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I was happy to be chosen as a reviewer for Innarah Defense Masque Oxygenating Masque ($125). I am 44 with combination skin: a moderately oily T-zone and dry cheeks. I occasionally suffer from hormonal acne, and I get red bumps on my chin. I used to get them almost every month, but they have all but disappeared since I started using Innarah Treatment Solution every morning, so I had high hopes for a new product from a brand that I hold in high regard.
Balancing my combination skin is my first skin concern. Decongesting clogged pores that seem to get larger with age is the second. I therefore thought I would be a good candidate for this mask, which promises to clean pores, tighten skin and hydrate.
I have used it now on eight occasions, and I am ready to report the results. First, this is very much a clay mask. The first ingredient is water and the second is “Sierra Nevada earth minerals.” The mask has wonderful ingredients, including phytoplankton, algae, phospholipids and plants extracts. However, despite the phospholipids and other natural ingredients including plant oils, it looks and it acts like a clay mask. It has a creamy, light green-gray texture, and it spreads nicely on the skin. As soon as I put it on, I felt my skin tingle, and I have the least sensitive skin there is – I have never had a reaction to anything, including harsh retinols. Instructions state that the mask should be kept on for 10 minutes if one’s skin is dry and 30 if it is oily. I could never keep it on for more than 10 minutes – the tingly, slightly burning sensation would be uncomfortable.
The third ingredient, after water and “earth minerals,” is zeolite. Wikipedia states that zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate mineralsm, and there are 40 naturally occurring types of these minerals. Wikipedia also states that one of the medical uses of zeolite is “as a molecular sieve to create purified oxygen from air using its ability to trap impurities, in a process involving the adsorption of nitrogen, leaving highly purified oxygen and up to 5% argon.” So I presume that it was added to the mask to increase its ability to clean pores.
On to the verdict. The good: it does clean out pores, and it seems to momentarily shrink them. The main benefit for me was an overall brightening effect. My skin just looked clean and slightly whiter after each use. The bad: I found it very drying. It’s not at all moisturizing, and it led to little crinkles on my cheekbones. Finally, its effect does not last – I would use it at night, follow with my regular routine (MitoQ and Brad’s Ultra Elastin), and I would not wake up looking any better in the morning than I usually do.
In sum, this would be a very good mask for people with oily skin, who are looking for a purifying treatment. It has quality ingredients, and it seems to brighten the skin. For anyone with normal or dry skin it may be too drying. I would not repurchase, given the price point and the results I have gotten, but I do think that it would work well for people with oily skin.