This mask earns our top rating (we're making an exception to the jar packaging issue, as explained below) not because it's truly a miracle or because all of its claims are accurate. Rather, it's deserving of "BEST" status because it's a very good fragrance-free, clay-based mask for combination to oily skin—including skin that's also sensitive. The formula contains clay (kaolin) along with other absorbent ingredients and skin-conditioning agents that allow it to do its job of absorbing excess oil without leaving skin feeling tight or dry—and it rinses quite well, too.
The company maintains that the silt they chose is special. It's said to be harvested from European spring-fed lakes, which sounds much better than being harvested from swamp land along the Mississippi coastline! Here are the facts: Regardless of the source, silt is merely a collection of granular sediments, some of which have oil-absorbing properties. Silt is a good ingredient for oily skin, but it's not a miracle and it cannot detoxify impurities.
Other than dirt and cellular debris, skin doesn't have any "impurities" to speak of. And what's inside the pore lining (cellular debris) that can lead to clogging is best deal with via a well-formulated AHA or BHA exfoliant applied daily, not a mask you may use once or twice per week. As for detoxification, sorry, masks cannot do that. True detoxification is done inside the body by the liver and kidneys. There aren't toxins lurking in skin that a mask like this can somehow draw out, making skin pure.
What about silt being able to target age spots or stimulate collagen production? Sorry, it's not possible and there's no valid research proving otherwise. But even if silt could do this, it's not an ingredient you'd want to leave on your skin all day, yet the longer anti-aging/anti-dark spot ingredients are in contact with skin the better. This mask is only supposed to be left on for 15 minutes, no more than twice per week so you have to ask, how much can it really help dark spots or loss of firmness?
It may seem that with the claims being so off-base that the rating this mask earned wasn't warranted, but for those seeking a good absorbent mask to keep oily skin in check, this is well worth considering. It's rare to find a mask like this that's fragrance-free AND contains a range of beneficial ingredients, too. The jar packaging does present the drawback of depleting the antioxidant ability of the green tea and other plant extracts, but, as stated above, we're making an exception because the formula has so many positives.
- Fragrance-free, truly gentle formula.
- Absorbs excess oil without leaving skin tight or dry.
- Easy to rinse.
- Contains some good anti-irritants.
- Jar packaging won't preserve the effectiveness of the antioxidant ingredients.