The Environ Claytech Masque is a new find and I am very excited about it. I know, I should get a life but it has all the hallmarks to earn it a Truth In Aging seal of approval: the Environ range came to me highly recommended by a practicing esthetician; it was designed by a reputable skin doctor; peer reviewed trials back up the claims; I've tried it and loved it. Oh, and it is South African (I'll come back to that part).

The Environ Claytech mask can be used on the face and the body. I've used it on my face and on the backs of my shoulders (the latter being prone to spots) and the result is soft, hydrated skin. It claims to be gentle enough to be kept on overnight (although that sounds both messy and an offense to my marriage). I can vouch for it being gentle, however: I have very sensitive skin and masks can be very irritating; this one was absolutely fine.

Apart from clay, the main ingredients in Environ Claytech Masque are Vitamin E and mineral oil (the latter being a decongestant). But none of these are what makes Environ's products so interesting.

Environ contains doses of Vitamin A (retinols - about which you can read more here) that are higher than those normally available in non-prescription creams. The amounts vary amongst the products in the range so that you can choose what will work according to how sensitive your skin is. The Vitamin A is combined with Vitamin C to treat skin laxity.

The Environ range was developed by a South African plastic surgeon, Dr Des Fernades. South African skin care products and treatments (like those in Australia for that matter) tend to be very advanced because they cater to a rich, white population battling against sun damage. On a personal note, discovering that Environ is South African is exciting because it gives me yet another excuse to visit Cape Town and visit my beyond beautiful god-daughter, India Jane Calland (whose picture is gratuitously included below).

Back in the US, Environ is not easy to come by outside of a handful of salons. I did manage to order Claytech Masque from First For Skin Care, which ships to the US and Canada. Nevertheless, the price isn't bad at $32.99. I also sent off for a moisturizer and a cleanser (I'll be comparing cleansers in a future post).