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Dr Sebagh deep exfoliating mask is by far the most expensive skincare product I have ever purchased. I noticed the pot of orange goo in a Space NK Christmas book a couple of years ago and was having major skin problems at the time (acne and scarring) so I actually bought it out of desperation if I'm honest. I'd never tried Dr Sebagh products before, I'd read reviews on them and had spotted them on top 100 best beauty product lists in magazines but never took the plunge and purchased anything from the line due to the high price tag on items in the range.
About Dr Sebagh
Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh is a French Doctor and plastic surgeon who is known as the king of botox. He worked in Paris rebuilding cancer and burns victims faces for around 15 years before he started traveling to London every few months to visit a select group of fans with injectables (fillers and botox). The fans gradually grew and in 1997 Sebagh set up a surgery in London to cater for his clients, some of the worlds most famous faces. Dr Sebagh developed his range of products called The Meaningful Beauty skin care line after one of clients; Cindy Crawford requested at home versions of his treatments. The line was introduced in 2005 and consists of a range of different highly active products to treat skin problems such as wrinkles and acne.
What is Deep exfoliating mask?
It's a mask aimed at exfoliating the dead layers of skin for faster cell turnover and reducing pigmentation, acne scars and melasma and at the same time reducing sensitivity and redness. It's designed to clean and exfoliate pores, to moisturise skin and contains anti bacterial ingredients. The key ingredients are Lactic acid, Azelaic Acid and Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3.
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that's obtained from milk and it works by helping to dissolve dead skin cells and by moisturising fresh new skin cells.
Azelaic acid is a yeast found on normal skin and is known to be effective against a number of different skin conditions. It can be used to treat mild to moderate acne and works by preventing the growth of acne causing bacteria. Azelaic acid is also used as a topical treatment for rosacea in products such as Finacea gel due to its inflammatory reducing capabilities.
Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 stimulates the skins matrix and improves collagen and elastin levels which reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It has been found to be as effective as retinol in dealing with wrinkles and skin damage caused by sun exposure but without the side effects such as peeling or red skin.
Cost and availability
Dr Sebagh products are available from quite a few different online retailers although the price still seems to be about the same wherever you choose to buy from. I purchased mine from Space NK at the time and it cost me £52.00 for a 50ml jar. The mask is also available from beautybay.com, beautyexpert.co.uk, Liberty and mankind as well as being available in department stores such as John Lewis, Harrods and Selfridges. The price seems to be about the same (£52.00) at all the above stores except for beautybay where it's priced at £50.00.
There is also a sensitive version of the product available which as the name suggests is aimed at more sensitive skins and this is priced the same as the original.
The mask came packaged in a quite a large white box and inside it was an instruction leaflet and the small 50ml jar of product. The jar is made from quite thick transparent glass which means the orange product can be seen within and has the Dr Sebagh name on the front in black font and the usual info such as size, what the product is and a company address printed in various locations around the tub. The lid is made from a matte, black plastic and is almost the same width as the jar. A plastic spatula was also included in the box.
Although the packaging is quite plain there is something very appealing about it. The jar feels quite heavy and expensive and the simplicity of the design makes it feel like a professional skincare product. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I am not a fan of jars and much prefer products to be packaged in tubes due to hygiene reasons but I can live with the jar as long as the product inside does what it's supposed to. I have found the spatula has been quite useful for dispensing the mask and avoids me sticking my fingers in to the product and has also prevented me from wasting any too.
How to use
The mask is supposed to be used once or twice a week on clean, dry skin and the instructions advise to leave it on for 5-10 minutes depending on how sensitive your skin is. First time users are instructed to leave the mask on for just three minutes the first time they use to avoid irritation. I decided to ignore this advice the first time I tried it believing that I'd see results quicker if I went straight for the full ten minutes and what I was left with was a very pink and irritated face so I recommend following the advice on the box as it's definitely there for a reason.
The actual mask is a semi transparent, bright orange colour that smells quite strongly of peach, a fragrance that I'm personally not a fan of. The texture is very soft, quite thick and has a quite a bit of slip to it, this makes it easy to apply and massage into skin. I find an amount slightly smaller than a pea is enough to cover my entire face in a very thin layer of product carefully avoiding the eye and lip area. The mask feels quite thick as it's being applied but warms up as I apply to skin which makes it easy to spread.
The product feels quite comfortable for the first five minutes or so but starts to tingle and sting a little bit towards the end of the ten minutes which is a little bit uncomfortable sometimes but definitely bearable. The mask never actually dries or changes throughout the ten minutes and because the product stays transparent with just a hint of orange I'm able to see my skin underneath the product which also starts to look a bit pink before I wash it off. If you have sensitive skin I would recommend only using the mask for five minutes or you could of course go for the sensitive version which is now available.
When the ten minutes is up you're supposed to wash off the product with clean, tepid water. I normally add a little bit of water to my face and massage it into the product first which makes it a lot easier to remove although it's a quicker to remove than clay based masks. After I've finished massaging and have rinsed the majority of the product off, I tend to take any missed bits or bits that are close to sensitive areas with a soft, wet washcloth and pat my face dry with a soft towel.
After using my skin does feel a little bit irritated and in need of moisteriser so I apply my normal moisteriser (Peter Thomas Roth oil free) immediately after I've dried my face. I find whatever product I use absorbs in to my skin rapidly, the irritated feeling subsides quickly and my face is left soft, incredibly smooth and hydrated although still slightly red. The pinkness normally lasts for most of the evening after I've used the mask but calms down overnight and in the morning I am left with even, smooth and glowy looking skin.
I noticed an immediate difference in my skins texture and pores felt cleaner after the first use. After using the product on a weekly basis over a period of a couple of months I really started seeing a difference in marks and scarring form previous break outs and I also noticed a big improvement in the amount of blemishes I was getting. I also found the mask did an excellent job at drying existing spots and prevented those pesky purple marks or scars appearing after the blemish had healed.
After continued use my skin generally looked a lot more even and refined than it did before I added the mask in to my routine and I felt pores looked less noticeable too. Overall I am really pleased with what the Dr Sebagh product has done for my skin and I'm impressed with the positive affects it has had on pigmentation, texture and redness.
Is it really worth the huge price?
I really do want to say no because the stuff is so pricey but I feel it works wonders and would thoroughly recommend the mask to anyone who has scarring, pigmentation, blocked pores or dull skin. The product definitely does what it promises and it's the only face mask I've purchased that has made a real difference to my skin.I know the initial cost of the product is really quite high but I estimate I get around 50 uses from a 50ml jar so cost per use is actually quite low. In fact each use works out about the same or a few pence more than a Montagne Jeunesse sachet of mask which are quite cheap but pretty ineffective on my skin.
If you're looking for a product that gives serious results then I highly recommend you give Dr Sebagh a go. I have repurchased the mask and will continue to do so as long as it works its magic.