Avocado and Mango Hydrating Facial Mask

Price:
$34 - 3.4 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
Last Updated:
12/17/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This moisturizing mask is one of the better products in the Michael Todd line because it's fragrance-free (which is best for all skin types, including sensitive) and because it contains a very good assortment of emollients for those with dry skin.

All of the plant oils present pack an antioxidant punch, making this mask more than just something that moisturizes dry skin. The plant oils also contain fatty acids that help rebuild and replenish the skin's barrier function—which is compromised when dryness is the concern.

Note that creamy, moisturizing masks like this can be left on the skin overnight; rinsing them after just a few minutes shortchanges your skin, and there's nothing in the formula that needs to be washed off after a certain period of time, so go ahead and indulge!

This mask's only drawback is that the salicylic acid it contains won't function as an exfoliant because the formula's pH is too high; however, it still offers an anti-inflammatory benefit.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Contains a very good assortment of emollient plant oils to improve dry skin.
  • Doubles as an overnight treatment (as do all of the moisturizing masks we recommend).
Cons:
  • The pH of this mask is not in the range for salicylic acid to exfoliate, so it won't provide that benefit.

Mango butter, rich in vitamin C, unites with nutrient rich organic seaweed extract to rejuvenate and moisturize dry, devitalized skin. Nourish and deeply hydrates with Brazilian fruit butter, shea butter and a host of protective oils. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates dead skin cells revealing a fresher, glowing appearance. Revitalize while enhancing skin condition and restoring natural suppleness, elasticity and softness.

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Palmitic Acid, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru (Amazonian Fruit) Butter, Beeswax, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Hydroxymethyl Glycinate, Carbomer, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Gluconolactone, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Organic Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract, Non GMO- Lecithin, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Mango Fruit Pulp.

What do the popular hair accessory line called SCUNCI (aka "scrunchy") and the natural-themed skin-care brand Michael Todd True Organics have in common? Both are associated with a man named Lewis Hendler. Hendler founded SCUNCI in the early '90s and sold the company to Conair in 2005. Then, in 2008, Hendler acquired the little-known Michael Todd True Organics skin-care brand.

As we understand it, there really was someone named Michael Todd who played a role in the brand's history, but there's no mention of the real Michael Todd to be found on the company's website. We did find a press release explaining that he is or was a model and actor, but that's about it. Hendler is the brand's public face, along with a few lesser known celebrities.

This Florida-based company has captured the attention of many consumers due to its claims of using natural and organic ingredients coupled with active anti-aging and anti-acne ingredients (all of which, by the way, are synthetic, which is just fine for skin, just not as "all natural" as the company wants you to believe).

Like many natural-themed lines, Michael Todd True Organics promotes some of the most absurd and misleading information imaginable about skin and skin care. A big one—directly from the owner himself—is that everything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body … cosmetic ingredients go right past the skin and into the bloodstream. If that were true (it isn't, thank goodness, but we'll get to that shortly), then moisturizers couldn't moisturize, exfoliants couldn't remove the top layers of dead, dried skin, and sunscreens would not prevent sunburns or tanning. Most skin-care ingredients do their job by staying on top (or at least in the top layers) of the skin, not by being absorbed into the body.

In essence, if absorption into the body were true, then even Hendler would have to admit that his own products (many of which contain problematic ingredients like neem oil and/or lavender oil, which are toxic when ingested) would do little for the skin because as soon as you apply them—poof! They're in the body, just like as soon as you swallow food it's on its way to your digestive system.

The truth is that skin is a very good barrier, and that it's difficult to get cosmetic ingredients to penetrate much past the uppermost layers, much less into the bloodstream, as almost all cosmetics chemists will tell you. The good news is that keeping skin-care ingredients, such as moisturizing agents, skin-repairing ingredients, sunscreen actives, and antioxidants, in the skin's outermost layers is really helpful—it means that the skin's surface (its first line of defense) has a better chance of remaining healthy, smooth, and better able to protect itself against environmental damage. But assuming everything we put on our skin did get into the body, thinking that natural ingredients are safer is wrong; there are hundreds of problematic natural ingredients that could cause serious health problems if they routinely got into the body.

Michael Todd True Organics is big on promoting what their products don't contain, including water, which is bizarre given that water is one of the most natural ingredients on earth. But, more to the point, these products absolutely do contain water in the form of aloe juice; aloe is 99.5% water (Sources: Indian Journal of Dermatology, volume 53, issue 4, 2008, pages 163–166; and http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/6.html#Js2200e.6). You're not really getting a more concentrated product simply because it's based on aloe rather than pure water.

What's important to know is that there are good and bad natural ingredients, as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients. Seeing a preponderance of natural ingredients on a skin-care label is no guarantee the product you're considering is better or safer than one that contains natural and synthetic ingredients.

The Michael Todd brand also avoids the usual group of ingredients that have been given an undeserved bad rap, such as parabens, sulfates, triclosan, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances, all of which we discuss elsewhere on our website (A quick summary: None of the aforementioned ingredients are dangerous for skin. If you still are concerned, don't think for a minute that this is the only line that leaves them out!)

What Michael Todd's product information doesn't tell you about is the extensive amount of research that shows how problematic the fragrant oils and plant extracts that they include in their products are. The irony is that the ingredients they brag about not using are comparably better and, yes, safer for your skin! That's not to say that this brand's products are unsafe; rather, it's to illustrate the point that synthetic ingredients aren't automatically evil, and that all-natural ingredients are not angelic.

The company definitely ups the beneficial ante with ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and vitamins (all synthetic by the way), but these great ingredients are surrounded by not-so-great ingredients, many of which are overly fragrant—and the research is clear: Fragrance isn't skin-caring in the least.

Sadly, what you get with almost the entire Michael Todd line is a mixed bag. Product after product contains a frustrating mix of beneficial and problematic ingredients—and many of the products pose a strong risk of irritation, especially those with numerous citrus oils, and irritation is always bad for skin, whether the source is synthetic or natural.

For more information on Michael Todd True Organics, call 772-343-0222 or visit www.michaeltoddtrueorganics.com .

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 01, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Love!
    • I absolutely adore this product! I use it over and over again and everytime I am amazed by the results. I use this at night, and I usually leave it on for about an hour. Follow up with a nice facial oil and whop, amazingly soft skin! Also, can we just take a moment and appreciate the delicious smell? Fab product, would absolutely recommend. Someone here said it was irritating, but I've never noticed any of that, even though I have pretty sensitive skin.

  2. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 16, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Irritating
    • After keeping this mask on for just a couple of minutes, I got a burning rash all over my face. My face was so sore and irritated I could not touch it or wash with anything but plain water for over a week. I strongly recommend anyone with sensitive skin to stay away from it all together. I would also recommend ANYONE who uses this to just use for a few minutes the first few times to see if any allergies or irritations develop before leaving it on overnight, which would be messy anyway.

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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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