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La Vie Celeste's glycolic mask- reviewed and recommended

Our Rating: 5 stars


Polishes skin with glycolic acid and bamboo grains


A slight tingling sensation
September 7, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 16 Comments
A safe way to brighten skin without hydroquinone

I have been searching for a really good glycolic product for a long time. My favorite used to be Image Skincare’s Ageless serum, but for various reasons (they changed the formula and the price, plus it isn’t easy to buy) I found it frustrating enough to seek an alternative. I have finally come across one that trumps the best glycolic creams that I had previously been able to find: La Vie Celeste’s Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop).

La Vie Celeste is a brand that I have only just discovered and I was sent the glycolic mask, along with a day and night cream and an eye cream (I will be reviewing all of them over the coming weeks). The founder of La Vie Celeste, Teri Dourmashkin, holds a Doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University and she launched her range because she wanted an effective, gentle, non-toxic and affordable anti-aging/anti-wrinkle cream.

Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask certainly seems to meet her criteria. Massage it in and leave it on for five minutes before rinsing to reveal skin that is much more even in tone and polished-looking. I have tried it out a couple of times on my neck (an area of particular focus right now), my face and even my knees and the results are so good that I know I am going to have restrain myself from using it more than twice a week.

With a 5% concentration of glycolic in a soothing base of organic aloe, this mask is both effective and gentle (I only had a brief tingling sensation on my face). Glycolic acid is regarded by skincare professionals as one of the breakthrough ingredients of the last 20 years. It is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally found in sugar cane. As the AHA with the smallest molecule and the greatest penetration, glycolic acid deeply exfoliates to remove skin that is dry, coarse, or dead. It shouldn’t be overdone (see our post on how to use glycolics and AHAs), but for kick starting a serious anti-aging skin regimen, it is essential.

La Vie Celeste has ensured glycolic’s brightening and smoothing effects are given a helping hand by exfoliating bamboo grains, licorice and bearberry extract, which is loaded with alpha arbutin a natural (safer) hydroquinone. Organically sourced antioxidants include white tea (supposedly better than green tea) and melon.

Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask is definitely going to be a key part of my neck and décolleté regimen and I will use it on my face when it needs a pore closing pick me up. I’m interested to see if the eye cream and day/night cream hit the bar set by the mask.


Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Gel*, Aqua (Purified Water), Sclerotium Gum, Bamboo Grains (Bambusa Vulgaris) Extract, Kaolinite (Pink Clay), Glycolic (Hydroxyacetic) Acid, White Tea (Camellia Sinesis) Extract*, Bearberry (Acrtostaphylos Uva Ursi) Extract*, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabral Licorice) Extract*, Melon (Cucumis Melo) Extract*, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobillis) Flower Extract*, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citrus Paradis) Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic) Acid.

*Certified organic

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  • April 30, 2014

    by Nasrin Farajiparvar

    I love it, it is fantastic and help me to clean my oily face.

  • December 7, 2010

    by Junko

    Haven't received my try me kit yet, should arrive any day now...but you all are making me really excited to get it!!!

  • December 7, 2010

    by L

    This la-vie-celestes-glycolic-mask is awesome stuff!
    An amazing product! So glad of my purchase!!!!

  • September 28, 2010

    by Maria T

    My nutrition specialist suggested I use the Made from Earth Grapefruit Glycolic Scrub 2-3 times per week in order to deep clean my pores. You would think that since it's glycolic acid, it would be pretty harsh on the skin but it's not drying or irritating at all for my sensitive skin. After use my skin looks brighter and feels cleaner.

    I also love the smell of it. The smell puts me in the mind of a spa so, I feel like I'm at a salon or something when I'm using this lol.

    A little bit goes a long way and the bottle will last you forever!!

  • September 19, 2010

    by Taylor

    i love the glycolic, i've use it 1-2x a week for about a year now. its just enough and not too harsh. i also find that it dries up and heals my blemishes. truly an amazing product. i've been using the cleanser and toner too and finally my skin feels balanced. im never too oily or too dry my skin just feels nourished

  • September 16, 2010

    by Martha

    Hi Marta, I would love to try something good for my neck, I just turn 51 and start to see my neck a litle bit saggy, at this menopausal age, would love to try anything that would shows that I'm putting something good on my skin. I have sensitive skin and think that this is the kind of mask that would be good to try.

  • September 15, 2010

    by Kelley

    I would love to give this a try! I have noticed that my neck is starting to have that saggy thing goin on myself! I have been incorporating my neck area into my skin regime but haven't really seen any improvement. I have been using the Matrixyl 3000 from NCN Pro Skincare (per your recommendation) during the day and Cellbone Hyper Peptides at night (again per your recommendation)with great results on my face but still something to be desired on my neck in the way of results. What do you think?

  • September 15, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Eileen, I'd say up to 10% is OK. It really depends on how sensitive your skin is and what you want to achieve The mask should only be used a couple of times a week. Oh, and by the way, we got it up in the shop last night and over the coming weeks we'll be working with La Vie Celeste on getting the rest of the range reviewed and getting samples and deals - Truth In Aging VIPs should be on standby.

  • September 14, 2010

    by Eileen

    Hi Marta, would it be too harsh to use the glycolic mask in conjunction with a glycolic facial cream? What is a safe % to use on the face? Thank you

  • September 9, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Emily,

    I have started to test the eye cream and will review it in 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, I am hoping to get the mask for the TIA shop.

  • September 8, 2010

    by Emily

    Marta, any thoughts on the rest of their line? Their day-and-night cream (and maybe their eye cream) look intriguing too! Thanks--this looks like one to try.

  • September 8, 2010

    by marta

    I think this is a mask for people who are not maskers. It is a gel and very light. Not one of those clay things that is claustrophobic. Plus the results are very worthwhile.

  • September 8, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    I just put together a list for a friend (of my best friend) for her birthday of what might be a good daily regimen for her. I immediately included La Vie Celeste mask! I believe, although I'm not a masker, I must give this a go- whaddaya think? ~jk

  • September 8, 2010

    by Theresia Kelly

    As the northeast educator I can assure you I have left it on far longer than five minutes. In my own spa/boutique I advise my customers to leave it on 5-10 min and longer once they've discovered how their skin responds. We've had great success even with very sensitive skin.

  • September 8, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Junko, I think leaving it on overnight would be possible. I left it on my neck for over an hour with no problems.

  • September 8, 2010

    by Junko

    With only 5% glycolic, I'm thinking that non-sensitive skin could leave this on for longer than 5 minutes? What would you think about leaving it on overnight?

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