Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask

I was pretty excited when I saw the Fresh was offering a new mask. Called Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask ($65), it was enticing. I love masks; I love masks that can be left on overnight; and I love Fresh (as a rule). The photo at Sephora showed a pump dispenser, the key to my heart. What could go wrong?

A powerful overnight treatment, says Fresh, Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask is proven to lighten the appearance of dark spots, correct uneven skin tone, and significantly brighten the complexion. The highly concentrated overnight treatment formula is also proven to replenish and preserve hydration for 24 hours, promote suppleness, and smooth skin texture so you awake to youthful-looking, luminous skin. An exclusive brightening complex derived from peony and licorice root extracts and vitamin C glucoside has been proven to reduce and prevent the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone, while amino acids help to visibly firm and smooth wrinkles. The formula is further enriched with cucumber extract, notable for its hydrating and calming properties.

Sounded great! Of course, Lev Glazman, Fresh Co-founder of Fresh, was quoted extolling the well-known properties of peonies, and some test data was presented - unfortunately without any data on sample size. After an independent consumer testing panel used Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask:
  • 94% reported a visibly brightened and lightened complexion, improved texture, and skin that was protected, smoothed, and plump;
  • 90% noticed soft and supple skin;
  • 87% felt the product clarified their complexion after one night;
  • 81% said the product restored youthful contours.
I wish. Unfortunately, I found the mask to be somewhat unpleasant on application because of its scent, and I experienced no treatment benefits. I definitely fall into the 13% of testers who found no complexion improvement after one night's use.

The mask is a cream and dispenses easily into my palm using the pump dispenser. So far, so good. As I start to apply it (I've used it twice), I notice a synthetic fragrance with a slight resemblance to Lemon Pledge. I'm sure that's from the Lemon Peel Oil or possibly the Limonene, which is used for its scent in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, it's also used as a cleaning solvent. Fortunately, it's close to last on the ingredient list.

I don't smell peony at all, one of the benefits of the many beauty products that are "based on" the peony's recognized beneficial effects. The peony's root is extracted for the product, not the flower. That's too bad because the scent of the peony flower is divine and might have flipped my impression of the product.

It's moisturizing, no doubt due to the sodium hyaluronate (remember, nature's sponge) in the ingredients. Simply being moisturizing doesn't give it an edge over my other hydrating masks.

I'm blown away by the complimentary "reviews" on Sephora. I cannot imagine how small amounts of licorice and vitamin C could even skin tone overnight. I guess there are women who read the claims and believe them so strongly that they transfer hope into evidence.

In general, I love Fresh products. In my opinion, this one misses the mark. I find the scent mildly unpleasant, and masks are supposed to be pleasant and relaxing. Fortunately, the scent dissipates fairly quickly. The cream absorbs quickly. That's good so that users won't leave grease slick on their silk pillows.

Does it offer any advanced properties to improve skin tone, decrease dark spots, or brighten the complexion. I believe the answer is no. Sorry, but it's not worth the $65 price. Spend your money on one of my favorite masks. I have featured all of them.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; peony photo courtesy of


Anonymous said...

Bummer! I love Fresh products too and tried out the Peony Spot-Correcting Brightening Essence...same thing as your results (or lack thereof). No brightening or spot correcting to speak of. It wasn't horrible - it didn't break me out and felt nice and lightweight on my skin, but it definitely didn't do a darn thing in terms of brightening.

Behindthepillar said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy but I'm glad, after reading this review, I didn't buy it in Sephora the other week. I'm really getting into masks but some are very expensive experiments. I did invest in several multipack trials (Boscia, Karuna, Korres, Ole Henriksen etc) - so far none are exactly blowing my mind/making any noticeable difference to my skin! Susan, London

Jo said...

The thing about the skin care studies is you don't know what the subjects baseline skin care product use status is and you don't know what their condition is. You could take people who don't already use anti-aging products and they will see an improvement with just about anything they use. Also anyone who sees overnight improvement will only see the improvement until she next washes her face. Skin turns around every 28 days and it takes at least that long to experience any benefit from a skin care product that is not temporary. Skin care studies done by skin care companies to test their products are bogus and the one place where sample selection is completely biased.

Eileen said...

Jo, you're the voice of reason! I read the ingredient list and the "big five" contain nothing to lighten the skin. The C and licorice are down the list and will brighten over time, but definitely not overnight. As for the smoothing and wrinkle diminishing claims, I can only imagine how dry the skin was of the sample group. And, just how many people were in that sample group? No, I don't see anything to substantiate the claims being made. People with dehydrated skin would definitely experience a smoothing effect and would see their wrinkles' appearance diminished but that's the same result that would be obtained by using any good humectant/occlusive combination. Unless you're talking about something medicinal, overnight claims are always suspect.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Excellent points, Jo and Eileen! Unfortunately, I had high hopes, but in only want to pay for what really works.