Purifying Mask

by PCA Skin  
Price:
$56 - 2 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
Last Updated:
1/6/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This mask is a problem almost from start to finish. Its mix of absorbent clay and pumice, which is too abrasive (ouch!), with plant oils will only confuse oily, breakout-prone skin, and the numerous fragrant oils it contains cause irritation that’s likely to make oily skin, acne, and enlarged pores worse, not better. The formula is also difficult to rinse, which isn’t surprising given the ingredient list.

All the formulary issues mentioned above, plus a price that is best described as “outrageous,” make this a mask to not think twice about, and if you happen to choose a salon that uses PCA Skin products, do not let an aesthetician apply this to your face!

This mask “takes skin to an entirely new level,” but it’s not the upward improvement you may imagine after reading the claims! Please see More Info for details on why irritation is a distinct problem for oily, blemish-prone skin.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Odd mix of absorbent ingredients with oily ingredients and overly abrasive pumice.
  • Contains numerous fragrant oils known to cause irritation, which makes oily skin and enlarged pores worse.
  • Outrageously expensive.

More Info:

Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so your skin ends up being more oily and your pores become (or stay) enlarged. Treating oily skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function is the best approach to see improvements—and that’s far from what Purifying Mask provides!

Take your skin care regimen to an entirely new level. It renews dull, stressed, and tired skin with exotic ingredients that deeply cleanse the pores, exfoliate dead skin, and promote healthy cell regeneration.

Water, Algae, Montmorillonite, Pumice, Olivoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Coco-Glucoside, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium PCA, Lavandula Augustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Thymus Vulgarius (Thyme) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Wine Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Potassium Sorbate

PCA Skin is a product line you may have seen at your spa, salon, or dermatologist's office. Founded by an aesthetician in 1990, the brand became relatively popular after developing a series of professional alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels marketed as "medical clinical aesthetics"; in other words, these products are sold to dermatology practices offering cosmetic services such as facials. More recently, PCA Skin has teamed up with a dermatologist and other medical professionals to develop skin-care products. The peels are for professional use only and, in fact, except for a facial scrub, PCA Skin does not sell exfoliants that consumers can use at home.

Not surprisingly, PCA Skin's medical and aesthetics background is supposed to be rooted in science. The company states that "we use rigorous research and science to develop safe, highly effective products that deliver healthy, beautiful skin." Although PCA Skin products contain many beneficial, research-supported ingredients, they also contain numerous problematic ingredients that cause irritation; somehow, that "rigorous" research overlooked those. Irritation is always a problem for skin, causing inflammation and collagen breakdown, and impairing the skin's ability to heal.

Chief among the irritants you'll find throughout the PCA Skin line are witch hazel, citrus and numerous other fragrant oils (whether synthetic or natural, fragrance is almost always a problem for skin), drying cleansing agents, and alcohol (we mean, really, alcohol?!). In our Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary, we provide detailed information on why each of these ingredients is a problem; for all of their talk about science, chemistry, and research, PCA Skin should know better.

If you remain intrigued by this brand (or find the sales pressure from your aesthetician too intense to ignore), there are some worthwhile products. It’s great that every SPF-rated product from PCA Skin includes reliable broad-spectrum sun-protection ingredients, and fans of facial scrubs should know this brand does offer a gentle option. Also, their eye cream and retinol serum are worth a look, and several products are fragrance-free, although you need to choose carefully because many of their products contain fragrant plant extracts or oils despite being listed as fragrance-free.

PCA Skin's science-based mission is admirable, but just because an aesthetician and doctor teamed up, the results for these products aren't going to be spectacular, or even all that helpful.

For more information about PCA Skin, call (877) 722-7546 or visit www.pcaskin.com.

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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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