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I first tried Blue Lagoon's face masks back in 2013. Back then, several of their Icelandic masks with a small cult following in Europe were laden with every paraben known to woman. The one I tried dried to a ghostly caste guaranteed to scare small children and you had be a pretty big believer in mud, as it contained little else. When the company emailed me from Iceland a few weeks ago, asking me to try their newly reformulated masks again, they promised they had made some positive changes.
And so they have. Blue Lagoon Algae Mask ($100) has no parabens at all. Its new packaging is a soothing lichen green, the exact same color as the mask inside. I found that this mask becomes more or less transparent on the skin. The things that haven’t changed are the proprietary active ingredients geothermal water, algae and silica from the Blue Lagoon.
There is a Blue Lagoon in Iceland. As a quick aside, I honeymooned in Iceland 25 years ago and was enthralled and enchanted by a magical landscape of steaming lakes and vivid mineral rock. Truly, the images are still vividly stamped in my memory. The Blue Lagoon fits the description and it’s mud has curative and skin healing properties.
The way it works is that when the geothermal sea water cools, it becomes supersaturated with silicon and long chains of silicon molecules are formed that eventually precipitate out of the water and form the mud. The Blue Lagoon also has a unique algae. Research has shown that bathing in the Blue Lagoon and rubbing the silica mud into lesions has positive effects on psoriasis.
I personally found this mask very curative. I have some skin allergies recently and the mask has been very helpful at calming things down. I have a little eczema by nose and even as I was writing this review it was terribly itchy and uncomfortable. A dab of the mask instantly and completely stopped the itching.
There is research published in Experimental Dermatology that attempts to get at what it is about the silica mud and two different microalgae species derived from the Blue Lagoon that makes them good for the skin. The researchers saw that they are capable of inducing gene expression in human epidermal keratinocytes. The algae and silica mud extracts induced collagen and may help with the reduction of transepidermal water loss. The conclusion was that the bioactives in Blue Lagoon have the capacity to improve "skin barrier function and to prevent premature skin aging."
I found that that the longer I left the mask on the better. Blue Lagoon recommends 5-10 minutes. I found that five minutes did very little for my skin. Over the weeks I built up to leaving it on for 20 minutes (this is easy to do since the mask is very light and comfortable is not one of those drying, tightening masks). Then the results became spectacular — the softest, glowing skin ever.
Geothermal water, algae and silica mud are what this mask is all about. And I am a convert to them. The other notable ingredients are wheat protein, soothing evening primrose and sunflower and soy bean oils. There's a sunflower polyglyceride that is a good substitute for vaseline or lanolin. The natural preservative ethylexylglycerin is a nice alternative to the parabens in their old formulas, although there is also phenoxyethanol and sodium hydroxide. While many people will be happy to see that the parabens are gone, there is still the preservative, phenoxyethanol.
Editor's Note: This product has new packaging and our review will be updated as soon as updated photos are available.