I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I'm turning 30 in a couple of weeks. This means I should be spending more on the anti-aging products I slather on my face, right? I actually don't know if that's true, but everything I've been taught in the beauty world has told me that once I enter my third decade, I should invest even more in anti-aging products than I did before.
Personally, I've been using anti-aging products since before I turned 25. This is partly because it's my job to test various products, and partly because I do care about my skin. Ultimately, as I'm sure you know, the way skin ages has to do with a) how much exposure it's had to the sun and free radicals and b) your genes. With that said, anti-aging products do help. After all, it's a multi-million dollar industry with countless hours dedicated to finding the next great ingredient (or learning how to maximize proven-effective ingredients).
Anyway, I recently happened upon the Viperlift Bio Mask by Venofye. It costs $600—basically half my rent—and promises me youthful skin that, in my head, ought to guarantee an onslaught of compliments about my youthful visage even though I am officially "OLD" (at least according to that one girl in high school earlier this year who couldn't believe I was 29 and let out an audible gasp).
So yeah, I acquired it. And yeah, I've been slathering it on my face.
My foremost thoughts:
- It comes in a very nice package, though for $600 I think a crystal jar encrusted with gemstones would be better.
- It has no smell.
- The texture is super-duper odd. It's kind of like that weird stuff you used to play with in grade school that's both a liquid and a solid. Only the ViperLift Bio Masque is wetter, of course. It's thin and thick at the same time.
- When you apply it to your skin, it instantly begins to warm up. It feels slightly granular, but not coarse.
- Once on the skin, it stays wet and a little warm. It doesn't hurt, tingle or feel weird. Just warm.
- Rinsing it is very easy, unlike other face masks. One splash of water to the face and it's pretty much all washed off.
- It literally ate away some of my nail polish. Like, I was actually forced to apply another top coat after dipping my fingers in the mask! Whoa.
As for the results... yeah, I can see a difference. But is it a $600 difference? Only time will tell, really. I do notice a slight diminish in the fine creases around my eyes, and my skin feels smooth and light and glowy immediately after using it.
I decided to take a closer look at all the ingredients:
- PEG-8: There are various forms of PEG (polyethylene glycol). It's essentially a surfactant and emulsifying agent. The higher the number (e.g. PEG-200), the heavier it is. PEG-8 is pretty light. This is a pretty standard cosmetic ingredient.
- Kaolin: Also referred to as "China clay." It's a soft, pale substance used in beauty products to clarify and cleanse. It makes for a good base and is an absorbent.
- Zeolite: Another common beauty ingredient and also an absorbent. It may have anticancer properties, according to some research.
- Methyl gluceth-20: Water-binding ingredient that also conditions the skin.
- Diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate: AKA synthetic snake venom. This is considered a safer and less invasive alternative to Botox. It's categorized as a neuropeptide and is believed to cause facial muscles to relax and prevent expression lines.
- Retinyl palmitate: This is a synthetic version of retinyl acetate, found in vitamin A. It's converted to retinol and ultimately to retinoic acid.
- Ascorbic acid: AKA vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is the best-researched ingredient and commonly used in skincare products. It helps firm skin and fades signs of sun damage and acne marks.
- Tocopheryl acetate: AKA vitamin E. It's a powerdul antioxidant that protects cell membranes, helping maintain collagen.
- Arnica: A soothing botanical extract with antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aloe: Protects from UV damage and and free radicals that cause signs of premature aging.
- Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis seed extract: AKA sweet almond. It softens and conditions the skin.
- Coffea Arabica seed extract: AKA coffee seed oil. Still being researched, but all signs say using it topically can stimulate collagen and elastin and help repair skin and contribute to a healthy barrier function."
- Citrus Medica Limonum peel extract: AKA lemon peel. "The peels' oil clarifies, cleanses, and functions like an antibacterial."
- Angelica Archangelica root extract: This is a fragrance ingredient and gets a "poor" rating from Paula's Choice: "Although some components of angelica oil have antioxidant ability, it is a risky ingredient to use on skin if it is exposed to sunlight."
- Phenoxyethanol: A preservative, and one of the better ones. It's considered the least-irritating and is approved worldwide.
- Ethylhexylglycerin: Another well-rated preservative and is a carrier for phenoxyethanol.
So all in all, it's actually a pretty impressive ingredient list that makes good use of natural extracts and vitamins. I think the most expensive ingredient is likely the diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, or the synthetic snake venom that's an alternative to Botox.
That it's an ingredient high up on the list, and that it's accompanied by a host of other ingredients tested and proven to nourish and protect the skin and assist in anti-aging, makes me feel a little bit better about the lofty price tag. I'm still not 100% sure it's worth $600, but I'll certainly use the product to completion.
- What's the most expensive product you've ever used?
- Would you ever consider spending $600 on a face mask?
- On the opposite side of the spectrum, what's the cheapest but most effective anti-aging product you've ever used?