I have finally met a facial mask that I don’t like, Minus 417 Recovery Mud Mask ($110 for 1.7oz). Minus 417 is a brand that boasts a “scientific combination of rich minerals of the Dead Sea” (the lowest place in the world and, hence, the name). The best I can say about this is that Dead Sea minerals must be the new black. Because that it the dominant ingredient in this over-priced pot. Yes, literally, black pigment.

Iron Oxides (CI-77499) is black pigment and, to give it the benefit of the doubt, I did a search online to see if there are any benefits that iron oxides might impart to the skin. I could find none. But this mask is indeed black. It is also nearly impossible to apply and smells like chewing gum.

The directions instruct spreading the mask over the face. This simple task cannot be done. On either dry or damp skin, the product refuses to spread evenly resulting in lumps here and there, patches of bare skin and bits that fall off. It is messy and frustrating and by the time I was ready to remove it with the supplied magnet (an unhelpful oblong with sharp corners that tear through the tissue that you are supposed to wrap it in, I had dismissed Minus 417 Recovery Mud Mask as overpriced, gimmicky and tiresome.

The silt (Dead Sea Mud) appears towards the end of an ingredients list which isn’t terrible. There’s panthenol (a vitamin B5 derivative) that improves skin hydration and reduces irritation, cocoa seed butter and fatty acid-rich evening primrose and borage. I also like the inclusion of borage. But ultimately this is underwhelming considering that this mask is over a hundred bucks and I didn’t get the promised “bright and glowing appearance”.

Or perhaps like the magnetic field of the removal device that Minus 417 Recovery Mud Mask comes with, its effects are invisible.

Ingredients: Iron Oxides (CI-77499), glycerin, butylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, panthenol (pro B5), titanium dioxide, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, cocoa seed butter, dimethicone, perfume, evening primrose oil, silt (Dead Sea Mud) extract, phenoxyethanol, kaolin, borage seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, chamomile flower oil, citronnellol, hexyl cinnamal