Before we discuss sleeping masks, let us state up front that this is essentially a standard moisturizer that contains more skin-irritating alcohol than it does state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients. It's not a must-have product for your routine, overnight or any time.
The concept of sleeping masks (as in skin care, not the actual mask you use to block light so you can sleep better) is a popular beauty trend in Korea. When it comes to other countries and beauty products, many consumers world-wide tend to think the grass is always greener on the other side of the world. It used to be the French had the inside track, and then Japan, and now Korea has taken the lead. Fashion magazines love to extol how Korean women must have access to beauty information and products that everyone else doesn't have. It isn't true. In fact, you'd be shocked at the similarities between products around the world, both the good and the bad.
But we digress… back to this sleeping mask. What you need to know is this mask is nothing more than an okay moisturizer that contains more alcohol than beneficial ingredients (and this type of alcohol can trigger free-radical damage). For certain, it doesn't contain any ingredients that propel the practice of beauty sleep to gorgeous new heights.
This mask's star ingredient, at least according to the company, is camu camu, listed by its Latin name Myrciaria dubia. The big claim is that camu camu contains 30 times more vitamin C than an orange, as if that's supposed to be a compelling reason to buy this mask. First, even if camu camu does have more vitamin C than an orange (more on that in a moment), so what? Kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange, too, as do papayas, bell peppers, and strawberries.
The vitamin C numbers game may seem impressive, but the formula would be more impressive if it contained a form of pure, stabilized vitamin C rather than a plant extract that contains the vitamin. Depending on how the plant extract was cultivated, stored, and then processed for inclusion in this product, who knows how much vitamin C remains? Interestingly, a study designed to find out noted that even under ideal storage conditions the vitamin C content of this fruit degrades over time (Source: Archivos Latinamericanos de Nutricion, December 2000, pages 405–408).
The vitamin C content of the camu camu peel is higher than that of the pulp (fruit), but Peter Thomas Roth is using the fruit rather than the peel, which is odd considering their boasts of camu camu being a superior source of vitamin C. The fruit, which has a strong sour taste, can be considered a skin irritant due to is volatile components, including limonene (which can make skin more sun-sensitive) and eucalyptol (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
On the other hand, and irrelevant for the skin, research has shown that components in camu camu juice can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefit when consumed (Source: Journal of Cardiology, October 2008, pages 127–132).
In the end, despite the trend for these masks, your skin isn't missing a beautiful awakening if you go to sleep without wearing one, and certainly not this one!
- Contains an excellent mix of emollients, peptides, and antioxidants.
- The skin-lightening ingredient arbutin may help lighten dark spots, although such ingredients work best when used daily, not when included in a mask you apply once per week.
- Contains more alcohol than anti-aging ingredients, except for the camu camu.
- Camu camu is a mixed bag of good and bad attributes; for certain, it isn't the best or most potent source of vitamin C for skin.
- The trend of sleeping masks is just that, a trend, not a revolutionary new category of skin care.