L'Oreal's Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten Treatment Mask has a name that makes it sound like it does several things all at once, but given the formula you will most likely end up being disappointed: All this mask can really do is absorb excess oil and make skin feel temporarily smoother, perhaps a bit refreshed after rinsing, but that's it. In other words, results from this mask are the same as lots of other clay masks for oily skin. That's okay, but not multi-tasking.
The most egregious claim that always gets our hackles up is the notion this mask can detox your skin. As we explain in the More Info section, skin isn't harboring toxic ingredients like clay and charcoal need to draw out. It sounds spa-like and essential for healthy skin, but toxins (as in harmful substances) aren't why your skin is oily, dull, or the reason your pores are clogged; there's no research showing otherwise.
In terms of the claim that this mask makes skin look radiant and even all by itself, those aren't the results you're going to get. If anything, unless you apply a really beautifully formulated lightweight moisturizer afterwards, you will most likely feel dry. Plus, brightening ingredients need to remain on skin to interrupt how uneven skin tone happen. Your skin needs replenishing and brightening ingredients—something this Pure-Clay mask lacks.
At best, you can expect skin to feel clean, fresh, and smooth after rinsing this mask. It will look less oily and pores may look a bit smaller but this is a very temporary effect.
This applies and rinses well, but don't be surprised if it leaves slightly oily areas feeling dry, because the formula lacks anything in the way of hydrating ingredients, something those with oily skin still need.
Note: This mask contains fragrance ingredients that pose a slight risk of sensitizing skin, so be sure to rinse thoroughly. See our list of Best Face Masks for our current top picks.
Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many cosmetics company's make, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify exactly which substances or toxins their products are supposed to eliminate, which makes sense, because your skin does not store toxins.
Toxins are classified as being produced by the body or introduced into the body, usually through eating or inhaling. They can be produced by plants, animals, insects, reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings), etc. They also can be inorganic, such as heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others.
When it comes to your skin, toxins cannot leave your body vis-a-vis your skin or sebaceous gland. It is physiologically impossible. Other parts of your body, mainly your kidneys and liver, handle the process of "detoxifying" just fine as long as you have a healthy diet.
It should be pointed out that there are a handful of studies showing sweat can be a carrier of "detoxifying" certain trace heavy metals out of the body. However, the methodology of those studies is considered questionable. Nonetheless, if you choose to sauna, steam, or exercise to increase sweating that is a lifestyle option to discuss with your physician but that has absolutely nothing to do with skincare.
Skincare products are not going to detox your body or skin. As we always urge, stick to what the research says really works, and ignore the fantasy claims because they aren't helping your skin or your budget.
References for this information:
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, December 2015, issue 6, pages 675-686
Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, volume 2012, pages 1-10
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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