06 March 2014

Always Read the Label!

I don't care what skin care guru or makeup artist recommended it. Always read the ingredient labels on the back of a product before purchasing. If you don't know what something means, but it sounds official and chemical and good, look it up. Every time.

I recently went to go purchase this beautiful French face cream that absolutely everyone raves about and just couldn't bring myself to fork out the cash after reading the back of the box.



It's supposedly a miracle product that works for absolutely every skin type, lasts for 24 hours, and looks beautiful under makeup. The company claims that it works great as a primer, a moisturizer, and a make up remover.

The cult following this stuff has is mad. People stock up on it in huge quantities when they come to visit France and beauty artists rave about it. It's users claim that it prevents wrinkles, is amazing on both oily and dry skin, helps prevent pimples, and is a life saver for those with truly sensitive skin.

I'm not going to mention the name of the company in this post, because I feel like this is a product that a lot of people have strong feelings about, and in the end it's what on the inside that counts.

Let's take a look at what's in actually in it:

(note: I've erased a few uninteresting ingredients so that it doesn't look like I'm picking on any specific cream. A lot of creams have similar structures, and I wanted to make this example a bit more generic.)


Water
Paraffinum Liquidum - Mineral Oil
Stearic Acid
Triethanolamine - Balances the PH to make the cream less acidic. Not the best for very sensitive skin.
Cera Alba - Bee's Wax
Cetyl Palmitate
Butyrospermum Parkii - Shea Butter
Steareth-10
Polyacrylamide C13-14 Isoparaffin - More Mineral Oil
Propylene Glycol - Warms up with skin contact and may be allergy inducing for some
Aloe Barbadensis - Aloe Vera
Tropolone
Parfum - Fragrance. A well known allergen.


I know that mineral oil is a controversial topic in the skincare world. It's also cheap, doesn't do much for your skin, and is the second ingredient on this face cream. Companies always list their ingredients in quantitative order, meaning that this face cream is mostly made up of water and mineral oil. In theory, this cream should be super cheap. Unfortunately, the price is inflated.

Obviously it also works efficiently as a makeup remover. Any cream with that much mineral oil and shea butter will remove makeup.


Overall:

Do you see any ingredients in there that are going to prevent wrinkles or zits? Because I don't.

This is an incredibly average, basic cream that has very few long term benefits for your skin, and might potentially cause allergic reactions in those with highly sensitive skin. I tried it and didn't break out, but it didn't do anything special either. It didn't even feel or smell that nice. In my opinion, those $20+ for a very small tube/jar could be better spent on a cream that does more for your skin.

Make your own judgement on whether or not things like fragrance and mineral oil are appropriate for your skin*. But always know what your slapping on your face - especially if your paying a lot of money for it.


Who it might work for:
Makeup artists. It makes for a smooth canvas on the face, because the mineral oil essentially sits on the top layer of skin, forming a barrier that keeps anything from going in or coming out.


*Sidenote: There are two well known skincare gurus online who both claim to be experts.

One claims that mineral oils are the one of the very best things for dry skin ever,
while the other claims that they are just a cheap chemical filler that blocks any nourishing ingredients that a cream might have from penetrating your skin.

Skincare expert #2 thinks that fragrance is an incredibly soothing part of the skin care ritual,
while the other thinks that added fragrance is liquid Satan.


Moral of the Story

Always do a bit of your own research to back up any claims you read on the internet.
Always look up ingredients so that you know what you're really paying for.


.....................................................................

I worry a lot less about the ingredients in cheap make up and skincare. Looking up every ingredient in every product I put on my face would take too long and drive me insane. But if I'm paying good money for something, I want it to do what it says on the bottle. I feel like that's pretty reasonable.

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