For those of you looking for a skin-brightening mask, look no further than Boscia Bright White Mask ($38, sephora.com). This product claims to even skin tone, moisturize, and reduce the appearance of aging. But the question is, can this mask really do it all?
Sea Fern Algae (Dictyopteris membranacea Extract)
Known as a marine brown algae, Dictyopteris membranacea works as an antioxidant, an antimicrobial, and an anti-inflammatory. According to researchers in Tunisia, Dictyopteris membranacea showed 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities, anti-inflammatory activity in rat paw edema assays comparable to acetylsalicylate lysine (aspirin), AND antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Micrococcus luteus (as well as four fungi) (Botanica Marina). Impressive.
Matrixyl 3000 is a popular ingredient in anti-aging products that contains two main peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. Palmitoyl oligopeptide is an elastin sequence that accelerates angiogenesis and stimulates the growth of fibroblasts, while palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 increases the firmness, smoothness, and elasticity of skin through actions similar to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology).
Together, the two peptides firm skin by synthesizing collagen IV and fibronectin at the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ), thus creating better cohesion between the two layers of skin (Cosmetics & Toiletries).
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Also known as Stay C-50, sodium ascorbyl phosphate is a stable precursor of vitamin C that allows a constant delivery of vitamin C into your system, thus protecting against reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by sun exposure (Journal of Cosmetic Science).
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate has also shown strong microbial effects against acne vulgaris as shown by three different tests with creams containing varying sodium ascorbyl phosphate concentrations in the Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Salicornia (Salicornia herbacea Extract)
Found in salt marshes along the coast of South Korea, salicornia has displayed both antioxidant and skin-lightening effects in both human dermal fibroblasts and B16 melanoma cells. Its antioxidant activities were demonstrated by its protection of the fibroblasts from tbOOH-induced oxidative stress. Salicornia also worked to inhibit tyrosinase in both the fibroblasts and melanoma cell, making it an effective skin-lightening agent (Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry).
Overall Rating: **
Boscia Bright White Mask is good if you’re looking for a mask with antioxidant and anti-aging capabilities, but the verdict is still out on salicornia due to the lack of in vivo testing. Its website claims that 86% saw an increase in the overall appearance of their skin, but despite it being an independent study, I could not access the study to figure out its parameters.
Also, if you’ve got sensitive skin, I’d avoid the Boscia Bright White Mask; it contains bitter orange flower extract, which can irritate skin and increase chances of sunburn. As always, remember to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, regardless of your skin’s sensitivity.
Overall, however, Boscia Bright White Mask is a solid product. It might not change your skin overnight, but with a few weeks, you might see results.
Water, Titanium Dioxide, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Ppg-20 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Polysorbate 20, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Dictyopteris Membranacea Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Bentonite, Butylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Kaolin, Citric Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tropolone, Carbomer, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol