12.19.2014
1
9
Ren
Glyco Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $55
Category:Skin Care > Facial Masks > Oil-Absorbent Masks
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
pH:4.40
Tested on animals:No
Overview

This thick, gelatinous mask is not gentle in the least! It contains far too many fragrant irritants, from the bergamot water base to several irritating citrus oils. Ren is completely off base by stating that such ingredients won’t irritate skin like their “synthetic counterparts.” Their suggestion that this product can exfoliate skin because of the citrus and enzyme it contains is not supported by any research. They claim glycolic acid and other AHAs work by virtue of irritating skin, but that isn’t how they work (at least not once the skin acclimates to them), and Ren forgets to mention that BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliates without irritation and also is an anti-inflammatory agent.

Claims

A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone.

Ingredients

Polysorbate 60 (Source Rape Seed Oil), Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Water, Lecithin (Source Soybean), Lactic Acid (Source Wheat), Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Alcohol Denat. (Source Grape), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Maltodextrin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Phenoxyethanol (Source Aromatic Ether), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Source Amino Acid), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Berry Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Brand Overview

Ren At-A-Glance

Strengths: Good toner; some worthwhile moisturizers and masks (but not the anti-acne formula); a bounty of products for dry to very dry skin; some products contain especially high amounts of known antioxidants.

Weaknesses: Expensive; repetitive formulas that aren't nearly as natural as they're made out to be; several products contain irritants with no established benefit for skin; very irritating products for those with acne; no skin-lightening options; unappealing products for oily skin.

Hailing from the United Kingdom, the Ren line was developed by two businessmen who are, according to company information, "evangelical" about skin care. The story goes that Robert Calcraft and Anthony Buck were former consultants who began researching the skin-care market after Buck's wife began having adverse reactions to every skin-care product she used while pregnant. Apparently neither man believed that there was a line out there that offered consumers high-tech products that were "totally clean" and "completely effective," and so, voilá, a new skin-care line was born.

We wish we could write that these men were really onto something for all women, not just Buck's wife, but that's simply not the case. First of all, their assessment of the cosmetics industry is bizarre, because in truth there are indeed many cosmetic lines offering "clean" and "effective" products ("clean," by Ren's definition, are products that don't contain problematic ingredients). Second, which lines did Ren's founders check out to determine that there was a missing link? An even better question is: What criteria were they using, because almost all of their products are either poorly formulated or contain irritating ingredients?

Calcraft and Buck apparently worked with a cosmetic pharmacologist; although that sounds impressive, a cosmetic pharmacologist works with drugs designed to improve mental ability in healthy individuals, not with skin-care formulations. All of this back story is nothing more than proof that the people behind this line really didn't do their homework, and the consumer who buys these products will be the poorer (both skin health- and money-wise) because of it.

It still shocks us when we review a line that's laden with products claiming to improve wrinkles and other signs of aging skin, and yet there's limited options for sun protection. Few researchers question how critical daily sun protection is to preserving the health and appearance of skin. Many of Ren's products contain antioxidants, and several have high amounts of green tea oil. But all the green tea in Japan isn't capable of protecting skin from environmental damage, which of course includes sunlight.

More so than many other lines that eschew certain ingredients for their alleged (and, sometimes, proven) negative effects when present in skin-care products, Ren loves to point out everything they don't use. This is a line for those who love to see the word "No" followed by a long list of chemical-sounding names that can seem scary to the uninformed. A consumer may have no idea what a polyquaternium is, but because of lines like Ren, the message is clear that it's not desirable. Ren doesn't provide any documentation supporting their ban on certain ingredients, which is typical of lines whose marketing angle relies on perpetuating the myth that synthetic ingredients are evil and that natural is the only truly safe way to go.

It would be great if Ren's "do not use" list benefited consumers, but it doesn't. Frustratingly, many of the ingredients Ren opts to use instead of synthetics are proven irritants for skin. Bergamot, peppermint, tangerine, and arnica are indeed natural ingredients, but each has its share of problems for skin. We could go on, but you get our point: Ren is really nothing more than an overly fragranced, fear-mongering, natural "me too" line using the same tired plant-based ingredient angle as countless other brands. The difference is that many of those other brands have a product assortment that, either from a price or formulary perspective, is much better than this one.

For more information about Ren, call (732) 553-1185 or visit www.renskincare.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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02.20.2015
Hmm...

I don't really know what to say about this product... I love it when I first bought it, really made my skin radiant and with a nice glow - but then it just stopped working! I used the entire bottle, but apart from the first couple of times, I couldn't notice any difference after... Still don't understad what happened.

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Cynthia
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