Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask

Price:
$42 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Facial Masks > Oil-Absorbent Masks
Last Updated:
11/15/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This clay mask for oily skin contains a high amount of colloidal sulfur, a potent topical disinfectant that has merit for acne-prone skin; however, sulfur tends to be excessively drying and overly irritating, which ends up being more of a problem for skin over the long term (Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July-August 2004, pages 427–431). Even though the skin's initial response to sulfur may be positive, the drying effect of the sulfur can delay healing time, leading to prolonged red marks from acne. In essence, sulfur has more negatives than positives for skin.

This mask also contains a mix of overly emollient ingredients, which can be too much for oily skin, as well as fragrant ingredients that add to the irritation. While it's nice that some soothing ingredients are included, the net result will not get you where you want your skin to be.

Pros:
  • Sulfur can kill acne-causing bacteria and, for some, products that include it may be the only effective over-the-counter options in the battle with breakouts.
Cons:
  • Definitely on the pricey side for a clay mask.
  • Sulfur is a drying, irritating ingredient for many, and the irritation can prolong the healing time of breakouts.
  • Formula contains some emollient ingredients that aren't the best for oily, breakout-prone skin.

Colloidal Sulfur Mask is a dermatologist formulation that clarifies the skin by absorbing oil and acne-causing bacteria. The advanced, time absorbent formula works especially well when worn overnight. Pores will appear reduced, blackheads will be minimized, and overall clarity will be enhanced.

Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Colloidal Sulfur, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Zinc Oxide, Bentonite, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Opuntia Tuna Flower/Stem Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Bisabolol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Farnesol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol.

As you may have gleaned from the name, dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross created this skin-care line. Based in New York City, he claims that all of his products provide "maximum results without side effects," a statement any doctor should know better than to make. For instance, a consumer would logically assume, especially coming from a doctor, that "maximum results" means the products in question really will firm, lift, tighten, plump, or peel the skin. But Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare products don't provide maximum results, not in the least, and definitely not in any of the ways suggested by the marketing copy. In fact, although Gross includes some very impressive ingredients in his products, they cannot make good on the most enticing claims he makes for them.

As for the promise of "no side effects," that is easily refuted with a simple overview of his underachieving products. A quick summary: lavender oil can cause skin-cell death, sulfur is extremely irritating and drying to skin, ascorbic acid can be sensitizing, as can retinol, and the synthetic active sunscreen agents he uses can also present their share of problems. That's not to say that all of these ingredients are bad for skin (only the sulfur and lavender oil qualify for that description), but it's foolish to make a blanket statement that your cosmeceutical-type products are free of side effects. How could he possibly know what a person may react to?

Gross also asserts that he uses cutting-edge technology in his products, a point which I concede given the number of superior moisturizers and serums he offers, all of which compete nicely with other well-formulated products. His products are expensive, but if you're going to spend a lot of money on skin-care products, you should be purchasing state-of-the-art formulas, and these do rate. Of course, this technology (read: efficacious ingredients) doesn't extend to every Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare product, but overall this is one line whose formulas have improved considerably since the previous edition of this book, and that is excellent news!

Several of the products in this line contain emu oil. While there is research indicating that emu oil is a good emollient that can help heal skin, it is not that different from other oils that offer the same benefit, such as grape or olive or even mineral oil for that matter (Source: Australasian Journal of Dermatology, August 1996, pages 159–161).

Last, please ignore the tired claim that these products are your alternative to surgical procedures and that they use medical-grade ingredients. Concerning the latter, there is no such thing; Gross uses the same cosmetic and over-the-counter active ingredients found throughout the cosmetics industry. And although his line offers some remarkable products, none of them can provide results equivalent to Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, or laser treatments (and definitely not a face-lift).

Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all MD Skincare products are fragrance-free.

For more information about Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, call (888) 830-7546 or visit the Web site at www.dgskincare.com.

NOTE: In Spring 2010, MD Skincare became Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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