Reviewed by Leslie

I must say that the Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask by REN Clean Skincare started off with a real bang. I LOVE the packaging (it comes with its own little cotton towel for wiping off the mask) and the dispenser bottle, which is a pump, has a cap to keep the opening from drying up and clogging. Most masks come in hard to squeeze tubes that drive you crazy. So this is a brilliant solution that’s very well designed.

The product itself, however, leaves something to be desired. It comes out of the pump a lovely deep orange goo, a little too gooey, actually. Nevertheless, it spreads easily on the skin. But I didn’t like the fragrance at all. It has all sorts of fruit extracts and oils in it, and they combine to make a rather rancid smelling citrus odor. Okay, so let’s say it didn’t agree with my nose. It could smell perfectly fine to someone else. But then I also didn’t find that it left my skin particularly radiant or renewed. And while it doesn’t claim to be a deep-cleaning mask, I always like my face masks to deeply cleanse my pores as well as renew and emolliate my skin. Maybe I’m asking too much from one product. I notice that most masks have singular functions – deep cleansing, pore reducing, hydrating, etc. And if that’s the case here, I’ll just have to say that I didn’t find that its “radiance renewal” function lived up to its promise. As a close-to-60-year-old woman, I’m looking for all the radiance and renewal I can get.

REN Skincare has a disclaimer on the package that says it uses “no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours, T.E.A, D.E.A., glycols, silicones, PEGs, et al.” As much as I could tell by looking up the individual ingredients, there doesn’t seem to be anything screaming danger, with the exception of maybe the preservative Phenoxyethanol (see below). Short of that, however, while it didn’t live up to my expectations, I have to admit that there also couldn’t be anything bad about slathering on some fruit extracts and oils once a week. But $55 for 1.7 oz., that feels a bit rich for my taste.

Ingredients include:

-Lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid that’s derived from milk and is milder than glycolic acid, and is used to plump the skin and improve moisture retention)

-Limonene (the main component of oil extracted from citrus)

-Phenoxyethanol (a preservative with a warning)

-Linalool (distilled from the oils of rosewood, bergamot and other plants and trees, it has been shown to have anti-cancer effects in a study performed at the American University of Beirut)

Full ingredients list: Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Lactic Acid, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Alcohol Denat., Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopherol