun exposure (the Yes To brand does sell a couple of excellent sunscreens) or to satisfy other skin-care needs. Its a nice idea to think that tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and blueberries are as good for your skin when applied topically as they are for your health when consumed as part of a healthy diet, but thats simply not the case. Still, if you shop this line carefully youll come away with some workable products that are pleasant to use.
For more information about Yes To and its food-themed brands, visit www.yestocarrots.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.