GlamGlow's celebrity mud mask
Amidst rumors that Jennifer Aniston and Miley Cyrus are fans, GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment (1.2oz/$69), has been causing quite a stir. This anti-aging mud mask is being heralded as the Next Big Thing in beauty and I was determined to get the dirt on it.

GlamGlow says that Super-Mud Clearing Treatment uses “ancient volcanic ashes,” which put my bull*%*! antenna on alert. Sure enough, volcanic ash doesn’t appear on the ingredients list and although mud gets star billing in this supposedly celebrity cult item, it is really an AHA exfoliator. But I’ll come back to that. Let’s get the mud out of the way. GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment’s second ingredient is a very common-or-garden mask ingredient, kaolin. This clay is a phyllosilicate, which is entirely silicon and oxygen. It soothes and mattifies shiny skin, but not much more than that.

The next two ingredients are magnesium aluminum silicate, a clay-derived thickener, and sodium hydroxide, used to balance pH. It is a neurotoxin and irritant. So far, GlamGlow does not impress.

What GlamGlow really comes down to is an AHA exfoliating mask. It has mandelic, glycolic and another four AHAs. Sensitive skins may find six exfoliating ingredients a bit much, but they are counterbalanced by some botanicals that can serve as soothing agents, such as calendula and cucumber. There’s also chamomile and English ivy, which is an interesting botanical extract that may act as a sunscreen.

The formulator seems to be a bacteria-phobe as there is a slew of harsh preservatives here including every paraben known to man (with their controversial associations with cancer); phenoxyethanol, a neurotoxin; methylchloroisothiazolinone, which is such a strong irritant that it is typically used only in rinse-off products; and methylisothiazolinone, a possible neurotoxin.

On balance, I think there may be better ways to get a glow than GlamGlow.

Ingredients: Water, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Hydroxide, Eucalyptus Globulus, Mandelic Acid, Charcoal, Parfum [Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool], Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Pyruvic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Maltodextrin, Iron Oxides, Peppermint Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract, Hendera Helix Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone