Expert Reviews
Community Reviews
Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

What is truly misbehaving are the claims for this product. Pay no attention to the pandering assertions trying to appeal to those consumers looking for alternatives for their skin problems. This anti-acne mask is not a fusion of medicines from various countries and teachings. Even if it was that wouldn’t help your blemishes because this product contains 10% sulfur which can cause significant irritation. Sulfur is a potent disinfectant and has a role in improving acne, but its side effects (especially at higher concentrations such as what’s in this mask) aren’t worth it, at least not before many other excellent, proven alternatives are tried first.

This mask also contains irritating lemon peel oil and the talked-up ingredient phytosphingosine has minimal research relating to its anti-acne mettle, not to mention the amount of it in this rinse-off product isn’t going to have much of an impact as it would be splashed down the drain before it could have benefit. (Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2007, pages 181-190).

However, phytosphingosine is a very interesting ingredient in the same vein that other skin identical ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin are. Phytosphingosine is a potent anti-inflammatory and helps reinforce skin structure in a way that encourages healing, greatly reduces dry skin, and repairs the skin’s ability to protect itself from the environment. (Sources: Experimental Dermatology, July 2008, pages; Molecular Medicine, January through March 2006, pages 17-24; International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2003, pages 63-95) But this is achieved from a product you leave on the skin and has nothing to do with acne.

One other point, including the Chinese herb evodia rutaecarpa extract, which is a good anti-inflammatory agent, has no research showing it has a special impact on acne.

Last Updated:03.11.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

A high-tech fusion of Chinese, Ayurvedic and Western Medicine and is enhanced with phytosphingosine. Works to intensively correct and restore the natural skin chemistry vital to the formation of acne blemishes. A refreshing, therapeutic and herbal indulgence delicately scented with aromatic botanicals.


Active: Sulfur (10%), Other: Water, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, Bentonite, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Butylene Glycol, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Zinc Oxide, Evodia Rutaecarpa Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Allantoin, Phytosphingosine, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Camellia Sinensis (Japanese White Tea) Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Fragrance

Brand Overview

DERMAdoctor At-a-Glance

Strengths: Company provides complete product ingredient lists on its Web site; well formulated AHA products; sunscreens provide critical broad-spectrum protection, good oil-control product; a couple of great, though pricey, cleansers.

Weaknesses: Expensive; mostly poor anti-acne products; anti-wrinkle products making imossible claims; clinical studies alluded to are not made available to the public (which is odd, given that this is a brand fronted by a dermatologist); some product formulas suffer due to jar packaging.

The DERMAdoctor line is the brainchild of Kansas City-based dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin. Dr. Kunin's Web site retails not only the DERMAdoctor brand but several products from other brands, many of which have ties to specific dermatologic concerns (everything from athlete's foot to warts). Many of these specialty products are available from your local drugstore, but Kunin's site provides helpful, mostly reliable information concerning various skin-care concerns.

We wish her own products followed the strength of her advice, but alas, most do not. This is another dermatologist-developed line with plenty of products whose names and claims make you think they're a cosmetic corrective procedure in a bottle (or, in some cases, a jar, which is never a good packaging move). There are some products to pay attention to, though whether you want to strongly consider them or not comes down to how much you feel comfortable spending (DERMAdoctor products aren't cheap).

DERMAdoctor isn't exactly "your prescription for beautiful skin" but Dr. Kunin gets enough right that her line isn't one to gloss over, particularly if you're shopping for sunscreens, AHA products, and facial cleansers. Those with acne should look elsewhere, because DERMAdoctor's products don't have the solution, despite their cute product names.

For more information about DERMAdoctor, call (877) 337-6237 or visit

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.

Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!