Sunday, November 6, 2016

Circ Cell Skin Care Red Algae Clarifying Masque Review

Cell Cell Skin Care Red Algae Clarifying Masque - $70. We received this in a subscription box. Being the Marine Biologist that I am, I was so excited to try this mask. I love algae and haven't gotten to try any luxe facial products that contained algae before. Now, imagine my surprise when I was reading through the ingredients and red algae wasn't listed anywhere!

The only organism listed on their ingredients is Usnea Barbata, which is a lichen that grows on trees and is known by the common name of old man's beard. What is a lichen you ask? Well "Like the slime molds, lichens are a hybrid; a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus." (Edgar Tricia, 2013). A lichen is NOT algae, they are in completely different animal kingdoms!!!! Red Algae is a high quality ingredient in skin care that is a rich source of polysaccharides which are believed to enhance the skin's barrier functions and improve hydration and moisture retention. Some research is stating seaweed may even have skin lighting and anti-acne properties. Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor-in-chief of the Beauty Brains cautions that while "There's enough science here to say that algae, seaweed and kelp may provide some benefits but of course it depends on the specific type of extract, how it's processed, and how much is used" If you want to read further about the science behind the algae in skin care this was a interesting brief article.

I went onto Circ Cell Skincare's Facebook page to see how they were promoting this product. I noticed that they were very careful to not directly state that this mask actually contains red algae. But their words sure lead to the consumer to believe it does!
After rereading the ingredients over and over again, I wondered if other beauty products that claimed to have red algae in them actually listed it in their ingredients. I read through Sephora's website and filtered products that contain algae, and I was pleased to see that other companies actually listed either the species of algae or stated "algae extract".

This product really upset me in so many ways. First of all, I felt really lied to and deceived. Most consumers wouldn't even notice that red algae is absent in the ingredients list and think that they are actually getting the benefits of algae in this product. One Youtube video I viewed actually stated "This product is packed full of algae" because the name is so deceiving.

I'm very dissappointed that the company is putting the "red algae" label on it and charging a premium price for it, but consumers aren't actually getting the benefits of the high quality ingredient. This should be labeled as a "tee tree oil face mask" or an "essential oil face mask", not named red algae. Second, for $70 there is no excuse not to have algae in it. This is an expensive face mask, and I expect that when I pay that price there better be high quality ingredients. Third, this company states that their products combine high-quality ingredients with innovative technologies. They really seem to convey that they work with science to bring about the best products, and as an actual scientist this is insulting. It is very gimmicky. They play up the science aspect by labeling their other products as "geothermal clay cleanser" and "ABO +/- Blood Serum". Geothermal energy means heat produced by and stored in the earth, which I guarantee is not bottled in that little bottle (The blood serum does not contain actual blood). I am so displeased with the way that Circ Cell Skincare is deceiving consumers with the labeling of this particular product. I am still determined to try an algae face mask and I hope to try other brands that are being transparent and truthful with their marketing. I am happy to run across this product though, because it has made me more mindful about checking ingredients in all the products I purchase and not to fall for marketing gimmicks.