Upon hearing the name ‘Israel’, you may conjure up images and thoughts of the Jewish people, Jerusalem, Christianity, their conflicts with the Palestinians…and perhaps the Dead Sea.
Isn’t the Dead Sea beautiful viewed from above?
Before I visited the Holy Land in November 2015 for pilgrimage, I only knew Ahava, which is by far the most well-known brand export. Over there, I was exposed to more Dead Sea brands e.g. Seacret and you can also find some, like -417 and Premier, already in Singapore.
According to our Singaporean tour leader, the prices in Israel are much lower than in Singapore – some almost up to 70% discount off its original price.
In that case, we can’t leave without buying at least some Dead Sea products back, isn’t it? :p
While the rest went on a buying spree, I restrained myself and kept my pocket more for souvenirs (like soaps – which I like to rave about to my family and friends after using them)
One of which that caught my eye was an anti-aging product – REVIVAL Antioxidant Mud Mask (By Qumran).
You can also purchase it online (100ml) at Qumran Shop for approx. SGD$32.40 (USD$22.50; U.P.: SGD$45.00 (USD$31.00).
I haven’t hear of this brand before. However, its ingredients list stood out – being the Dead Sea Black Mud listed first – signaling it has the highest content. Which also means I can replicate my wonderful experience at the Dead Sea, without worrying about cleaning up a droopy mud mess in the bathroom. Since it was on an irresistible sale, I combined my purchases with a guy friend from our choir (see, guys need TLC too :p).
Dead Sea – The Biggest, Natural Spa on Earth
The Dead Sea is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. Experts tell us that over 21 minerals are found in the water and its surrounding mud, which could help for a wide range of skin problems, such as eczema and psoriasis. In fact, the Dead Sea water contains 35 percent of minerals per litre of water.
While at the Dead Sea, it was fun to knead a handful of mud into a bar of “mud soap” and spread it lavishly on my limbs, neck and cheeks. It is free to take everywhere from the sea! Upon application, you will feel a tingle of sensation due to the high salinity and when you wash off the mud with the salt water, you get smooth, silky skin.
I accidentally got the salt water on my upper lips when it splashed up. I tried to move out of the way from someone’s camera shot and almost tripped. Well, it burns, real bad. D: Ooh, I can’t imagine the disastrous outcome if the salt water were to get into your eyes. Yet I saw a Caucasian man “swimming”…Didn’t he see or read the sign *rolls eyes*
REVIVAL Antioxidant Dead Sea Mud Mask
Now how did our mask measure up?
Here’s what it says on the tube and box:
“A true gift of Nature – this strong detoxifying Mud Mask is a blend of the most efficient antioxidants found in the waters of the Deadsea and the surrounding desert. While our finely-grounded Deadsea black mud works to drain out toxins from the skin, three supreme desert oils – Argan, Pomegranate and Jojoba oils – recharge it with strong antioxidants and nourishing agents, leaving it softer, revived and detoxified.
Apply thick layer, avoiding eye area. Leave on for 3 minutes. Thoroughly rinse off with clear water. Paraben free. For all skin types.”
As you can see, it has a lighter colour and its viscosity is higher than the actual Dead Sea mud. And I was puzzled with the 3 mins limit mark. When we were at the Dead Sea, the local guide cautioned us not to stay in the water / mud for more than 15 mins (max. 20 mins).
At first, there wasn’t a tingling sensation. It then started to gradually “burn” in intensity, as I continued to cover more of my face and in thicker layers. I was a frequent AHA user for two to three years with Neostrata, so I could still bear the level of sensation on my first application.
After I washed the mud mask off my face, I had a pleasant surprise – for a moment, my nasolabial folds (“smile lines”) were gone! It’s like my skin was given botox and it plumped up. It also has the same results like the Dead Sea Mud – skin looks smoother, softer and more evenly-toned (pores look visibly smaller).
My right side of the face usually shows more promising results than the left side. You can see that my smile line is fainter now.
I continued with the mask weekly, especially on days I see my pores congested (you know it, when you can feel the little pesky oil bumps >w<). Now I don’t feel as much “biting” - maybe I somewhat got used to it. I find getting the mask off is a little challenging and I'll need to rinse my face a few times while wiping it with my fingers and palms. What I also noticed was the skin will be a little red for a while after washing off. I reckon the 3 mins mark does have a use. Even if I could bear with the sensation more than 3 mins, but it won’t be good to sensitise the skin too much.
You can also see my left side of the face is more sensitive to the mud mask than on the right. After a while, the redness will go away.
Although the product info. indicates that it’s “For all skin types”, I don’t think people with hypersensitive skins should use this. If you must try it, it is always best to do a test on a small skin patch.
Where to Buy
If you are in Israel, where can you get Dead Sea products? I can only advise based on my travel experience.
You can also try your hotel’s souvenir shop and they have some local selections but it may not stock a fantastic range. If you want to get the lowest price in the entire Israel, Yardenit, the baptismal site on the Jordan River, is your best choice for Dead Sea products.
Giveaway Draw – Win REVIVAL Antioxidant Dead Sea Mud Mask!
Of course if you’re unable to visit Israel or don’t wish to shop online, the next best option is try to win one for yourself! Since it’s the start of a new year, I decided to do a giveaway. Prize is sponsored by me. Open to residents of Singapore only.
All you have to do is to complete the tasks stated in the contest below. You can choose to do one, some or all to enter into the draw. The more tasks you complete, the more entries you will have. Maximum entries is 7.
It automatically does a random electronic selection to pick the winner when the deadline is up. Giveaway closes on January 25, 2016 (Monday).
Simple, right? Well, good luck!
Deadsea Minerals and Desert Oils Fusion
The beauty of the Deadsea reaches far beyond the powers of its minerals. Known for ages by the communities living in the Qumran area, desert plants have extraordinary benefits for human skin. Surviving under extreme conditions, these plants present highly powerful moisturisers and antioxidants, helping the skin fight aging.
Revival formulations offer a unique synergy of desert oils and Deadsea minerals. This fusion facilitates skin cells in performing their natural functions and retaining the moisture which retains youth.
Product Expiry: June 2017
Below explanations are extracted from Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, 4th Edition, Paperback, unless otherwise stated. You can purchase a copy (est. SGD$50, free shipping worldwide) from Book Depository.
|01||Dead Sea Black Mud||While common salt is 85% Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Dead Sea salts are only 30% – the rest is a blend of Calcium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, and Magnesium Chloride. Source: REVIVAL by Qumran|
|02||Demineralised Water (Aqua)||–|
|03||Stearic Acid||An emulsifier and thickening agent found in many vegetable fats. Stearic acid is the main ingredient used in making bar soaps and lubricants. It occurs naturally in butter acids, tallow, cascarilla bark, and in other animal fats and oils. Stearic acid may cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and is considered somewhat comedogenic.|
|04||Lanette 16||INCI name is Cetyl Alcohol. A versatile ingredient that can serve as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, binder, foam booster, or emulsion stabilizer, depending on the formulation and need. It is derived from coconut or palm oil as well as being synthetically manufactured. It is considered by some sources to be a non-comedogenic material.|
|05||Bees Wax||One of the oldest raw ingredients used in cosmetic preparations. It is traditionally used as an emulsifier for water-in-oil emulsions and is now also used to regulate a formulation’s consistency. Beeswax is used as part of the wax composition of solid and paste products such as creams, lipsticks and pomades. When on the skin’s surface, it can form a network rather than a film, as is the case with petroleum. Though there is no scientific proof for it, beewax is credited with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, anti-bactericidal, germicidal, skin-softening, and elasticity enhancing properties. As an anti-oxidant, beeswax has some free-radical scavenging ability. Depending on its source, beeswax can be considered a non-comedogenic ingredient. It rarely causes sensitivity, and allergic reactions to beeswax are low.|
|06||Isopropyl Myristate||An emollient, moisturiser, binder and skin softener that also assists in product penetration. An ester of myristic acid, it is naturally occurring in coconut oil and nutmeg. Although isopropyl myristate is generally considered comedogenic, some ingredient manufacturers clearly specify non-comedogenicity on their data sheets.|
|07||Argan Oil||Emollient and skin conditioning. It also protects and moisturises the skin. Its constituents include tocopherol, phenolic acid, carotenes, and essential fatty acids. It is obtained from the nut of the argan tree.|
|08||Jojoba Oil||A moisturiser and emollient. Jojoba oil was traditionally held in high regard by Native Americans of the Sonora Desert for its cosmetic properties. Mystical properties have been attributed to it for its apparent ability to heal the skin. Jojoba oil reduces transepidermal water loss without completely blocking the transportation of water vapour and gases, providing the skin with suppleness and softness. In addition, it gives cosmetic products excellent spreadability and lubricity. Studies indicate that jojoba oil can penetrate rapidly by absorption via the pore and hair follicles. From these areas, it seems to diffuse into the stratum corneum layer and acts with intercellular lipids to further reduce water loss. Ingredient manufacturers claim that the chemical composition, functionality, blending ability, appearance and feel of synthetically produced jojoba oil are the same as the natural oil. Jojoba oil is not a primary skin irritant and does not promote sensitization. Although it is generally considered non-comedogenic, laboratory studies indicate slight-to-moderate comedogenicity depending on the potency of the oil. Jojoba oil is derived from the plant seeds.|
|09||Pomegranate Oil||Used for its emollient properties. Suppliers indicate that is moisturising, nourishing and protective, and has soothing, anti-irritant, and anti-inflammatory properties. They cite it as particularly beneficial for aging skin as well as for post-sun treatment. Pomegranate seed oil is considered relatively stable; it is easily absorbed by the skin and does not leave a greasy afterfeel. Among its constituents are ellagic acid and omega 5 (also known as punicic acid), which are both anti-oxidant. In addition, it contains vitamins B1, B2 and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. It is apparently expensive to manufacture (approximately 200 pounds of fresh pomegranate produces one pound of pomegranate seed oil).|
|10||Phenoxyethanol||A broad-range preservative with fungicidal, bactericidal, insecticidal and germicidal properties. It has a relatively low sensitizing factor in leave-on cosmetics. Phenoxyethanol can be used in concentrations of 0.5 to 2.0 percent and in combination with other preservatives such as sorbic acid or parabens. In addition, it is used used as a solvent for aftershaves, face and hair lotions, shampoos, and skin creams for all types. It can be obtained from phenol.|
|11||Triethanolamine (TEA)||An emulsifier and pH adjuster.|
|12||Dunaliella HS||The closest I could find was Dunaliella Salina, which is a type of green micro-algae especialy found in sea salt fields. It is a halophile – an organism that could survive in high salt concentrations due to its ability to create large amount of carotenoids. Although they are not the exact words, I believe this is our ingredient. Source: Wikipedia|
|13||Coconut Oil||Used as a cream base, it is raw material for soaps, ointments, massage creams, and in sunscreen formulations. Soft white or slightly yellow in colour and semisolid in consistency, coconut oil is a grouping of primarily short-chain fatty acids bonded with glycerine and expressed from coconut kernels. It is stable when exposed to air. Coconut oil may be irritating to the skin and cause skin rashes. It is also considered comedogenic.|
|14||Aloe (Aloe Vera) Barbadensis Leaf Extract||A popular botanical recognised for centuries as having beneficial medicinal properties including antibiotic, anti inflammatory, and wound healing. These benefits apply to skincare as well. Aloe vera is frequently used in cosmetics for its moisturising, soothing and calming properties. It is excellent for dry and sensitive skin, as well as for the treatment of sunburns and other minor burns, insect bites, and skin irritations. Aloe extract is obtained from aloe vera leaves and is also referred to as aloe vera gel.|
|15||Dimethicone||A form of silicone used to give products lubricity, slip, and good feel. It can also serve as a formulation defoamer and help reduce the feeling of greasiness that some creams leave on the skin immediately upon application. In addition, dimethicone is reported to protect the skin against moisture loss when used in larger quantities. It improves product flow and spreadability. In combination with other ingredients, dimethicone becomes a good waterproofing material for sunscreen emulsions, and helps reduce the greasiness often seen in high-SPF preparations.|
|16||Camomile Extract||Soothes the skin and increases skin penetration of other cosmetic ingredients. It also can stimulate and promote the skin’s healing process. While it is generally non-irritating and non-sensitizing, those allergic to other plants in the daisy and sunflower family may want to do a small skin patch test before using cosmetic products with this ingredient. Source: Truth in Aging|
|17||BHT||Also known as butylated hydroxy toluene. It is an anti-oxidant that also has preservative and masking capabilities.|
|18||Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5)||Acts as a penetrating moisturiser. Panthenol appears to stimulate cellular proliferation and aid in tissue repair. Studies indicate that when topically applied, panthenol penetrates the skin and gets converted into pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin. Such action could possibly influence the skin’s natural resources of pantothenic acid. It imparts a non-irritant, non-sensitising, moisturising and conditioning feel and promotes normal keratinisation and wound-healing. Panthenol protects the skin against sunburn, provides relief for existing sunburn, and enhances the natural tanning process. Panthenol’s humectant character enables it to hold water in the product or attract water from the environment, resulting in a moisturising effect. It enhances skin suppleness, and claims are that it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is considered a non-comedogenic raw material.|
|19||Tocopheryl Acetate||An anti-oxidant that helps prevent unsaturated oils and sebum from becoming rancid. It is considered as non-comedogenic raw material.|