Tested on animals:Yes
If you can get past the detox part of this mask's name, NightWear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask is a very good rinse-off mask for combination to oily skin. Its mix of absorbent clay, a gentle cleansing agent, and just the right amount of hydrating ingredients to keep the clays from sucking skin dry make it a mask worth considering.
As for the detox name and claim, the straight answer is that skin doesn't accumulate toxins (as in poisons) that need to be absorbed and then, seemingly, rinsed away. We discuss why this claim isn't one to bank on in the More Info section below, but if you're considering this mask for detox alone, we urge you to let go of that notion despite its perpetuation from some cosmetic lines.
What you can expect from this mask is a formula that's easy to apply and rinse. Its lightweight cream texture spreads smoothly yet within moments you'll feel the drawing action of the clays—but not to the extent that skin feels dry or tight after three minute's time (at which point you're directed to rinse this mask).
Upon rinsing, skin looks refreshed and feels clean; pores appear a bit smaller, too—a nice, albeit temporary benefit when excess oil is absorbed from skin's surface and just inside the pore lining.
It's almost a letdown to rinse this mask after just three minutes—the formula also contains a good mix of repairing, water-binding, and anti-irritant ingredients that can further improve skin. Can you leave this on longer? Yes, but not too much longer because even in a thoughtful formula like this the amount of clay (kaolin) this mask contains can be drying after several minutes.
Unless you're disappointed by the detox claim being bogus, the only other disappointment is the strong fragrance this mask contains. It's decidedly cucumber-like, but also strong enough to seem artificial—and it lingers after you rinse the mask, which ups its potential to cause irritation. It's telling that cucumber extract isn't mentioned on the ingredient list; instead, we see "fragrance" and fragrance ingredients such as linalool.
Despite the fragrance, we're still willing to get behind this mask if used as an occasional indulgent treat for your skin. Its benefits outweigh the potential risks, and we love how easy this is to put on and rinse off (lots of masks take WAY too long to rinse). But perhaps the best thing we can say about Estee Lauder's NightWear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask is that it makes a positive visible difference in skin—even though this difference isn't due to toxins being expunged!
- Absorbs excess oil and provides an extra measure of cleansing.
- Temporarily improves the appearance of large pores.
- Leaves skin feeling soft and refined, rather than dry and tight.
- Contains a good mix of repairing, water-binding, and anti-irritant ingredients.
- Easy to apply and remove.
- Despite the name, this mask cannot detoxify skin.
- Strong fragrance poses a risk of irritation and lingers on skin after rinsing.
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, ¬or reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings) or other organisms.
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 toxicity, for example, can't be "sweated" or otherwise drawn out of skin; this requires medical treatment 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).