Thirstymud may sound like an off-flavor of a Kombucha drink, but this is actually a mask for dry skin from the mask-centric GlamGlow brand. Generally, mud masks are designed to absorb moisture and oil, not quench skin's thirst, but in this case, the amount of mud (really clay) is too tiny for it to have any impact on skin.
GlamGlow promises this mask will leave you with "heart pounding hydrated glowing skin." Unfortunately, the truth is far less exhilarating; the only thing (possibly) left "pounding" will be your hand against your forehead when you face palm yourself for how much you paid (or were going to pay) for such a basic and potentially irritating formula.
Thirstymud contains a mix of fatty acids, silicone, coconut fruit (indeed, the mask smells like coconut), and various other thickening agents. The amount and variety of moisturizing ingredients aren't exceptional for a product of this cost and hype—most of the effect is due to the dominant presence of glycerin (the second ingredient) and triglyceride(the third ingredient).
It does contain a nice array of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients; however, these are relatively worthless given its jar packaging. Once these ingredients are exposed to air and light (which they will be from first use), they will rapidly degrade, and there also is the issue of the repeated introduction of bacteria from dipping your fingers or objects into the jar. See More Info for details on why jar packaging for water-based products is a problem.
GlamGlow claims that honey and ginger act to "detoxify" skin, which isn't accurate; skin doesn't store "toxins" of any kind, and even if it did, honey and ginger wouldn't get them out. Detoxification occurs via the liver and kidneys, not the skin. It sounds good to think that a mask will pull toxins from your skin, but that's simply not what happens. Oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt, and pollution aren't toxins.
What is problematic about such a significant amount of ginger is the risk of irritation due to its chemical makeup—ginger root extract is composed of volatile fragrance oils that can cause trouble for skin. See More Info to find out why irritation is such a problem for your skin.
Despite the interesting-sounding trade names - "Dewdration" and "Hydrapack" - these are just fancy titles for everyday cosmetics ingredients that are commonplace in many other moisturizers and facial masks, many of which are not packaged in jars and do not contain the needless irritants that this one does.
For alternative moisturizing masks, consider any of the skin-friendly formulas we recommend on our list of Best Moisturizing/Firming Masks.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and 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 are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial 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; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Irritation from Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
THIRSTYMUD™ uses the newest, most advanced, and extreme hydration active technologies. It moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms the skin. Dewdration™ boosts and locks in moisture for a dewy and youthful result while HydraPack™ leaves skin with an instant silky, soft, and supple feel.
Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, PEG-8, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Powder, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Honey (Mel), Allantoin, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polysorbate 60, Menthoxypropanediol, Cetyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Kaolin, Buteth-3, Trideceth-10, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Tris (Tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Tributyl Citrate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Coumarin, Linalool.
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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