GlamGlow's Dreamduo Overnight Transforming Treatment is a departure from their usual emphasis on facial masks, and it's an interesting, two-step, antioxidant-packed product that has merit for all skin types. In fact, only one ingredient and the unfortunate choice of jar packaging holds this back from getting our strong recommendation.
Housed in one jar are two fragranced formulas separated by an s-shaped divider. One side is the pearl-tinted DREAMSERUM (step 1) while the other is the gray-tinged step 2, DREAMSEAL. You're directed to apply DREAMSERUM to clean skin and then wait 30 seconds for it to absorb, at which point you apply DREAMSEAL. Both products are left on overnight so you can, in the company's words, experience "midnight magic for your skin".
Without question, the numerous research-proven antioxidants in both products can do "magic for your skin", but in order to pull off those tricks, they need a willing assistant to help, which in this case would be airtight packaging. Because DREAMDUO is packaged in a jar, all of those magical antioxidants will see their benefits begin to disappear from the first time you take the lid off the jar. See More Info for details on why jar packaging is the wrong way to go for such formulas.
The other issue is the somewhat gimmicky two-step process. DREAMSERUM and DREAMSEAL are both just silicone-enhanced serums loaded with antioxidants and some workhorse hydrating ingredients. Used alone or applied together, you'll get smooth, soft, radiant skin. Oddly, several ingredients in both products overlap, making the 2-step process even more puzzling.
Although it's not ideal for skin that both steps contain fragrance (natural or synthetic, fragrance can be a problem for skin), it's more concerning that step 2, DREAMSEAL, contains the potent menthol-derived ingredient menthoxypropanediol. There isn't much research on this ingredient, but what's there indicates how much more potent it is than menthol, and research on menthol's potential to sensitize skin is clear (Archives of Dermatological Research, 1996, issue 5-6, pages 245-248; and Somatosensory & Motor Research, 1992, issue 3, pages 235-244). When you feel DREAMSEAL's tingle on skin, that's not evidence of great results—it's proof your skin is being aggravated.
We love that GlamGlow packed so many antioxidants and proven hydrating ingredients into both formulas, but in the end your skin will thrive if you choose one or more of the products on our list of Best Serums.
Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: This anti-aging formula is packaged in a jar, which means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable for long once it's opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients are air-sensitive and begin to break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective.
Jars are also unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, contaminating the product. This leads to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
When shopping for an anti-aging moisturizer, the ingredients that provide the most benefit for addressing visible signs of aging among many other concerns need to be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging.
References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, issue 14, pages 97-106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, issue 3, pages 252-259.
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, issue 9, pages 4676-4683
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, issue 6, pages 640-660
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82-88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1-10
DREAMSERUM (Step 1): Water\Aqua\Eau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Gelidiella Acerosa Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D'orge, Hypnea Musciformis (Algae) Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Lycium Chinensis (Wolfberry)Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Juice, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Wax, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat)Germ Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Caffeine, Dimethiconol, Glycerin, Ergothioneine, Methyl Gluceth-20, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Squalane, Trehalose, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Silica, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, PEG-8, Sucrose, Tromethamine, Polysorbate 80, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci77891) DREAMSEAL (Step 2): Water\Aqua\Eau, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Glycerin, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Propanediol, Petrolatum, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower)Seedcake, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D'orge, Lycium Chinensis (Wolfberry) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caffeine, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Ergothioneine, Sorbitol, Trehalose, Menthoxypropanediol, Dextrin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyethylene, Polysilicone-11, Glucosamine Hcl, Isododecane, PEG-6, PEG-32, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)
Strengths: None, unfortunately. Well, their packaging is pretty.
Weaknesses: Despite the hype, GlamGlow does not have exceptional, or even mediocre, products worth considering. Their primary two masks are overpriced and offer a mix of ordinary clays, potent fragrance and irritating plant extracts with a few beneficial antioxidants present but they are rendered useless because of the jar packaging.
Created by the husband-and-wife team of Glenn and Shannon Dellimore, the Hollywood, California-based GlamGlow line consists of several masks and cleansers. Their marketing claims may have you thinking these masks are revolutionary skin-care treatments but they are not—not even slightly. GlamGlow also claims their masks are sought out by actors and celebrities for their ability to "tighten skin and shrink pores". The celebrity allure is a good one, as most of us want to know what the stars use to get or stay gorgeous, but celebrity cache alone isn't a great reason to try any product. A lot of celebrities do things that aren't good for them, like smoke, tan, or drink too much, and they make skin care and cosmetic surgery mistakes too.
But back to the masks. The GlamGlow masks contain fragrant essential oils, irritating plant extracts and ordinary clays (despite being named "French clay", in the world of skin-care formulation, clay is just clay and being from France is as special as a French fry is to a potato).
The reality behind the ingredients used in the GlamGlow line is much less interesting than the story would lead you to believe. Aside from the mix of clay and fragrance, their "hero ingredient" is the trade-named ingredient called "Teoxi", which is just green-tea extract. While green-tea extract is an excellent antioxidant, isn’t capable of the the skin perfecting, Benjamin Button-age-reversing results promised. As the body's largest organ, your skin is far too complex to have its anti-aging needs met by one antioxidant, however good it may be. But even if green-tea extract were as amazing as GlamGlow asserts, it won’t remain stable in the jar packaging the company chose for their masks.
Aside from "Teoxi", GlamGlow uses trade names instead of using the actual ingredient name in their marketing claims, on both the box and their website. You may think "Teoxi" sounds impressive, but you're only getting standard ingredients—their use of trade names simply makes the formula seem more intriguing than it really is. For example, their "Bio-Life-Cell-Science" technology claims to be an "Advanced Scientific Skincare" blend, but in reality it's just a mix of eucalyptus, peppermint, comfrey, ivy, marigold and other standard plant extracts. It would take some advanced scientific Photoshopping to get anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish results from this cast of ordinary problematic ingredients!
If you're interested in a clay mask for absorbing excess oil or helping clogged pores, there are many alternatives which easily beat GlamGlow for a fraction of the cost. There is nothing unique about the masks this line sells.
GlamGlow also makes exfoliating claims, but these don't live up to their promise for reasons discussed in each mask's reviews. You are better off using a soft washcloth with your cleanser for physical exfoliation—you will get virtually identical results and save your skin the irritation (plus spare your bank account the wasted money). If brighter, more even-toned skin is your goal, consider any of the well-formulated AHA/BHA exfoliants recommended in the Best Products section.
In the end, despite lots of hype, GlamGlow is a disappointment that isn't worth the expense and puts your skin at risk of irritation. If only a fraction of the marketing efforts behind the brand were put into formulating their products, they might have ended up with products truly deserving of celebrity accolades!
For more information about GlamGlow, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.glamglowmud.com (there is no available phone number).
Note: As of January 2015, GlamGlow has been acquired by Estee Lauder.
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