Sunday, February 19, 2012

Phyto Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask Review

Over the years I have used many hair products by Phyto, so I thought that I would revisit the brand on my last Sephora visit. One of the things that I found most interesting was the Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask in large part because I have naturally curly hair that can be dry and can easily become frizzy with little encouragement.

This hair mask was specifically formulated to "tame unruly, frizzy, and rebellious locks" so it seemed like a good choice to antidote my stubborn tresses!

Phyto suggests,
This smoothing mask has a velvety texture to help you achieve perfectly smooth, soft, and supple hair. Get up to 72-hours frizz control, rain or shine, with its fast-acting, silicone-free formula. Rich in pine pulp, this mask effectively straightens and smooths unruly hair. Red and brown algae provide restructuring properties while apricot kernel oil intensely hydrate and nourish the hair fiber for a sleek, silky result.

After using this a few days in a row here are my observations: I applied it at the beginning of my shower and rinsed it out at the very end (about 5 minutes). I noticed that it was a bit hard to rinse out without leaving behind an oily residue, but since I have dry curly hair that didn't bother me since that potentially translates to more moisture. Generally it is very hard to get a brush or a comb through my wet hair without the aid of a leave-in conditioner, or some type of emollient styling/treatment product- so I intentionally avoided this step to see what would happen. Much to my surprise, I was able to brush my hair without any additional help- so the extra slip from this product was definitely helpful in that regard. I let my hair dry naturally, and without any coaxing it fell into nice ringlets, with minimal frizz- but not entirely frizz-free. Phyto claims that this product is intensely hydrating- which may be true for people who don't have dry curly hair, but for me it's not terribly hydrating or moisturizing. In fact my hair feels a little bit dry, and definitely not sleek and silky. While I really love many of the products that Phyto makes this one is a miss for my dry curly hair. Many people swear by this product, but I suspect that their hair is probably less dry and curly than mine. I love the concept, but it just didn't do quite enough for my hair. I would suggest trying it for yourself, but if you have hair like mine I would ask for a sample before buying it.

Suggested use: For fine to medium hair: After shampooing, apply a small amount to damp hair from lengths to ends. Rinse immediately. For thick to coarse hair: After shampooing, apply a small amount to damp hair from lengths to ends. Leave on for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Ingredients: Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Zea Mays (Corn Germ Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived From Coconut Oil), Glycerin, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol (Derived From Coconut Oil), Water / Aqua, Distearyldimonium Chloride (Derived From Rapeseed Oil) Ceteareth-33 (Derived From Coconut Oil), Isopropyl Alcohol, Ricinoleamidopropyltrimonium Methosulfate (Derived From Castor Oil), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Stearic Acid, Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-70 (Pine Pulp Extract), Alaria Esculenta Extract, Polyquaternium-10 (Derivated From Cellulose), Hypnea Musciformis Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Dodium Benzoate, Sodium Salicylate, Xanthan Gum, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten Extract, Polyacrylamide, Tocopherol, c13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Methylisothiazolinone, Phosphoric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Botanical & Natural Origin.

Formulated without:  Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, Triclosan 

Overall assessment: While I am a huge fan of Phyto products, this particular product isn't moisturizing enough for my naturally dry curly hair. If your hair is particularly dry and curly ask for a sample and try it out before committing to a full jar. 

6.7 oz. $38.00 at Sephora and Nordstrom


  1. I missed your blog :) I just got back from vacation. Thanks for this review! I think I will pass on this...I hate hair products that make me feel like I did not wash everything out or it leaves a oily/greasy feeling behind...makes me want to wash it all over again!

    1. Welcome back from vacation! Where did you go? Did you have a great time!! I missed our chats! I was not thrilled by the Phytolisse mask- after using the three products that I bought my hair looked more dry- oddly enough (the shampoo was fine, but this and the spray leave in conditioner were misses for me). I have used many of the Phyo products over the years and never had that problem before!! Some people really like this mask, but it just didn't work for me!!

  2. I went to San Diego, CA. I was born there and have not been there for so long. It was fun. I went to the zoo and Sea World :) It was a nice break from work and nice to get away from the Seattle rain!

    Have you heard about their new line - Phytokératine? I am kind of intrigued. I want to try the serum. The reviews on Sephora were pretty good.

    1. I'm so glad that you had a nice time in San Diego. I haven't been there in a long time either-- and LA is so close to SD. What a huge weather adjustment you had to make from SD to Seattle!

      The salesgirl at Sephora said something about Phytokératine, and I can't remember whether they had it in stock or not (as you recall I had birthday haul fever- so I think I was operating under a certain degree of tunnel vision and sensory overload since I was going nuts with NARS and Illamasqua that day). I just read about Phytokératine and I'm a bit intrigued too. I think that I will ask for samples next time because my last Phyto purchases were a bust (except the Phytonectar shampoo).

      I was surprised to see that Sephora stopped carrying René Furterer haircare products. The sales associate told me that Phyto and René Furterer are made at the same facility in France, and I actually was hoping to get René Furterer's Karité Shampoo & mask. Have you tried anything from René Furterer? My mom, sister & I used this stuff for years-- and I loved it so much!

    2. You live in LA? I have been meaning to go there for awhile. Shopping there would be fun!

      I was looking into René Furterer a few months ago. But when I checked Sephora last month I could not find it. I wonder why it got pulled? Did you like it better than Phyto?

      Thanks for the link. They have salons close to where I live. I have been looking for a good hair mask to use. I like my Shu products but I don't want to spend too much on a hair mask.

    3. I do live in LA. Shopping is insanely good here-- one has to be very smart-- otherwise you could go broke very fast!!

      That's so cool that you know about René Furterer products-- it's just not so mainstream that it's well-known by all! I have no idea why they pulled it from Sephora, and the salesgirl there couldn't tell me why either. She was bummed that it was gone as well. I actually do prefer it to Phyto. The Carthame and Karite lines are so great for curly hair like mine- there are a few places that I can get it in LA, but liked the convenience of somewhere like Sephora, Nordstrom or Barneys-- and none of them seem to have it.

      There are two other lines of haircare products that I'm CRAZY about: Oribe & Davines

      You can get both of these lines at lots of stores and online-- I have gotten them both at Barneys.

      Davines's Love Shampoo & Conditioner are fabulous, and Oribe's Signature Shampoo and Conditioner is fantastic. I recently finished up my Davines shampoo and conditioner and have currently been using the Oribe. Oribe's signature Moisture Masque is awesome, but it's $59.00 for 5.9 oz which basically puts you back into Shu prices! We have some expensive vices!

  3. I have been intrigued by Oribe and Davines too! Especially, Davies. There packaging looks fun and different. I really want to try it out.

    The last hair mask I tried was from Ojon. I got a sample of it from Sephora but did not like it all, especially the smell. It kind of smelled like smoke? a very strong smell. And while I was drying my hair, it felt like I didn't get all of the product out...I hate that. Too bad cause it got really good reviews.

    For some reason I am leaning towards the Oribe's signature Moisture Masque. There is a Vidal Sassoon a few blocks from my work, I think I saw Davines being sold there?

    To add to my list, I am curious about Rahua. I have seen it at Barneys but never asked about it.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I actually just started getting into hair care. I used to use just drug store brands but was not happy w/the results.

    It would be so much fun to go shopping w/you! I think we would get each other into trouble :]

    1. I really like Davines and Oribe a great deal. I will definitely get more Davines shampoo and conditioner again. They also have a more natural line that I haven't tried yet. I have also been pleased with their styling products and deep conditioners.

      It's funny the day that i bought the Phyto stuff from Sephora the sales associate that was helping me told me that she hated the way that Ojon smelled despite the fact that she liked how it made her hair feel and look (she said that her hair smelled like cigar smoke after).

      Oribe's Moisture Masque is awesome- I suspect that you will like it. I wouldn't be surprised if you saw Davine's at Vidal Sassoon-- I have seen it at numerous hair salons.

      The only Rahua products that I have tried were the freebies in the Barneys gift bag, but it was a volumizing formula which is all wrong for my dry curly hair. Next time you are in Barneys ask for some samples.

      Good quality hair care products really seem to make a difference for me. I suspect that here are some good drugstore brands out there, but I just haven't done much experimenting.

      I suspect that we would definitely enable scary spending if we were to go shopping together!

  4. Yes, that is the smell that I had - cigar smoke!

    Now I can't decide which I want to try! I think Rahua is out though because I have thick hair and don't need any volume. Plus, the bottle look so small.

    I think I will give Oribe a try first. I have asked for samples from Sephora for shampoo/conditioner and maybe Barneys will be different cause the samples I got from Sephora were a joke! Too much hair and not enough of product!

    1. Yeah, it would drive me nuts if I had to smell cigar smoke hair all day-- too bad because the products are supposed to be so good.

      Rahua also has "Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner" that doesn't appear to be volumizing- so it might be worth trying samples to see if it works for you.

      Oribe has a nice selection of products, and I really like the quality a great deal. Samples are definitely worthless if there isn't enough to get one full application!


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