Brightening Treatment Mask

Price:
$24 - 1.6 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
Last Updated:
8/28/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

There isn't much brightening going on from this intensely fragrant mask—at least not in comparison to the irritation it can cause skin. The amount of camphor and witch hazel water is problematic from just about any perspective. Witch hazel water is about 14% alcohol and that can cause free- radical damage and is drying. Camphor is just an irritant, plain and simple.

The clay and plant oil in here is standard for some masks but generally is more confusing than helpful for skin. Clay absorbs oil and is best for combination to oily skin and the plant oil is best for dry skin. If you want an appropriate mask for your skin type you should look somewhere else than this line.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Combination of plant oil and clay makes it iffy for oily skin but too drying for dry skin.
  • Camphor is extremely irritating for skin.
  • The witch hazel included contains alcohol which causes free-radical damage.

Our fast-acting mask instantly revitalises dull skin. It contains stimulating camphor oil and toning witch hazel to help give your skin a natural-looking radiance.

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Montmorillonite, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, PEG-20 Stearate, Silt, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Panthenol, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben.

Liz Earle began her United Kingdom-based cosmetics company in 1995 with her name affixed to the label, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care. Originally located on the Isle of Wright, the company their products were inspired by the natural foliage of this part of the world’s rainy, cold environs.

A prolific writer of more than 30 beauty books along with a background as a beauty journalist and broadcaster, Earle became a diehard believer in all things natural. One of her books even suggests you can beat cellulite with scrubs, creams, and massage oils. We wouldn’t bet on it any more than the allure of all natural holds the answer to having beautiful skin, but even Earle’s products don’t follow that philosophy wholeheartedly as they are not all natural in the least. In fact, you could say they are about as natural as polyester. Labeling the line “naturally active” is a clever play on words; it makes you think the products are natural without really saying they are.

After 15 years of being one of the biggest independent UK-based personal care companies Liz Earle was bought by Avon in 2010. That has certainly changed the face of the company! It’s interesting to point out that despite Avon’s home consultant business model, Liz Earle stopped the home consulting side of their business shortly after joining the fold at Avon.

Business decisions aside, the products are what matter and what’s inside those products matters most. We were first struck by the line’s lack of sunscreens. The company’s convoluted explanation for this is how the weather in the UK doesn’t warrant it (though we’re not sure how that factors into the brand’s U.S. distribution) and also because synthetic sunscreens are bad for skin. None of that is true. Daylight (as in UV light, which is present whether the sun is shining or not) in any amount causes immediate and long-term skin damage. Only a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day causes premature aging, though you won’t see these effects until years later. Numerous studies have shown how regular use of sunscreen with all types of active ingredients, including synthetic and mineral, makes skin look significantly younger, longer—and reduces risk of skin cancer.

The company does say mineral sunscreen ingredients are good yet that only shows up in their Daily Eye Repair with an SPF 10 (SPF 15 is considered the minimum by medical and regulatory boards around the world) and it appears this product is only be sold in the U.K. There is no explanation why there aren’t other mineral-based sunscreens in the line.

Although we find the lack of sunscreens a sign of bad (or at least shortsighted) skin care, we are also highly skeptical of skin-care companies that sell bust and neck treatments. Earle’s Superskin Bust & Neck Treatment claims the natural ingredients it contains can plump skin around the bust. Again don’t count on it, but we admit the application description will arouse something! Ironically, the description for the product explains how sun exposure ages skin, but then we’re going back to the lack of sun protection in the line. Now that’s contradictory! Regardless skin on the neck, chest, and face benefit from the same state-of-the-art ingredients and there is not a shred of unbiased research to the contrary.

Despite the reservations mentioned above, there are some interesting formulations in Earle’s line with great price points. But even the better formulas suffer from too much fragrance, dubious and overblown claims, and prevalent use of irritating plant extracts. Oddly enough, the fragrance-free formulations in this product line have some of the more ordinary formulations when it comes to antioxidants or soothing emollients—two categories of ingredients those with sensitive skin really need.

In short, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care is nothing to get all that excited about, whether you’re a fan of natural ingredients or simply want skin care from the U.K.

For more information about Liz Earle, visit www.lizearle.com or call 1-800-515-5911.

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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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