03.10.2014
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Clear Start Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque
Rating
2.5 fl. oz. for $24
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products
Last Updated:03.10.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Although this gel-based mask begins well with its mix of glycerin and a licorice-derived anti-irritant, it takes a turn for the potentially skin-irritating-worse with the inclusion of several plant extracts known to be problematic. Among them are high amounts of neem (Melia azadirachta), basil, lavender, and thyme. Some of these plants have antibacterial action that can be helpful against breakout-causing bacteria, but there's not much research to support this.

This mask's array of potentially problematic ingredients is not what reddened skin needs to calm down and become more even-toned. The cooling sensation comes from camphor, which is essentially the King of Irritants (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, November 2000, pages 923–929; and Clinical Toxicology, December 1981, pages 1485–1498).

Note that although this mask is medicated with anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid, the formula's pH is outside the range it needs to function as an exfoliant.

Simply put, this mask may have all the best intentions, but it's bound to cause more problems than it solves, and is not recommended.

Pros:
  • Contains a good amount of a licorice-derived anti-irritant.
  • Lightweight, comforting gel texture feels nice.
Cons:
  • Contains potent skin irritant camphor.
  • Several of the plant extracts this contains are fragrant and pose a risk of irritation.
  • The salicylic acid cannot function as an exfoliant due to the mask's pH being too high.
Claims

Turn down the redness, rid your skin of breakouts! This potent masque helps clear breakouts while a cooling sensation refreshes and soothes.

Ingredients

Active: Salicylic Acid (2%). Inactive: Water, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-32, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Flower/Leaf/Fruit Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilcicum (Basil) Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Pearl Powder, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Copper Gluconate, Oleanolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Amino-Esters-1, Polysorbate 20, Camphor, Polyacrylate-13, Xanthan Gum, Polyisobutene, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Brand Overview

Dermalogica At-A-Glance

Strengths: Good eye-makeup remover; a unique skin-lightening product; a couple of commendable moisturizers, one with stabilized vitamin C.

Weaknesses: Expensive; almost every category has one or more products that contain irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin; Clean Start and MediBac lines are particularly disappointing; the SPF products tend to be mediocre to poor.

Dermalogica's name implies a logical relationship to dermatology, which makes it sound as if you are getting serious skin care. The subtitle on their products is even more commanding: "A Skin Care System Researched and Developed by the International Dermal Institute." But what is the International Dermal Institute, you ask? Are there any dermatologists there? Apparently not: The International Dermal Institute is a Dermalogica-owned school for aestheticians who want an education beyond what is required for their cosmetology license, and the classes are taught by aestheticians.

Does the professional atmosphere of the school associated with Dermalogica mean better products? The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is, for the most part, just Jell-O, not chocolate mousse. A company so concerned with skin-care education should be ashamed of itself for offering so many products that damage skin with known irritants and, more egregiously, offering so many sunscreens that lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. Dermalogica's education-oriented, serious-minded, and clinical positioning doesn’t mesh with the majority of their products, and is on par with tobacco company executives teaching an aerobics class.

According to company history, the reason Dermalogica products came to be was that founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skin-care lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients that she believed had a well-documented history of problems. That's true for fragrance and alcohol (and artificial colors to a lesser extent), but mineral oil and lanolin have no documented history of causing skin problems. If anything, quite the opposite is true. Further, if Dermalogica's founders were so concerned about potentially or definitively harmful ingredients, why do their products contain so many of them? Where is the research proving that lavender oil, camphor, balm mint, arnica, ginger oil, and citrus oils are helpful for skin?

For more information about Dermalogica, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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