Facial Masks: Friend or Foe?

While thumbing through one of those catalogs that seem to make it to my mailbox every now and then I recently came across an ad entitled “Magnificent in Minutes”. Being intrigued I read on to discover that this product was actually a specially formulated peel off facial mask promising to tighten your pores and firm aging skin in minutes. All you had to do was apply a thin coat all over your face and neck weekly and after 20 minutes simply peel it off to reveal younger, firmer skin. Wow! Twenty minutes one a week and I would look younger and firmer! Since it did not mention any age I guess it worked for anyone, no matter how old they were. This miracle facial mask had the added benefit of removing impurities as well as smoothing wrinkles. All that in just 20 minutes? And to think this product cost less than $17! Then I started thinkingâÂ?¦.if I applied a coat of this miracle product to my backside would it reveal a younger, firmer butt? If so, I was ordering a case!! Then I read the list of ingredients and found out that this product contained 4 chemical preservative, 2 forms of sugar, an artificial fragrance, 2 artificial colors and something called Octoxynol-9, which I found listed at drugs.com as being a common spermicide. If spermicide kills sperm, which are living organisms, what exactly does this ingredient do to my living skin cells?

I recently came across an ad on the internet for another facial mask dubbed The Anti-Fatigue mask that was supposed to be a treatment for tired stressed skin. The ingredient list read: Aqua, Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride, Squalane, Glycerin, Triticum Vulgare, Cyclopentasiloxane, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Disodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Triethanolamine, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylparaben, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate-80, Hydrolyzed Corallina Officinalis, Panax Ginseng, Pyrus Malus, Prunus Persica, Triticum Vulgare, Hordeum Vulgare, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfite, Rumex Crispus, Ascorbic Acid, Parfum, CI 16035, CI 19140. All this stuff and costs less than $14! Just what the heck IS this stuff and how does it de-stress my skin? I don’t know about you but I got stressed and tired just reading this ingredient list!! Whew!

Come on ladies, are we really buying this hype? Do we really think that a bottle full of synthetic chemicals can make us look younger and firmer or de-stress our tired skin? And if so, at what costs to our health? Is it worth turning our bodies into a chemical dump site in the name of youth and perceived beauty?

No product is going to make your skin significantly younger or firmer. Face it, if you are 40 you are never going to have 30 year old skin again unless maybe you undergo cosmetic surgery! But your skin can have a healthy, youthful glow if you feed it right. Skin is a living organism and you need to feed it healthy food, not chemicals. There are healthier choices in facial masks for drawing the impurities out of your skin. Mineral clay masks are a great option as long as they are not mixed with synthetic ingredients. Read labels, look for organic or food grade ingredients and avoid toxic synthetics whenever possible. The choices you make today will have a large impact on the way your skin looks tomorrow as well as on your overall health.

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