emerginC Scientific Organics Phytocell Detox Mask

| Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The claim: France is home to Phytocell Detox Mask's key skin-detoxifying ingredients including mineral-rich clay and grape stem cells derived from the gamay grape of Burgundy. This 100 percent natural product is full of those components in a mask that's designed to draw out impurities, nourish, soothe, brighten, fight free-radical damage and improve skin tone and texture. It leaves skin bright, healthy and detoxified with a radiant glow.

Cost: $50 for a 1.76 fluid ounce jar

Where: Leading spas and www.emerginc.com

I love masks. I use that 15 minutes to relax, something I find impossibly difficult to do most times. The Phytocell Detox Mask excited me, because I'm perpetually trying to find ways to add more organic products into my diet or beauty routine.

The mask, which includes grape stem cells, algae extract and seaweed, drew me in immediately with its citrus-like scent, smoothness and a pampering cooling sensation.

I used it several times a week for two weeks, per the directions. I believe it followed through on its promise to soothe and brighten my skin, and, hopefully, draw out impurities.

My only concern is a bad breakout I suffered — perhaps coincidentally — along both of my cheekbones that rivaled any I ever had during adolescence.

Still, in my constant effort to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I'll give it another go.

— Jill Leonard

The Phytocell Detox Mask is different from many I've tried. The texture is quite light and refreshing with it's bright and clean citrus fragrance. The creamy green product spreads easily and smoothly, then dries to a clear finish. That finish does not pucker and pull at your skin as many masks do. After the 10- to 15-minute period, it cleans off easily with a warm, damp washcloth.

On first use, my skin appeared smooth and nourished, soft and soothed — not an over-scrubbed red. My foundation smoothed on easily with no need for additional moisturizer.

Repeated uses — one to three times a week is recommended — tightened pores, blurred fine lines and evened splotchy skin tone. All those natural ingredients — grape stem cells, algae extract, food-grade seaweed and the like — create one quality product.

— Sally Quinn

Phytocell Detox Mask, a 100 percent natural clay mask product, promised much. It would nourish my skin, draw out impurities, fight free-radical damage and improve tone and texture.

It's made from French green clay, kombucha, grape stem cells, algae extract, glycerin, brightening complex with xylose and galactose from palmaria palmate and food-grade seaweed. Excepting the green clay and those chemical-sounding ingredients ending in -ose, the ingredients made it sound like something to spread on a baguette and take internally.

I followed the instructions, applying it three times a week for two weeks, waiting the full 15 minutes each time, then washing it off with clear water.

The two best things about the product were that it didn't make me itchy like some masks do, and it gave me 15 minutes to relax while I waited for it to chase down and eliminate those nasty free radicals.

I wish I could tell you that it was so effective that liquor-store clerks started asking to see my driver's license.

No such luck.

However, each time I used it, my skin did feel smoother and look a little fresher and moister. It also appeared to have slightly decreased the number and depth of some of my fainter wrinkles and made my skin appear somewhat firmer.

Alas, the effect was only temporary.

Applying moisturizer prolonged the desirable effects for a few hours, though, making it a candidate for inclusion in makeup rituals preceding special occasions.

— Alice T. Carter

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