I absolutely love trying out different skincare products and techniques, and so when I ran out of my favorite lotion (which was too expensive for me to buy a new bottle), I was pretty excited to go out looking for something new. I picked up this product for about $9 during a trip to Walgreens with my mom, and I have been using it twice daily for almost a month now.
I really enjoy the little bottle and the cucumber green shade of this lotion but beyond that, my feelings are a bit mixed.
My skin is fairly sensitive, and while a “breakout” for me usually consists of one or two zits, the nasty little buggers seem to be set off so easily. The first few days of using this lotion caused a good bit of skin irritation for me–my skin got itchy and red, I broke out in a few places, and the dry spots that tend to show up under my eyes became worse. I soldiered on, however, and decided to keep trying for at least a week.
To my surprise, after the first few days, my skin calmed down significantly. After a week of use, my complexion cleared up, my skin tone became more even than it has been in awhile, and the little lines that have run between my nose and my mouth since high school were almost completely gone. On top of that, the gel consistency of the lotion is really lovely to put on–it provides a cooling effect on contact, and leaves my skin looking dewy and bright immediately after application.
That being said, I’m still not a hundred percent sold on this lotion. I don’t like the way my skin feels when it’s on–chalky almost. I also don’t like how much I have to use for the lotion to have any moisturizing effect. The amount on my finger (shown above) is how much I use per application, and I generally have to re-apply it several times a day. I also prefer pump dispensers to jars because the product is better protected from the air and whatever grime happens to be on my fingers when I dip in.
After breaking down all of the different ingredients in this product, I am a little more hesitant about giving it a green light. I’ll be honest, I don’t know that much about skincare yet. Which means you get to make this journey with me! There is so much information out there about what is good for your skin and what isn’t. Most of these ingredients have bad reviews from numerous “natural beauty” sites, because they are mostly synthetic chemicals. I’d rather not fall onto the natural beauty bandwagon without doing my own research, however. So for now, I’m not going to tell you whether these items are good or bad. Rather, I just want to focus on what they do and what they are. As my own understanding of skincare increases, I’ll begin to feel better qualified to actually decide whether something should be used or not.
Aqua/Water: This particular product is water-based, which means it is lighter and less likely to clog pores than its oil based sisters. Remember, however, that the first ingredient on the list is always present in the largest quantity–which means that your expensive lotion that you just shelled out the big bucks for could be up to 70% water (or even more). How encouraging, right?
It is also important to remember that water on the skin can be rather drying. This is because the water evaporates from the skin quickly–sometimes taking your natural oils with it. For this reason, water-based skin products are best for people with normal or oily skin.
Glycerin: According to the skincare site, Paula’s Choice, “glycerin is present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable. It can be derived from natural substances by hydrolysis of fats and by fermentation of sugars; it also can be synthetically manufactured.”
Glycerin is a humectant, according to Livestrong.com, which means that it attracts water and helps keep moisture in the skin.
Alcohol Denat.: Also known as “denatured alcohol” or “SD alcohol,” this ingredient is a water-like alcohol that dissolves surface oil on the skin, but also can be very drying because it evaporates so quickly, according to justaboutskin.com.
Dimethicone: A silicon based polymer that is supposed to help protect the skin and keep in moisture. This ingredient is what gives the moisturizer it’s smooth, gel-like texture. It is also probably what creates the “chalky” feeling on my skin that I wasn’t a fan of. Most of the articles I found about it online were not positive, however, mainly because it can exacerbate acne and prevents your skin from breathing.
Isononyl Isononanate: This ingredient is “a synthetic ester [think chemistry] that functions as an emollient skin-conditioning agent,” according to Paula’s Choice. An emollient is a skin care agent that makes the skin softer and more pliable.
Carbomer: According to cosmeticsinfo.org, “carbomer is a term used for a series of polymers primarily made from acrylic acid. The carbomers are white, fluffy powders but are frequently used as gels in cosmetics and personal care products.” This ingredient helps to suspend an insoluble solid within a liquid.
Dimethiconol: Similar to Dimethicone. See Cosmetics Info.
Chlorphenesin: This ingredient is a preservative and also helps prevent microorganisms from growing in the product on on the skin, according to cosmeticsinfo.org.
Caprylyl Glycol: According to truthinaging.com, “[Caprylyl Glycol is] a humectant and skin conditioning agent that lends moisturization, emollience and wetting properties to many cosmetic solutions. It also function as a stabilizer and has been shown to increase the antimicrobial activity of other preservatives.”
Sodium Hydroxide: The scientific name for lye, this ingredient is highly corrosive in large concentrations. Gross. In skincare it is used to hold the pH of a product, according to Paula’s Choice.
Vitis Vinifera Extract/Grape Fruit Extract: This ingredient is obtained from grapes (obviously), and is used as an antioxidant. It also functions as an antimicrobial and light stabilizer, according to Cosmetics Info.
Xanthan Gum: Like in baking, Xanthan Gum is used as a thickener in skincare products.
Tetrasodium Edta: According to Cosmetics Info, “Disodium EDTA and the related ingredients bind to metal ions which inactivates them. The binding of metal ions helps prevent the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products. It also helps to maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity.” I also found, on Bubble and Bee, that this ingredient is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide, which seems a bit sketchy to me.
Tocopheryl Acetate: This is a synthetic form of vitamin E.
Ascorbyl Glucoside: According to Paula’s Choice, this is a form of vitamin combined with glucose. It is used as an antioxidant and a skin brightener.
Menthoxyisohexl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde: This is a synthetic fragrance compound. Fragrances can cause skin irritation for some people. According to cherylin.co.uk, the scent of this compound resembles that of Lily of the Valley (my favorite flower!).
Butylphenyl Methylpropional: This is another synthetic fragrance compound with a strong floral scent. It is a known skin irritant.
CI 19140/Yellow 5: A synthetic, petroleum based dye.
CI 42090/Blue 1: A synthetic, water-soluble, blue dye.
Parfum/Fragrance: According to ewg.org, “The word ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals.”
Phenoxyethanol: A common skincare preservative that is considered one of the safer preservatives world-wide and does not release formaldehyde, according to Paula’s Choice.
Have any of you ever used this skincare product before? What are you opinions? Do you have any thoughts on the ingredient list? Let me know in the comment section below!