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I Tried MZ Skin Care and Here's What I Thought


Dr. Maryam ZamanPhoto:

The nice people from MZ Skincare by Dr. Maryam Zamani sent me some products to try and give my honest opinion. I wasn't paid for this post, but I did get the products for free. I have super acne prone sensitive skin and I'm always a little scared of trying new things on my face. I'm au naturale about my face with a don't-mess-with-the-money-maker attitude which is sans any botox or fillers thus far. Although I have massive paranoia about my skin having an adverse reaction, I hate getting old so I'll totally give it a try. YOLO, right? Here's an unfiltered pic of me. I just can't figure out where to look when I take a selfie. Also, that pesky eyebrow. AMIRITE?


mzskincare

Cleanse and Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser and Mask

I love the cleanser/mask combo if not only because it helps subscribe to my laziness. Kidding aside, it's a really nice product. It feels good on my skin and although it doesn't feel like an exfoliant (it's really smooth) it actually does exfoliate. Must be the Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Fruit Enzymes, but I'm no doctor.  It's reasonably priced and it's highly likely that I'll order it when I run out. I use it twice a day and then if I remember, I'll use it as a mask and leave it on for 15 min once a week. 
Rating: LOVE

Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum

This serum feels really silky and luxurious. A friend I hadn't seen in for a while - no joke - asked me if I have been getting IPL. I use it morning and night and it's more hydrating than the other products I use. After I realized the price per pump, I tapped the brakes a bit on my heavy finger. Considering the the price of one ounce $$$ it should come with a boyfriend and a massage. I'm kidding. Sort of. Truly, I am extremely addicted to this serum and it's going to be a sad day when I get to the bottom because realistically I'm more of an Oil of Olay CVS kind of girl. If I had endless supplies of cash I would more definitely upgrade to an MZ Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum kind of girl.
Rating: LOVE but WAY out of the budg.

Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask

Ok, the box comes with five sets of eye treatments and you're supposed to keep them on for *I think* 30 minutes in the morning. I've honestly only used one set. Mostly because when I wake up, I've got too much sh*t to do. The morning I used them, I decided to work at the same time and the slippery little suckers kept sliding down my face. It was total user error. They did noticeably improve my dark circles and dammit if I did not look amazing that day. I will try again, but with more of a feet up in bed with a mimosa Sunday morning kind of pampering environment. 
*Update: I used these again just this morning and I relaxed for a few while they were applied. Actually, they're this really satisfying consistency that's both cooling and a little slimy for lack of a better word. What a good lesson on trying things more than once.
Rating: LIKE but realistically would not fit into my already slim skin care regime.  

Meet Maureen. Now bow down.


seasideskincare

Now, let's hear from the boss-lady.  Maureen Gaspard has been practicing skincare for over 15 years. She knows everything about everything in skincare. She's literally changed my skin which makes me happy and gives me a better quality of life which makes me less of a biaaattccch. Maureen Gaspard? More like Maureen Ghandi. I've been getting facials from Maureen for at least 7 years ... maybe longer. If you're in Orange County, be sure to check out Seaside Skincare. Going to see her is a mix of a belly laugh comedy show, a therapy session and it's quite comforting to have her boobs cradle your head. Don't judge me, just talk to me after you've been nestled in her bosoms for an hour. Oh and the bonus is you'll have way better skin on the way out than you had on the way in. So of course I asked her to weigh in on these products.

Maureen Says

If any of the following are important to you when considering a skin care product, then this line probably is not going to work for you:
Organic
Fragrance/Perfume Free
Chemical Free
Non-Synthetic
Preservative-Free
Ingredients not derived from animal origin

If you are like me, and none of the above are a concern to you when experimenting with a skin care line, then I say “give it a try”. I always tell my clients, “your skin is as unique as your personality. What works for one individual may not work for another. You may try these products and love them. You may see an improvement in your skin overall. The opposite is also a possibility. One variable that may determine which direction you end up going is partly due to what you were using on your skin before you tried this line! Below, I list some of the ingredients that may contribute MZ’s claims for each of the products listed. The higher the number of the ingredient, the lower it falls on the ingredients list, and therefore it will be in lower concentrations. I am no chemist. I can tell you what these ingredients do individually, but I cannot tell you how all of these ingredients may work synergistically together.

Cleanse and Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser and Mask:
I think for some consumers, the idea of combining a cleanser and a mask in one may be enticing. We are all trying to find multi-faceted products that allow less steps, less time, and better results. As indicated in its name, it does, in fact, contain one Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA): Lactic Acid. Lactic acid is derived from soured dairy products, fermented vegetables and fruit. It helps to reduce acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation. It is well tolerated by sensitive skin. It falls into the ingredient line up as #9, so it would be fair to say that the lactic acid in this product is in higher concentration that in other cleansers/masks where lactic acid trails at the tail end of the ingredients list. #8 on the ingredients list is Lactobionic Acid which is a polyhydroxy acid (PHA), but is a cousin to Glycolic Acid, which is an AHA. Some studies reveal that Lactobionic is safer and less irritating than the popular and often used Glycolic. Both Lactobionic and Glycolic do an excellent job of exfoliating and smoothing the skin. #11 on the ingredients list is Azelaic Acid which is produced naturally by yeast that lives on normal, healthy skin. It is used widely in the treatment of acne, inflammation, pigmentation, and rosacea. The papaya fruit enzyme must be in fairly low concentration all the way down at #22, but it is certainly in there. This product, used as a cleanser and/or mask will likely address many of the skin conditions that most people suffer from.

Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum:
Impressively #2 on the ingredient list is Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate – a very stable, oil-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that can rebuild collagen, reverse sun damage, and fade pigmentation. Vitamin C stability and absorption rate will vary widely, depending on molecular structure. The form of Vitamin C in this product may be well tolerated by some, while being irritating to others. This form of Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) is said to have the highest absorption rate. #8 on the list is Acetyl Glycyl Beta-Alanine which has pigment suppressing and skin brightening properties. #10, Sodium Lactate is keratolytic, meaning it removes excess skin, benign skin growths, and is an exfoliant. #12 is Azelaic Acid which I previously explained is produced naturally by yeast that lives on normal, healthy skin. It is used widely in the treatment of acne, inflammation, pigmentation, and rosacea. While last on the list at #30, Citric Acid is an AHA, anti-oxidant, and a natural preservative which is not a horrible way to end your anti-aging, skin brightening recipe.

Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask:
Hyaluronic Acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water. It is found naturally in the body and is one of natures greatest hydrators/lubricators. Lining up at #6 for this eye treatment mask, Hyaluronic Acid is an effective ingredient for any anti-aging product because we become depleted in our ability to create it on our own as we age. # 9, Chondrus Crispus Extract (red algae/seaweed) is packed with vital minerals and vitamins, while its natural ability to protect against UV rays makes this ingredient an excellent choice. #10, Hydrolyzed Collagen (also referred to a soluble collagen) is claimed to be fragmented enough to enter into the skin. There seems to be a lot of controversy as to whether or not hydrolyzed collagen applied topically really results in building new tissue or regulates cell growth. I did not see nano gold particles in the ingredients list anywhere. However, I am reading of an abundance of diverse benefits that colloidal gold can have when applied topically in cosmetics, so if it is in these masks, then I think they are worth a try.

I am not convinced, however, that the cost of the product is worth the amount of product that you get in the container. I am not saying that I would not pay the price to give the line a trial run, but I do not feel the cost would make sense for long term use. There are far too many options out there that give you just as much bang (if not more) for your buck. There are no ingredients listed in the MZ line that I do not see in comparable, quality skin care lines. In all fairness, I am simply basing this opinion on years of using amazing products that have a much more reasonable price point. I have analyzed cleansers and masks that are just as good from an ingredient standpoint that are 7 oz. and 2/3 or the cost. The serum - $390.00 and just a tad over 1 oz.? How long does the serum last and how much of it do you have to use to cover the face, neck and chest? $21.20 for one pair of eye masks? Does a single eye mask deliver results to one single eye that justify $10.60? The price alone intrigues me just to see if the results are really that mind-blowing. For the price, and the amount of product you get, this line would have to literally transform my skin into that of a 30 year old woman with perfection. There are a few things that entice consumers to overpay for skin care lines: pretty, professional, expensive-looking packaging, clever & effective marketing, celebrity endorsements, doctor created, and hype. I did an ingredient analysis on Le Mer and I was shocked to find that its cult following was willing to pay so much money for petroleum jelly. Unless MZ Skin Care is the fountain of youth in a bottle, I would stamp it with “ripoff”. But then again, I have yet to try it for myself.

MZ Skin Care Line Ingredient Analysis

Cleanse and Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser and Mask 100mL (3.3814 oz.) $92.00

CLAIMS:
Fast track a glow with this multi-functional cleanser and mask. Carefully formulated with a blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Fruit Enzymes to cleanse and exfoliate without irritation for a refined skin texture. The perfect prep to reveal smoother, brighter and more radiant skin.

CLAIMED BENEFITS:
Removes makeup and deep cleanses
Highly effective blend of low level AHAs and Papaya Fruit Enzyme that removes dead skin cells, refines pores and boosts cell renewal on a daily basis without being abrasive
Prepares the skin for the ultimate absorption of MZ serums and moisturizer
Doubles up as a mask to give a deeper exfoliation, helping to boost collagen while hydrating and plumping the skin

INGREDIENTS DEFINED:
Aqua (Water): Solvent
Decal Glucoside: Cleansing agent, emulsion stabilizing.
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: Viscosity increasing/controlling agent.
Propylene Glycol: Fragrance ingredient, humectant, skin-conditioning, viscosity decreasing/controlling. Can be an irritant in concentrations as low as 2%.
Glycerin: May be of animal or vegetable origin. Denaturant, fragrance ingredient, hair conditioning agent, humectant, oral care agent, oral health care drug, skin conditioning agent, skin protectant, viscosity decreasing, solvent.
Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract: Skin conditioning agent.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Antistatic agent, hair conditioning agent, skin conditioning agent, surfactant – cleansing agent, surfactant – foam booster, viscosity increasing/controlling agent – aqueous. Has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.
Lactobionic Acid: pH adjuster, buffering.
Lactic Acid: May be animal derived. Exfoliant, fragrance ingredient, humectant, pH adjuster, skin conditioning agent, buffering.
Sodium Lactate: Buffering agent, exfoliant, skin conditioning agent, humectant, keratolytic (removes excess skin, skin thinning).
Azelaic Acid: Fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, buffering, masking.
Phenoxyethanol: Fragrance ingredient, preservative.
Benzyl Alcohol: External analgesic, fragrance ingredient, oral health care drug, preservative, solvent, viscosity decreasing agent, masking. Associated with contact allergy.
Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil: Fragrance ingredient, astringent, tonic.
Ethylhexylglycerin: deodorant agent, skin conditioning agent, weak preservative. Can be an irritant to eyes, skin and lungs in high concentrations.
Disodium EDTA: Chelating agent (used to sequester and decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product), viscosity controlling.
Tropaeolum Majus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract: Extract of Indian Cress. Skin conditioning agent, anti-microbial, tonic.
Dehydroacetic Acid: Preservative.
Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose: Emulsion stabilizer, viscosity increasing/controlling, film forming.
Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil: Fragrance ingredient, skin conditioning agent.
Parfum (Fragrance): The word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Deodorant, masking, perfuming.
Carbomer/Papain Crosspolymer: Carbomers are thickening agents that help control the viscosity and flow of cosmetic products. Papain is a highly potent plant enzyme isolated from papaya when the fruit is unripe & green. It is applied topically in countries where it grows, for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain is very effective in skin renewal and skin lightening. It also functions as an exfoliator, skin softener and moisturizer and helps fight acne. What’s more, the enzyme helps the body combat free radicals, thus preventing premature ageing. However, papain in cosmetic ingredients is difficult to stabilize. A crosspolymer is a co-polymer of several ingredients. Polymers are usually (but not always) organic, and are formed from large chains of monomers, which are molecules that can bind to each other.
Polyglucuronic Acid: Film-former, skin conditioning agent, humectant.
Potassium Sorbate: Fragrance ingredient, preservative.
Sodium Benzoate: Fragrance ingredient, preservative, anticorrosive, masking.
Lecithin: Naturally occurring lipid found in plants and animals. Skin conditioning agent, surfactant – emulsifying agent, emollient, antistatic.
1,2-Hexanediol: Solvent.
Caprylyl Glycol: Hair conditioning agent, skin conditioning agent, emollient, humectant.
Algin: Binder, fragrance ingredient, viscosity increasing/controlling, masking.
Limonene: Perfuming.

Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum 30 mL (1.01442 oz.) $390.00

CLAIMS:
This fast acting, ultra-targeted serum combines a potent complex of actives and an optimal dosage of 10% stabilized Vitamin C to address the visible effects of UV activated hyperpigmentation, age spots and to reduce skin tone imperfections. Works deeper to help protect elasticity, stimulate collagen synthesis and create a shield to protect against environmental aggressors resulting in a strengthened, refined and brightened skin tone. Use to restore a luminous complexion.

CLAIMED BENEFITS:
Works instantly to reveal a brighter, smoother and more luminous skin tone
Clinically proven to reduce pigmentation and brown spots by 39.7%
Clinically proven to brighten skin by 29.4% over 30 days
10% concentration of Vitamin C protects against premature ageing by boosting collagen production and is an antioxidant
Peptide-rich formula helps to control melanin production
Creates a shield against environmental aggressors to protect and strengthen the skin’s barrier function

INGREDIENTS:
Aqua (Water): Solvent.
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate: Anti-oxidant, skin conditioning agent, emollient.
Isoamyl Laurate: Fragrance ingredient, skin conditioning agent, emollient.
Glycerin: May be of animal or vegetable origin. Denaturant, fragrance ingredient, hair conditioning agent, humectant, oral care agent, oral health care drug, skin conditioning agent, skin protectant, viscosity decreasing, solvent.
Propylene Glycol: Fragrance ingredient, humectant, skin-conditioning, viscosity decreasing/controlling. Can be an irritant in concentrations as low as 2%.
Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract: Skin conditioning agent.
Tribehenin PEG-20 Esters: Skin conditioning agent, emollient, surfactant – emulsifying agent.
Acetyl Glycyl Beta-Alanine: AKA GenoWhite. Pigment suppressing, skin brightening agent.
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Skin conditioning agent, occlusive (blocks water loss), viscosity increasing/controlling.
Sodium Lactate: Buffering agent, exfoliant, skin conditioning agent, humectant, keratolytic (removes excess skin, skin thinning).
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: Viscosity increasing/controlling agent.
Azelaic Acid: Fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, buffering, masking.
Phenoxyethanol: Fragrance ingredient, preservative.
Cetearyl Alcohol: Emulsion stabilizer, opacifying (reduces clear or transparent appearance of cosmetics, can hide blemishes) agent, surfactant - foam booster, viscosity increasing/controlling agent, emulsifying.
Sodium Hyaluronate: Derived from animal resources. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in connective tissues such as cartilage. Skin conditioning agent, humectant.
Disodium EDTA: Chelating (used to sequester and decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product) agent, viscosity controlling.
Ethylhexylglycerin: Deoderant agent, skin conditioning agent.
Parfum (Fragrance): The word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Deodorant, masking, perfuming.
Tocopherol: Tocopherols are a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds related to Vitamin E. Anti-oxidant, fragrance ingredient, skin conditioning agent, occlusive (blocks water loss).
Xanthan Gum: Binder, emulsion stabilizer, skin conditioning agent, emulsifying, viscosity increasing/controlling, gel forming.
Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose: Emusion stabilizer, viscosity increasing/controlling, film-forming.
Polyglucuronic Acid: Film-forming, skin conditioning agent, humectant.
Hexyl Cinnamal: Fragrance ingredient, masking.
Potassium Sorbate: Fragrance ingredient, preservative.
Sodium Benzoate: Fragrance ingredient, preservative, anticorrosive, masking.
Lecithin: Naturally occurring lipid found in plants and animals. Skin conditioning agent, surfactant – emulsifying agent, emollient, antistatic.
Linalool: Fragrance ingredient, deodorant, masking.
Butylphenyl Methylpropional: Synthetic scent ingredient, fragrance ingredient, masking.
Benzyl Salicylate: Associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Fragrance ingredient, ultraviolet light absorber, masking.
Citric Acid: Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid used in personal care products to adjust the acidity or promote skin peeling and re-growth in the case of anti-aging products. Citric acid is naturally found in citric fruits and juices, providing the characteristic acidic taste. Chelating agent, fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, buffering, masking.

Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask 5 Pairs of Masks $106.00

CLAIMS:
A gold infused, anti-aging eye treatment mask saturated with a complex of active ingredients to smooth and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Contains collagen, hyaluronic acid and seaweed to brighten dark circles, reduce puffiness and restore hydration. Improves elasticity and firmness around the eye.

CLAIMED BENEFITS:
Contains Nano Gold particles for better penetration to add radiance and luminosity
Diminishes the appearance of puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles with instant results
Can be used as an emergency treatment for a special occasion and to restore radiance to tired eyes

INGREDIENTS:
Water (Aqua): Solvent.
Glycerol: May be of animal or vegetable origin. Denaturant, fragrance ingredient, hair conditioning agent, humectant, oral care agent, oral health care drug, skin conditioning agent, skin protectant, viscosity decreasing, solvent.
Propylene Glycol: Fragrance ingredient, humectant, skin-conditioning, viscosity decreasing/controlling. Can be an irritant in concentrations as low as 2%.
Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract: Skin conditioning agent.
Trehalose: Flavoring agent, humectant, moisturizing.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic Acid is a natural polysaccharide found in connective tissues such as cartilage. A protein found in umbilical cords and the fluids around the joints. Skin conditioning agent, viscosity increasing, antistatic, humectant, moisturizing.
Acacia Senegal Gum: This gum is prepared from the dried sap of the acacia tree, Acacia senegal. Adhesive, fragrance ingredient, film-forming, masking.
Dehydroxanthan Gum: Emulsion stabilizer, film-former, hair fixative, suspending agent, nonsurfactant, viscosity increasing/controlling.
Chondrus Crispus Extract: Skin conditioning agent, viscosity controlling.
Hydrolyzed Collagen: Hydrolyzed Collagen is a hydrolysate of animal or fish collagen derived by acid, enzyme or other method of hydrolysis. It is characterized by a significant level of hydroxyproline residues. Hair/Nail/Skin conditioning agent, antistatic, emollient, film-forming, humectant, skin conditioning.
Synthetic Fluoro Phlogopite: A synthetic mineral based on fluorine, aluminum and silicate. Bulking agent, viscosity increasing/controlling.
Phenoxyethanol: Fragrance ingredient, preservative. Can be irritating to skin, eyes, lungs.|
Rose Damascena Flower Oil: Fragrance ingredient, masking.