L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Masks / Masques Argile Pure

L’Oréal Paris launched in August 2016 a new range of 3 facial clay masks, following the multi-masking trend.

General Conclusion

L’Oréal comes with an unusual launch with these 3 masks. We were used to see coming from L’Oréal Paris brand skin care products in creams or gels, with anti-aging properties, targetting specific concerns. This range is more into cleansing, but sold with the codes of skin treatments (jars). The intent is probably to appeal younger consumers, for which aging is not yet a concern.

In terms of technology, L’Oréal launched robust formulas combining several clays. 2 of the formulas share the same backbone (mashing of powders in an xanthan gel). The third one is an emulsion with exfoliating particles, free of plastic microbeads.

Communication and claims

The range is made to answer 3 different needs with three different skin types :

  • Combination to oily skins : Pure-Clay Purify and Mattify Treatment Mask
  • Dull skins : Pure-Clay Detox and Brighten Treatment Mask
  • Skins with irregularities and visible pores : Pure-Clay Exfoliate and Refining Treatment Mask

The idea behind these 3 different product is not to use only one at a time, but combine them on face depending on the needs of each part (“multi-masking”).

Pure-Clay Purify and Mattify Treatment Mask

Formula Structure

This formula is a mashing of powders in an aqueous gel thickened and stabilized with Xanthan Gum. The powders are clays (Kaolin, Montmorillonite and Maroccan Lava Clay), Rice Starch and Silica). The formula contains glycols (Butylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol). It also contains Lecithin and Polysorbate 20 to improve dispersion of the powders in the formula, and rinsability on skin.

Active Ingredients

4 ingredients are claimed on the pack : 3 clays and eucalyptus extract.

The 3 clays are :

  • Kaolin
  • Moroccan Lava Clay
  • Montmorillonite

with Koalin being the one in the highest concentration in the formula, as n°2 ingredient of the INCI list. Moroccan Lava Clay and Montmorillonite are very probably at a concentration below 1% considering their respective positions.

Clays are silicates (i.e. compounds containing an anionic silicon compound) with a specific organization in layers. Many of them occur naturally and a mined. The common aspect of all these clay-like ingredients is that they contain silicon, oxygen, and one or more metals. All silicates, especially the clays, have a great ability to absorb water by swelling in this liquid.

Kaolin is soft, earthy, usually white, mineral. According to Imerys, a supplier of Kaolin for cosmetic use, Kaolin is a naturally occurring hydrous aluminium silicate. Part of the clay family, kaolin is hydrophilic.

Morrocan Lava Clay is the INCI name of the Ghassoul or Rhassoul, is a natural mineral clay mined in the Atlas Mountains of North Africa since the eigth century. It is mainly made of stevensite, a clay mineral made of magnesium silicate. Once mixed with water, Ghassoul forms a mud with detersive and degreasing properties, due to a strong ion exchange capacity. It only acts as absorption, not detergency.

Montmorillonite is a very soft clay, member of the smectite group.

Clays combine several properties of interest for cosmetic formulation :

  • strong capacity of adhesion to the skin through hydrogen bonds. This type of bonds allows the diffusion of water into the skin and a local warming that helps pore dilatation and moisturization
  • an ion exchang capacity (mainly Calcium ions) deposited over the skin by hard water. Clay “remove” calcium ions and replace them by Sodium ones.
  • easy use and supply

The eucalyptus extract is an extract of eucalytus leafs (INCI name : EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF EXTRACT).

Preservatives

The formula is protected against microbiological growth with Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin.

One can notice here that L’Oréal has not banned all parabens from its developments, as this recently launched formula contains Methylparaben and Sodium Methylparaben.

Pure-Clay Detox and Brighten Treatment Mask

Formula Structure

The backbone of the formula is the same as the previous one : mashing of powders in a gel of xanthan, with Polysorbate 20 and Lecithin to improve dispersion of the powders and rinsability. This formula contains charcoal powder. Charcoal powder is introduced in this formula a dispersion, supplied by Daito Kasei under the trade name WD-VCB25. Its exact INCI name is Charcoal Powder (And) Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate (And) Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate (And) Polyglycerin-10. It is a charcoal from vegetable origin, from Japanese Oak Tree. L’Oréal uses this charcoal powder is plenty of other products claiming “charcoal” : Men Expert Carbon Protect 5-in-1 Ice Fresh Deodorant, Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Intensive Gel Scrub Anti-Spot, Men Expert Magnetic Charcoal Extreme Cleanse, Matrix Biolage RAW.

Active Ingredients

The formula contains the 3 sames clays used in the Pure-Clay Purify and Mattify Treatment Mask, plus charcoal powder.

This charcoal is not an “activated” one, it is mainly here a “marketing” ingredient.

Preservatives

The formula is protected against microbiological development with Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin. It also contains Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol that can help to decrease the water activity of the formula (i.e. the capacity of water to be “free” for use by microorganisms).

Pure-Clay Exfoliate and Refining Treatment Mask

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion based on Glyceryl Stearate / PEG-100 Stearate (Croda Arlacel 165) surfactants and Polysorbate 20, and Carbomer and Xanthan Gum as thickener. The oil phase is made of Cyclopentasilioxane, Hydrogenated Polylisobutene (Isopar L), Dimethicone and Dimethiconol.

As a clay mask with purifying properties, the formula contains several clays, Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay and Montmorillonite and exfoliating powders (Apricot Seed powder and Perlite powder). One can notice that the formula is free of exfoliating plastic microbeads, that are currently falling under some laws due to their polution potential. L’Oreal made the choice to use crushed apricot seed powder as exfoliating agent. together with perlite. Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass, formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently. L’Oreal probably uses Imerys’ Imercare P-Scrub ingredient, claimed to be a “new, gentle volcanic rock-based exfoliant for scrub applications”.

Active Ingredients

4 ingredients are claimed on the pack : 3 clays same clays as the other formuals, and red algae.

The 3 clays are :

  • Kaolin
  • Moroccan Lava Clay
  • Montmorillonite

The formula contains also a red algae extract, which INCI name is Palmaria Palmata Extract, common name being Dulse. Greentech is a supplier of Dulse extract, and claims about it that “it is particularly rich in vitamins from group B which participate in hair, scalp and nail renewal, in the re-epithelisation and regeneration of tissues. Due to its composition, Dulse is particularly advised in hair, nail and skin affects.”

Preservatives

The formula is protected against microbiological growth with Caprylyl Glycol and Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients

Pure-Clay Purify and Mattify Treatment Mask

AQUA / WATER • KAOLIN • MONTMORILLONITE • SILICA • LECITHIN • POLYSORBATE 20 • BUTYLENE GLYCOL • PROPYLENE GLYCOL • ORYZA SATIVA STARCH / RICE STARCH • EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF EXTRACT • GLYCERIN • MOROCCAN LAVA CLAY • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • CITRIC ACID • XANTHAN GUM • METHYLPARABEN • SODIUM BENZOATE • SODIUM METHYLPARABEN • PHENOXYETHANOL • CHLORPHENESIN • CI 61570 / GREEN 5 • CI 77492 / IRON OXIDES • LINALOOL • GERANIOL • COUMARIN • CITRONELLOL • PARFUM / FRAGRANCE. (F.I.L. B188873/1).

Pure-Clay Detox and Brighten Treatment Mask

AQUA / WATER, KAOLIN, MONTMORILLONITE, LECITHIN, POLYSORBATE 20, BUTYLENE, GLYCOL PROPYLENE, GLYCOL, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES, ORYZA, SATIVA STARCH / RICE STARCH, MOROCCAN LAVA CLAY, CHARCOAL POWDER, CAPRYLYL, GLYCOL CITRIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, POLYGLYCERIN-10, POLYGLYCERYL-10 MYRISTATE, POLYGLYCERYL-10 STEARATE, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, CHLORPHENESIN, LINALOOL, LIMONENE, PARFUM /FRAGRANCE

Pure-Clay Exfoliate and Refining Treatment Mask

AQUA / WATER, KAOLIN, GLYCERIN, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, DIMETHICONE, PEG-100 STEARATE, PRUNUS ARMENIACA SEED POWDER / APRICOT SEED POWDER, PERLITE POLYSORBATE 20, CARBOMER, TRIETHANOLAMINE, DIMETHICONOL, PALMARIA, PALMATA EXTRACT, MOROCCAN LAVA CLAY, CAPRYLYL, GLYCOL, XANTHAN GUM, MONTMORILLONITE, TOCOPHEROL, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES, LINALOOL, PARFUM / FRAGRANCE

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