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.Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Firming Foam Mask is a lot like the Perricone MD Blue Plasma product: It’s pricey, has a few unique ingredients and is designed to be iconic, but will probably ultimately have a short shelf-life as a hit. That’s in comparison to true skin care cult products like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta Peel Pads, or SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.
The issue with Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Firming Foam Mask isn’t with the bentonite (great for oily or acne-prone skin) or the glycerin. Rather, it’s with the proprietary H2 Energy Complex™. Although Perricone MD claims that the product is likely to help your skin “experience visible rejuvenation, advanced hydration, and radiant-looking skin,” hydrogen water hasn’t been proven to do much for your skin when you ingest it, much less when you topically apply it. For more, read on.
Hydrogen Water Sounds More Scientifically Cool than Anything Else
“Hydrogen acts as an antioxidant in our bodies, helping to minimize cell damage and inflammation,” says dermatologist Joel Schlessinger to Allure. “Hydrogen water is particularly popular in Japan because of its antioxidant benefits. However, there is very limited research available on how hydrogen-rich water affects the body, and even less on its long-term effects.
The real allure of hydrogen water seems to be the fact that it is extra-purified. Most cosmetic companies use purified water obtained after filtering out impurities for their production of cosmetics, but this can leave some metal ions.
Still, considering the number of assaults our skin goes through each day — namely, UV light, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dirt, pollution — is an extra ion in the water really damaging our skin? Probably not.
Bentonite is a potassium-containing type of clay that comes from the smectite family and is a hydrous aluminum silicate (FDA). It comes from both fire and water in a sense — formed both in the ocean and in volcanoes (Skin Deep).
It’s often used for its water absorbing qualities and can be used as a thickening agent (Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology). It’s also used to clarify water and juices, as a water softener, and sometimes as an absorbent clay (called Fuller’s Earth) (Encyclopedia Britannica Academic Edition).
Bentonite’s excellent absorptive qualities make it a prime candidate for inclusion in facemasks meant to reduce impurities. In a study on people with acne vulgaris, where subjects are found to have roughly three times more sebum produced than normal, researchers use bentonite clay to absorb the extra oil — demonstrating Bentonite’s ability to soak up excess oils (Dermatology).
But these clays don’t just absorb oils; they also help to pull impurities out of the skin (Life Science Weekly). As aforementioned, the clay has been tested for it’s potential in treating chemical warfare, so it’s evident that their capacity for soaking up all toxic materials is quite large.
In another study a cream containing Quaternium-18, Bentonite was found to significantly reduce dermatitis of the hand in 37 subjects (Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery). It was also found to stop or reduce allergy to poison ivy in 211 subjects in another study (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology).
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, and/or clogged pores, Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Firming Foam Mask might be a great fit for once or twice-per-week use, due to the high concentration of bentonite. Otherwise, don’t let the fancy-sounding hydrogen technology fool you — I’m the first to tell you when a new skin care technology has promise, and I’m very disappointed in the early research behind using hydrogen water on the skin.
Ingredients in Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Firming Foam Mask
Water, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Bentonite, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Saccharide Isomerate, Disiloxane, Decyl Glucoside, Betaine, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Phosphatidylcholine, Sodium Borohydride, Perfluorohexane, Perfluoromethylcyclopentane, Perfluorodecalin, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Octyldodecyl PCA, Menthyl PCA, Algin, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Coconut Acid, Sodium Chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Isethionate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol.