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LUSH: Mask of Magnaminty Review ($22.95, lushusa.com) is a clay-based mask that exfoliates and promises to pull the dirt out of your skin without being too abrasive. It includes some well known ingredients that have been proven to improve skin, as well as a few that haven’t been tested enough by research. So what are these ingredients and how well does it work?
While numerous products use China Clay — also known as Kaolinite or Kaolin — scientists still haven’t done the tests to prove its effectiveness. A majority of the information out there from producers explains that China Clay is gentle enough for sensitive skin while still pulling out dirt. But the only research that’s given insight onto whether it’s effective is one study that found that it was no irritating to skin (European Kaolin and Plastic clays Association). Research has only shown it to be dangerous when inhaled in the kind of exposure one would get working in mines (Inhalation Toxicology). LUSH explains that it’s intended to clean pores and while that’s the word in beauty products, the word from the research side of things is mum until further notice.
Peppermint has been found to have antibacterial properties that make it good for getting rid of impurities (Pakistan Journal of Botany). Peppermint oil has been shown to improve skin barrier function — which one study demonstrated by showing its ability to block absorption of benzoic acid (Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology). Peppermint has also been shown to soothe irritated skin (University of Maryland Medical Center). In the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, based on scientific research, peppermint oil is rated as possibly safe when applied to the skin, as allergies are possible and long-term usage has not been well-studied (MedlinePlus).
Honey is a hygroscopic substance, which means that it absorbs water around it, making it a humectant moisturizer. Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and in a study where it was mixed with olive oil and beeswax, it was found to help symptoms of psoriasis and eczema (Bastyr Center). Several studies have found that honey can be used to help manage skin conditions such as these. And while there are studies that show that it aids in wound healing, it may not be the best (Center for Reviews and Dissemination). In the studies that compared it to iodine, honey didn’t stack up — iodine was better at healing.
Personal Use and Opinion
LUSH Mask of Magnaminty was refreshing and gentle — as promised — while still having the slight tingle of peppermint. It doesn’t necessarily have dramatic results but it does leave skin feeling more open and exfoliated. The ground up aduki beans really slough off the dead skin well, but they’re quite abrasive, so I would recommend using this only once a week maximum and only scrubbing lightly to remove the mask, as exfoliating too hard can stretch pores and damage skin.
LUSH Mask of Magnaminty has a few ingredients that are waiting to be determined in terms of effectiveness (e.g. China Clay, evening primrose oil), but that have a strong history of usage in skincare products. It also has ingredients that have been proven, such as honey and peppermint oil. Overall, the mask is cleansing and refreshing, but just be careful not to exfoliate too hard.