Summer has arrived and with the sunshine comes warnings about the damage our skin can suffer. Once we’ve used SPF to protect against sunburn and premature ageing, we then need to try to tackle the dryness that can flare up in warmer months. Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Mask claims to deliver a ‘big gulp’ of moisture to the skin to ‘drown dry skin’s sorrows’. With the company slogan boldly stating that products are powered by nature, proven by science, this is an exciting product for the Beauty Geeks to investigate!

The Claims
Origins mention the “marathon of dehydrating circumstances” that our skin faces on a daily basis (The Geeks couldn’t agree more!) but what do they plan to do about it? They claims their “thirst-quenching Algae Extracts deliver an extra helping of hydration while emollient-rich Apricot Kernel Oil acts like a ‘fountain of youth’” – let’s see what’s behind the bottle!

Algae Extracts
In general, algae extracts are known to contain polysaccharides (large sugar molecules), which behave as H20-loving humectants. These hold on to water to improve levels in the skin. They are also thought to act as hyaluronidase inhibitors (what’s that now?!). Hyaluronidase is an enzyme (a biological busy-body) that degrades hyaluronic acid, a vital natural humectant moisturiser in the skin. By blocking hyaluronidase’s action, more hyaluronic acid will be left to hold on to water and the skin’s moisture will increase! Combine this with the extra hyaluronic acid also contained in this mask and it looks like the product should deliver on the promised burst of hydration!

While there has been research to suggest that algal compounds can even out skin-tone, behave as anti-oxidants and also reduce inflammation, these studies have so far been limited to brown algae. Hypnea musciformis and Gigartina stellata, the extracts specified in the ingredients list, are red algae and so it’s not possible to say for definite whether this product will deliver in these areas.

Plant Oils
Algal extracts are by no means the only natural ingredients in this mask! Origins are quite clearly fans of plant oils: we counted seven in this product! For us, the most interesting are apricot kernel oil (Prunus armeniaca), almond kernel oil (Prunus amygdalas amara) and blackcurrant seed oil (Ribes nigrum). All three of these oils contain linoleic acid, which is important for maintaining the barrier function of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). A study with blackcurrant seed oil showed that its linoleic acid became incorporated with the skin’s natural barrier proteins, to improve their efficiency (woohoo!). With an enhanced barrier, the skin is less susceptible to water loss through the epidermis and can maintain its moisture for longer. We’re happy to see that the product not only replenishes moisture with the algae extracts, it also works as an emollient to trap moisture in the skin. It’s a tick from us for moisture!

Almond kernel oil offers other exciting properties, as it contains a number of minerals like magnesium, copper, phosphorus and zinc. These are all important (in their small quantities in the body) for maintaining health. In order to stay healthy, our skin is in a constant state of repair and renewal. Many processes are controlled by zinc-based enzymes and studies have shown that supplementing the skin with extra zinc can speed up its repair and renewal! Some of these minerals (like zinc) also act as antioxidants (hooray!) and so can also protect against damaging free radicals – the scourge of we Beauty Geeks! Exposure to lots of free radicals over time can cause the skin to age; we’re always happy to see at least one anti-oxidant in a product – but are there more to be found…?

Well it turns out that rice is more than just the perfect partner to a curry – surprisingly it has its place in skincare. Rice bran oil, squeezed from the hard outer husk of rice grains and following research, has been shown to enhance skin hydration, helping to fulfil the product’s promises. It has high levels of antioxidant molecules such as ferulic acid, gamma-oryzanol and phytic acid! We are very happy Geeks!

The Verdict?
Origins have certainly lived up to their tagline: this product truly is ‘powered by nature’ and seems to pack a punch when it comes to its hydrating promises! The skin’s moisture is not only replenished by the humectant algal extracts and hyaluronic acid, but a multitude of plant oils work together to improve the skin’s barrier and prevent future water loss. Dryness can be both resolved and prevented in a ten-minute treatment – a perfect beauty pick-me-up without sacrificing our precious summer time!

To get the Drink Up Mask for yourself, click HERE (for the best price!)

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http://www.beauty.com/origins-drink-up-10-minute-mask-to-quench-skins-thirst/qxp212736
http://www.boots.com/en/Origins-Drink-Up-10-Minute-Mask-to-Quench-Skins-Thirst-3-4oz-100ml_34291/
Exploring the potential of using algae in cosmetics.
Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals
Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging
Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Apricot Seed
Variability of oil content and of major fatty acid composition in almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) and its relationship with kernel quality.
The uses and properties of almond oil.
Common cosmeceuticals
Zinc and skin health: overview of physiology and pharmacology.
Evolution of lipid composition in skin treated with blackcurrant seed oil.
Black currant (Ribes nigrum)
Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Evidence supporting zinc as an important antioxidant for skin.
Antioxidant activities and skin hydration effects of rice bran bioactive compounds entrapped in niosomes.
Image (thank you!): http://www.haimibuy.com/ProduceInfo.aspx?id=629
Water; rose flower water, chamomille flower water, bitter orange flower water, caprylic/capric triglyceride, apricot kernel oil, butylene glycol, squalane, peg-100 stearate, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, isopropyl isostearate, saccharide isomerate, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, bitter orange oil*, black currant seed oil*, bitter almond kernel oil*, rose oil*, shiu/camphor bark oil*, sweet orange oil*, apricot kernel oil*, osmantus absolute flower extract, linalool, limonene, rice bran oil, algae extract, caffeine, hypnea musciformis (algae) extract, gigartina stellata (algae) extract, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, sorbitol, potassium carbomer, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol, chlorphenesin, disodium edta, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben. * essential oil.