Other than my regular pore-cleaning clay masks, I use masques maybe once in a blue moon, so when I saw this Peter Thomas Roth Mini Mask Magic sample pack for sale at Sephora, I couldn’t grab it fast enough: this format was made for me, commitment-phobe and lover of sample sizes that I am.
The rare times I use the “fancier” kind of masques is more for the “spa” experience (and a touch of superstition) than anything else. On the whole, I have more faith in the benefits of daily discipline than in a product that’s typically applied twice or thrice a week at the most (not counting actives, of course).
For any newcomers: Peter Thomas Roth, the founder of the brand that bears his name, began his career with a line of products for dealing with acne, eventually expanding to a varied range of high-end products with a clinical/derma-cosmetic concept.
Apparently PTR and his products are frequently featured in QVC beyond the pond, which to me personally isn’t the best letter of presentation: I find infomercials and the entire mindset around them deeply repelling. Nevertheless, they do have quite a reputation among serious skincare devotees, and I suppose that’s for a reason… in fact, while in the past this brand didn’t interest me much, lately I’ve been eyeing some of their products more closely.
Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator
The first mask I tried was this green gel, which according to the packaging is indicated for refreshing, cooling and moisturizing skin that is dry or irritated.
Other than the “detox” thing, which we all know is just nonsense of the sort brands love to throw around (our liver and kidneys take care of that detoxifying business, something no cosmetic or the superfood in vogue this week can ever do) I wasn’t too mad about this mask at first, mainly because of the citric extracts it lists (lemon and orange, after the other plant extracts included in the INCI)… but after some uses it ended up being quite the darling.
To begin with, a little of this product goes a long way: even applying a rather generous layer of gel, this little jar lasts a surprising amount of time; I bought this in the summer, and it’s lasted well into october, and that using it with some frequency.
Besides, it does cool and refresh skin as claimed: some 10-15 minutes after applying a nice dose, my skin drinks up most of it; wash off what’s left behind is with clear water, and the result is skin that feels very refreshed, elastic and bouncy. I’ve liked this product a lot, particularly to care for skin that is somewhat affected by the use of actives and the changing season.
Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask
First of all: to me, including stem cells in cosmetics or any kind of topical application strikes me as pseudo-science and marketing magical thinking. (Oh look, here’s how this sample pack got its name).
As far as my lay understanding reaches, and imagining for a moment this thing actually worked as implied, it would make more sense if the stem cells were, I don’t know, from Monica Bellucci, or maybe Will Smith (even though lately he’s begun to remind me just slightly of Uncle Phil… someone must have done something to that painting of him aging in the attic… )
Anyway, the stem cells of plants, or any non-human organism that has nothing to do with ours, can’t really do much for keeping our skin fresh and dewy like a rose at dawn… even if the cells made it alive to the product jar, which they don’t.
Other than that, in my experience this one performs much the same as the masque above: it is recommended to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, besides moisturizing and repairing; expect no miracles, of course, but what you can reasonably expect is skin that feels hydrated and smooth, and just like with the other, it feels lovely as a moisturizing treatment, without leaving skin feeling greasy or sticky.
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer
Of the three products in the set, this was the one I wanted to try the most, and in the end it’s one that’s left me somewhat underwhelmed, probably because I expected more of it.
For starters, the scent of spiced pumpkin pie is delicious, so at least in that respect it fulfills my expectation of a “spa experience” that IMO a masque should provide. Besides the chemical exfoliants (in this case, pumpkin enzyme y AHA, though for the last it doesn’t indicate its percentage nor the product’s pH, neither on the packaging nor on the brand’s website), this mask includes a very fine aluminum oxide grit to massage and refine the surface of the skin.
Nevertheless, I find this isn’t much of an exfoliant for me personally. This product would probably be more useful for someone with skin that’s more delicate, and cannot tolerate stronger actives or fairly rough mechanical exfoliants, but for my skin, used to AHA and BHA and exfoliation with sugar once a week, it just seems a bit meh. It leaves my skin rather soft and not much else, but as an exfoliant option I prefer other products; in my case, I just don’t see any difference between using this mask and not using it.
So in conclusion…
… did I enjoy the experience? Yes. Would I then pay the 50 something € the brand asks for the full size? Probably not, among other things because, as I said before, I’m not usually a big one for masks, and I think it’s possible to find products that perform similarly for a more sensible price.
Besides, I’m also not keen on the jar packaging, because it’s more likely that the content will become contaminated, lose effectiveness or reaches the date of expiration before I finish it; as I noted, the contents of these last a good long while. For almost 60 euros the full size costs, PTR could well get with the program, and package these products in a tube, pump bottle or something similar that ensures their longevity.
Still, all things considered, I would buy another sample size kit like this one next time I feel like a masking and treatment session; on the whole, I’d give this Peter Thomas Roth mask sample pack 4 points.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.