I have a horrifying confession: when it comes to skin care, I’m not a label reader. When it comes to food, I’m the one who parks in the grocery store aisle to scour the fine print on labels for MSG and other suspect ingredients. Not so for skin care. ‘Til now. At the suggestion of the folks at Truth in Aging, I did read the label in preparing to write this review of Jenetiqa Anti-Aging Thermal Springs Mud Mask ($40). Here’s what I found.
Although the Jenetiqa Anti-aging Thermal Springs Mud Mask sounds like an all-natural spa treatment, it contains just as many synthetic ingredients as most other high-end products on the market. It’s not a bad product; it’s just that the name is misleading. The first ingredient listed on the product label is water. So far as I can tell, “aqua” and Kaolin, Bentonite and silt, three clays that I’m told “can all be associated with thermal springs” and that are found in even the least expensive masks, are the only ingredients in this product that are even remotely related to thermal springs. So I give high marks to the copywriters and marketing gurus who developed the product identity. It sounds like the folks at Jenetiqa cornered the market on the thermal springs experience!
If you aren’t on a budget and you aren’t concerned with the ingredients, the Jenetiqa mask is a fine product. I have what I consider “normal” skin. It is not oily. It is not dry. I almost never get a pimple. My main concerns are a couple of small dark spots on my left cheek; pores that seem to want to latch on to dirt (particularly those on my nose); and the effects of gravity. (I’m pretty sure that my eyebrows will rest just above my upper lip if I live another 30 years.)
The mask has a pleasant smell. It applies easily and is easily removed with a warm wash cloth without scrubbing. It did not irritate my skin and, in fact, left it feeling dewy, which is pretty good for 60+year old skin. One tip if you decide to give Jenetiqa a try: don’t follow the directions. The label instructs the user to cleanse and tone skin before using. I found that the mask worked much better when I steamed my face with a warm wash cloth before application. Skip the toner, which closes pores.
In terms of dealing with blackheads and tightening up pores, the Jenetiqa mask delivers slightly better results than the old standard (and paraben inclusive) Queen Helene Mint Julep mask, which I used when I was a teenager. The Jenetiqa mask is a creamy white and doesn’t get chalky, even when it’s dry. QHMJ is a horrible shade of green and dries up like the Mohave desert. Of course there is a price differential. Eight ozs. of QHMJ still goes for $3.99 at your local drugstore. Jenetiqa, which one retailer bills as “a facelift at your fingertips,” costs $40 bucks for 4 ozs.
So where does that leave us? If you want a pure (as in nonsynthetic) product, hold out for an organic line or, better yet, follow grandma’s lead and raid your refrigerator. (A little buttermilk and lemon juice go a long way.) If you want a “facelift at your fingertips,” get out the yellow pages and find a good cosmetic surgeon.
But If you aren’t on a budget and you conclude that the ingredients are no worse than everything else we expose ourselves to in the name of beauty, I’d say go for it. The Jenetiqa mask is pricey, but largely benign, and it did feel like I was giving my skin a treat.