What makes a mask a mask? In my mind it's something that you apply to your face, wait fifteen minutes while it hardens, and then peel or scrub off. That's a mask, anything else is just a treatment, a serum, a moisturizer. So I'm a bit confused about Juara's Turmeric Antioxidant Facial Mask ($39, 4 oz). It's unlike any other mask that I have tried before.

Yes, you do leave it on for 15 or so minutes, but you can also leave it on overnight. And it doesn't dry up, or change color, or do any of the usual mask-like things. But you know what? I'm ok with that. Even though Juara includes kaolin clay to purify and detox the skin, its special wet mud formulation keeps the mask (and your skin) from drying up per usual. Indeed: it made my skin feel incredibly silky and noticeably brighter, and it wasn't uncomfortable in that too-tight way as some masks are, nor was it anything but completely sensitive to my irritation-prone skin.

How this works overnight I'm not sure, since you would think that dry mud would be preferable as you're resting cheek to pillow.

This mask has a quartet of great ingredients, the primary of which is candlenut oil. Also a staple in other Juara products, candlenut has been used for centuries in Indonesia for its emollient properties. The oil boasts high levels of fatty acids, including: 19% oleic acid (working to replenish and maintain the skin's moisture), 41% linoleic acid (an anti-inflammatory), and about 27% linolenic acid (repairing rough skin).

Turmeric, or myristyl myristate tetrahydrocurcuminoids, is the mask's namesake, and is an ingredient that I've has on my radar for quite some time. Curcuminoids from turmeric have been associated with all sorts of antioxidant, antitumor, and antiarthritic pharmacological actions. Literature out there indicates that turmeric has a wide variety of positive pharmacological applications with few toxic effects. What doesn’t it do? Wonders include the prevention and treatment of a bevy of skin ailments such as psoriasis, acne, wounds, burns, eczema, sun damage and premature aging.

And for those chefs out there: don't worry--this mask won't turn your skin yellow. Recent advances in the field have come up with a way to keep turmeric from staining your skin yellow, while effectively delivery all of its beneficial properties.

Squalene is another TIA favorite. As Marta has written about earlier, it has the unique ability to completely and rapidly penetrate the skin. Once there, squalene works as an antioxidant, an antibacterial, promotes cell growth, and prevents both UV damage and the formation of age spots. Also, even at 100% concentration, animal tests show that it was non-irritant to rabbit skin and eyes. Other studies show that certain carcinogenic chemicals are inactivated when exposed to squalane over a period of time. Nice stuff, no?

Also nice is the carrot seed oil, which helps heal dry, chapped and cracked skin while balancing moisture and improving elasticity.

I wish that there would be a few less parabens here (there are 4!), and of course phenoxyethanol--but perhaps I'm just going to have to resign myself to their presence. More and more I'm learning that preservatives are needed in skin care products, to find out why check out this post: why products need preservatives.

Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Polysorbate 60.


Water, Glycerin, Kaolin Clay, Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Myristyl Myristate Tetrahydrocurcuminoids, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carrot (Daucus Carota sativa) Seed Oil, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl) Acetate, Hydroxyethylacrlyate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol,