Tested on animals:Yes
Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water & White Clay Mask comes with enticing claims of exotic clays and detoxifying seawater, but don't get caught up in the marketing hype. Regardless of the location or their source, water and clays cannot detoxify skin. See More Info to find out why such claims are always off the mark.
On the plus side, the apothecary-style tube dispenses a charcoal-gray mask that works well (and quickly) to absorb excess oil and refine the appearance of pores. But, those benefits aren't enough to justify this mask's steep price, and the formula isn't as skin-friendly as it might sound!
You can get this mask's oil-absorbing, pore-refining benefits from less expensive options that don't contain the fragrant oils that are present in this one, including lavender oil, grapefruit oil, and fragrance chemicals like limonene. All of these pose a risk of irritating skin, with lavender oil being particularly problematic—see More Info for details.
In use, this will seem standard to those who've tried clay masks in the past, although the fragrant oils definitely deliver a lingering scent.
We didn't like the amount of effort it required to remove this mask once it dried; the pampering experience of using a mask becomes a chore when you have to make an extra effort to avoid leaving traces of this charcoal-infused mask on your face!
All told, Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water White Clay Mask is more ordinary than it claims. Its clays and charcoal are a boon for combination to oily skin, but no one's skin needs to be exposed to the fragrant oils this mask contains. See our list of Best Face Masks for superior picks.
- Absorbs excess oils without drying out skin.
- Refines the look of large pores.
- Overpriced for a fairly basic clay mask.
- Contains fragrant plant oils that pose a strong risk of irritation.
- Takes more effort than it should to rinse completely.
- Cannot detoxify skin (or pores).
Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many a cosmetics company, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify which substances their product supposedly banishes—which makes sense, as your skin isn't capable of storing any sort of toxin. An actual toxin is a poison, and we're talking REAL poisons, such as those produced by plants, animals, insects, reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings), or other means.
So-called toxins cannot leave your body through the pores or through your skin, whether via sweat or other means—they're filtered, broken down, and removed by the kidneys and liver. Heavy metal toxins, for example, cannot be "sweated out" or otherwise drawn out of skin; medical treatment is required to remove them from the body.
Regardless of the skin concern you're battling, "toxins" aren't to blame—and if you're serious about wanting results, stick to what the research says really works (and ignore fantasy claims about "detoxifying" cosmetic products).
Lavender Oil: In vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of lavender oil at a concentration as low as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood vessels in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin. Because linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are the ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil—linalool and linalyl acetate—oxidize when exposed to air, which increases their potential for causing an allergic reaction (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you're using a product that contains lavender oil and wondering why it doesn't feel like it's problematic for you, it's because research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you feel it or see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance free is the best way to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 and American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).