How many clay masks does one brand need? We suppose if a brand's existence revolves around facial masks, then several are in order—but can't at least one of them be good? This highly fragrant mask is sold as a deep cleansing product to remove weekly buildup (presumably the buildup that your "non-deep" cleanser isn't reaching?) but this ends up just being another clay mask you're simply directed to apply, wait several minutes, and then rinse. For what this costs, the formula is a major embarrassment, and we can state without hesitation that this is a huge waste of money. For almost $70, you'd be much better off buying a great anti-aging serum or even a pricier cleanser with a truly gentle formula.
The clays this contains will absorb excess oil and the amount of glycerin in this mask makes it easier to spread and keeps the clays from being too drying. But there's a lot of astringent witch hazel along with several fragrant oils that have the potential to cause irritation and do absolutely nothing to cleanse skin, deep or otherwise. And really, how deep is "deep"? The ingredients in this mask-type product are actually too large to penetrate much past skin's uppermost layers, which is true for similar products and most cleansers, too. The whole notion of this being a more thorough cleansing product is more marketing spin than formulary fact.
The jar packaging this mask is packaged in means that with each use the light- and air-sensitive ingredients it contains break down a bit more, eventually becoming ineffective. That's less of an issue in a rinse-off product like this, but given the product's cost, you should be getting as much as you can from the beneficial ingredients.
If you don't mind spending WAY too much for what's essentially an easy-to-rinse clay mask with a smattering of scrubby particles, this is an OK option for oily skin. However, we do not suggest leaving it on skin as long as the company directs, as doing so increases the irritancy of the numerous fragrant ingredients present.
The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you're introducing bacteria that causes further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Revolutionize your cleansing routine with NEW POWERMUD™ ‘Mud to Oil” DUALCLEANSE Treatment. Indulge in a multi-sensory cleansing experience, uniting the Power of Mud & the Power of Oil to achieve SUPER amplified, deep cleansing, yet gentle results. Goodbye weekly buildup, hello Super Clean Super Velvety Skin.
Water, Bentonite, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Kaolin, Calcium Carbonate, Squalane, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Methyl Gluceth-20, Montmorillonite, Niacinamide, Xanthan Gum, Verbascum Thapsus Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Sapindus Mukurossi Peel Extract, Verbascum Thapsus Extract, Plankton Extract, Boswellia Carterli Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Panthenol, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Glycol, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Betaine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Disodium EDTA, Inositol, Taurine, Trehalose, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
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 email@example.com or visit www.glamglowmud.com (there is no available phone number).
Note: As of January 2015, GlamGlow has been acquired by Estee Lauder.
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.
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