Is Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus Worth The Hype?

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus

Despite its cult status and army of loyal followers, I never cared much for Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Why? Its formula was very basic and boring. It just featured a bunch of moisturizing ingredients, like Mineral Oil, preservatives and colorants. That was it. It may have been a good formula in the ’60s, when it was created, but since then things have changed a lot.

Most moisturizers today contain antioxidants, retinoids, sunscreen agents and other goodies for your skin, so a cream that only moisturizes it doesn’t cut it anymore. So, when Clinique decided to reformulate it, I thought, “It was about time!”. But my excitement instantly died the moment I saw the new formula, which is now called Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus.

What Clinique says

Dermatologist-developed formula combines all-day hydration with skin-strengthening ingredients to help skin look younger, longer. Helps strengthen skin’s own moisture barrier by 54%, so more moisture stays in.

FULL INGREDIENTS LIST

Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil, Urea, Lanolin Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 33.

INGREDIENT ANALYSIS

The most important changes in the formula are the inclusion of three humectants – Glycerin, Urea, and Sodium Hyaluronate -, and a new preservative system (parabens were replaced by Trisodium EDTA and Phenoxyethanol). Let’s take a look at these ingredients, shall we?

glycerin molecular structure

GLYCERIN

Glycerin is one of the most common ingredients used in skincare products. It’s a humectant that has the ability to attract water from the environment into the skin. This reduces water loss, increases the skin’s moisture levels and strengthens its natural barrier.

Urea molecular structure

Urea

Urea, like we all know, is a component of urine. Ew! But, luckily, the type used in cosmetics is synthetically made in a lab, so don’t worry . You’re not putting pee on your face. But what does it do? Like Glycerin, it binds water to the skin, reducing water loss, and helping skin stay hydrated.

hyaluronic acid molecular structure

Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium Hyaluronate, aka Hylauronic Acid, has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water! It reduces water loss and increases the skin’s moisture levels, but also has moderate antioxidant activity. Plus, unlike most humectants, it works well in both low and high humidity conditions. That’s why this is considered the best humectant on the market. However, its molecules are too big to penetrate skin. It stays on the surface, keeping skin hydrated and nothing more.

Mineral Oil

Mineral Oil is one of the most maligned and misunderstood ingredients in cosmetics. It is derived from petroleum, but that doesn’t automatically make it bad. Cosmetic grade mineral oil undergoes a refining process that eliminates all the toxins and bad stuff from it, making it safe to use. That means that not only it doesn’t cause cancer, but it is not even comedogenic. Not on its own at least.

Mineral oil is one of the most moisturizing ingredients available. It reduces water loss by forming a protective barrier on the skin that prevents it from evaporating. However, this barrier also traps other ingredients underneath it. If these other ingredients are comedogenic, breakouts can occur. Mineral oil is bad only for people who suffer from acne, but then this lotion is not designed for them.

Phenoxyethanol molecular structure

Preservatives

Despite being among the most effective and gentlest preservatives available, the undeserved bad reputation parabens have been gaining has caused more and more companies to ditch them in favour of less-studied and less-effective alternatives. Here, their place has been taken by Phenoxyethanol and Trisodium EDTA.

Phenoxyethanol is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, while Trisodium EDTA prevents the product from going bad by binding itself to metals that are harmful to it. It’s difficult to say whether they protect from as many bacteria, yeast and fungi as parabens, but at least the opaque, airtight bottle prevents the formula from being contaminated, so the risk of something nasty growing in it is very small anyway.

Final considerations on the formula

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus was created to help dry skin stay hydrated and look plumper. That’s exactly what it does and extremely well too. The formula is certainly very hydrating and can help prevent dryness. However, I’m very disappointed that Clinique didn’t take this opportunity to add some antioxidants or sunscreen agents to the formula. In 2014 (or 2013, when it was reformulated), and especially at this price point, a moisturizer should do more than simply keeping skin hydrated. It should also help skin fight premature aging and give it some protection from the sun and this one doesn’t.

Availbility

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus is available at amazon, boots and sephora. A 4.oz bottle retails at $26.00.

The Bottom Line

If you have dry skin and are looking for a basic moisturizer that will keep your skin soft, smooth and hydrated for hours, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus will do the job very well. However, you shouldn’t expect anything more than that. If you also want to keep premature aging at bay, you’ll have to use a different serum or cream.

Have you tried Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus? If so, how does it work for you?

Product Review: Laviol Organic Bearberry Brightening Moisturizer

laviol bearberry brightening moisturizer

Name: Bearberry Brightening Moisturizer
Brand: Laviol
Size: 50ml
Price: $62.50

From Laviol Organic’s website:
Certified Organic Bearberry Brightening Moisturiser is a light moisturiser providing excellent hydration. It is formulated with organic Bearberry and Mulberry to help reduce the signs of skin dullness, discolouration and lighten age spots and freckles.

What I liked:
- thin, but not runny, lightweight texture
- makes skin soft and smooth
- has antioxidant properties
- temporarily brightens skin
- may help reduce discolouration and age spots
- pleasant fresh scent
- hygienic packaging

What I didn’t like:
- not moisturizing enough for those with dry skin
- it’s unclear if the amount of skin-lighteners in this product is powerful enough to work properly
- the price

Although I haven’t jumped on the organic beauty craze bandwagon (nor I will in the future as I believe there are simply good and bad products, regardless of the origin of their ingredients), I enjoy trying a few natural products every now and then. So, when a few months ago (yes, this review is looong overdue), my friend Tine sent me a sample bottle of the Bearberry Brightening Moisturizer by Laviol, an organic Australian brand, that promises to help brighten skin dullness, discolouration and lighten age spots, I was intrigued.

It’s not easy to formulate a product that effectively treats those issues, and can it be done using only natural extracts? The short answer is maybe. For the long one, you’ll have to keep reading. ;) The brightening moisturizer, which comes in a bottle with a hygienic pump, has a very thin, lightweight, but not runny consistency that spreads easily on the skin and sinks in immediately. However, this also means that it’s not very moisturizing.

While it makes my t-zone soft and smooth for hours, my dry cheeks need a richer lotion, especially during the cold winter months. It is also not that good at keeping oil production under control as, after a couple of hours, shiny patches start to show up on my forehead and nose. Because of this, the formula is better suited to those with normal to slightly combination skin that’s neither too oily nor too dry. But what about its brightening properties, I hear you ask?

Laviol claims they are due to the Bearberry and Mulberry extracts. While research on the latter is very scant, there is some evidence that Bearberry can inhibit melanin production thanks to two of its components: Hydroquinone, one of the most famous and used skin-lighteners in skincare products, and arbutin. Mulberry contains arbutin too, which is why the claim it helps brighten skin comes from. However, neither of these two ingredients are used in very high concentrations, so it’s hard to say whether they actually work.

This brightening moisturizer also contains a third skin-lightening agent, which is used in a higher dose: Liquorice Concentrate. Liquorice roots contains compounds that interrupt the stimulation of an enzyme that activates the production of melanin, which means it can help with discolouration and age spots. I don’t suffer from these problems, so I can’t tell how you how well this moisturizer works at reducing them, but I noticed that, after application, my skin looked brighter. This brightening effect, however, was only temporary.

Both Liquorice and Bearberry extract, just like Green Tea, have antioxidant properties too so, with regular use, they can help to prevent the premature appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, the moisturizer didn’t make me break out, which is something I always dread whenever I try a new skincare product. However, I didn’t see any drastic improvement during the period in which I used this moisturizer. Overall, this is a nice moisturizer for those with normal to combination skin with hyperpigmentation problems looking for a natural alternative. However, a product with Hydroquinone or Kojic Acid would very likely treat these conditions faster and more effectively.

Ingredients:
Green Tea Concentrate, Shea Nut Beeswax, Kelp Concentrate, Liquorice Concentrate, Aloe vera Concentrate, Helianthus Natural Oil*,Bearberry Concentrate, Jojoba Seed Natural Oil, Butter Monostearate, Vegetable Glycerine,Glyceryl Sorbitan and Cetearyl Honey, Olivate Natural Oil, ,Rose Hip Orange Concentrates, Bergamot Essential Oil, Guar Gum*, Mulberry Root Concentrate Powder, Natural Tocopherols. *certified organic

Available at: laviol.com.au

Summary
Laviol Organic Bearberry Brightening Moisturizer is a thin, lightweight moisturizer with antioxidant properties that sinks immediately into the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. However, it’s not moisturizing enough for those with dry skin. The moisturizer also claims to help reduce discolouration and age spots and, while it contain natural extracts with skin-lightening properties, it’s unclear whether they are used in a high enough concentration to work their best. Although I don’t suffer from hyperpigmentation, I noticed a brightening effect after application that, however, only lasted a few hours.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I got a sample of this product as a gift. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Astral Light & Creamy All Over Moisturiser

Name: Light & Creamy All Over Moisturizer
Brand: Astral
Size: 200ml
Price: £4.28

From Astral’s website:
Just like Astral Original, Astral Light & Creamy all-over moisturiser is intensely hydrating. But it has a lighter formulation, milder fragrance and is enriched with soothing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.

What I liked:
- moisturizing, leaves skin soft and smooth for the entire day
- sinks in quickly
- doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind
- jar is huge so the cream will last you for ages
- cheap price

What I didn’t like:
- if you’re prone to breakouts, this may make you breakout

Astral Light & Creamy moisturiser has a lighter formula and a milder, powdery fragrance than its big sister, Astral Original Moisturiser, but it is still very hydrating. The lighter texture means that Astral Light & Creamy sinks faster into the skin (and leaves no greasy residue behind) and is more suitable in the cold winter months.

The formula is very simple and basic, yet effective. One of the main ingredients is Propylene Glycol which acquired a bad reputation when people discovered its MSDS states that it can affect the kidneys, liver and the cardiovascular system. However, the MSDS refers to 100% undiluted concentrations. In cosmetics, Propylene Glycol is used in much lower amounts (usually between 1 and 5%) that are safe. In cosmetics, it is used as an humectant: it draws water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it hydrated.

The moisturiser also features emollients (ingredients that make skin soft and smooth) such as Stearic Acid and Isopropyl Myristate. If you’re prone to breakouts, beware of the latter as it can clog pores. Isopropyl Myrystate is actually one of the few ingredients I can’t use on my face (I have combination skin) because it always makes me break out. But when I use it on my body, where the skin is dry, it keeps it soft and moisturized without giving me even the tiniest zit.

Another ingredient that improves skin hydration is Aloe Vera, which also has soothing properties, can reduce inflammation and help treat psoriasis. As a result, Astral Light & Creamy All Over Moisturiser leaves skin soft, smooth and moisturized for an entire day. And because a little goes a long way, the huge, light-blue jar will last you for ages.

Ingredients:
Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Myrystate, Stearic Acid, Cyclohexasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capryl/Capric Triglyceride, Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Methylparaben, Polyglyceryl-6-Polyhydroxystearate, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Actetate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropane-1,3-Diol, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Trimethoxycaprylysilane, Sodium Hydroxide, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Cinnamyl Alcohol, CI 77891.

Available at: amazon and superdrug

Summary
Astral Light & Creamy All Over Moisturiser is a lighter version of Astral Original Moisturiser. The lighter texture absorbs quickly, doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind and keeps skin soft and moisturized for the entire day. However, it contains an emollient that may clog pores, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those who are prone to breakouts.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link, which means we get a commission when you purchase the item from this link. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support Beautiful with Brains. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Astral Original Moisturiser

Name: Original Moisturiser
Brand: Astral
Size: 200ml
Price: £4.28

From Astral’s website:
The rich, protective formulation of Astral Original cream is the same simple but very effective one it’s always been, with the same main ingredients:
Lanolin is a rich natural moisturiser which binds water to itself, locking moisture in while still allowing the skin to breathe. It’s naturally hypoallergenic and easily absorbed.
Glycerine attracts water into the epidermis, increasing its moisture content. It’s thought of as having a Natural Moisturising Factor for smoother-looking skin.
Together, these renowned moisturisers give mature and very dry skin the nourishment it needs and help protect it by keeping essential moisture in. You can feel it working hours after you’ve applied it.

What I liked:
- very moisturizing, keeps even the driest of skin soft and hydrated
- doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind
- can also be used to remove makeup
- jar is huge so the cream will last you for ages
- cheap price

What I didn’t like:
- if you have combination or oily skin, this will be too rich for you
- because the texture is very rich, it takes a couple of minutes to absorb

Astral has been the go-to all-over moisturizer for generations of women since it was launched in 1950. And in all this time its formulation hasn’t changed. The main ingredients are Glycerin, a humectant that draws water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it hydrated; Lanolin, an emollient that makes skin soft and smooth, prevents water loss and, contrary to popular opinion, has a low allergenic potential; and Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), which is one of the most moisturizing ingredients available.

Unfortunately, because it is derived from oil, Mineral Oil has been getting an undeserved bad reputation. The type of Mineral Oil used in cosmetics, called Cosmetic Grade Mineral Oil, is highly purified, not carcinogenic and not comedogenic. What Mineral Oil does is create a protective barrier on the skin that binds moisture in and prevents water loss. Now if you use products with comedogenic ingredients or you haven’t washed your face and some impurities are left on the skin, then Mineral Oil will trap them in and breakouts may occur. But on its own, it’s perfectly safe.

Does Astral Original Moisturiser contain other comedogenic ingredients? Unfortunately yes. It contains Isopropyl Myristate, which can cause breakouts in some people. Unfortunately I happen to be one of those. This is one of the very few ingredients that always causes trouble for my skin (and this moisturizer gave me a couple of small pimples on my oily chin), but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you either. People with dry skin, which are the ones this moisturizer is aimed to anyway, are very unlikely to experience an adverse reaction to this ingredient.

In fact, although I can’t use this moisturizer on my face, where the skin is combination, it works wonders on my body skin. The skin there is very dry and dehydrated and it’s hard for me to find a cream that keeps it healthy and soft. Astral does. The rich texture glides on smoothly, getting rid of all my dry patches and keeping my skin soft, smooth and hydrated for the entire day. It takes a couple of minutes to absorb but when it does, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. The scent is powdery and a bit old-fashioned, but in a good way. I find it very pleasant.

Oh, and did I mention that it can be used to take off your makeup too? It does so quickly and effectively. Astral says it can be used as an after sun lotion as well but since I don’t sunbathe or spend much time outdoors, I haven’t tested it in this way. However you decide to use it, the cream is packaged in a huge, although not very hygienic, jar that will last you for ages. And the best thing is the price. It is available in 50ml (£1.52), which you can easily carry in your bag with you, 200ml (£4.28) and even 500ml (£8.16)! Overall, I highly recommend it to those with dry and mature skin looking for a cheap but effective all-over moisturizer.

Ingredients:
Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Paraffin, Lanolin, Ozokerite, Lanolin Alcohol, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Myristate, Magnesium Sulfate, Parfum, Propylparaben, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Courmarin, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool.

Available at: boots and superdrug

Summary
Astral Original Moisturiser has a very rich texture that applies easily and moisturizes, nourishes and protects even the driest of skin, leaving it soft and smooth for the entire day. And it can be used to remove makeup too. The cream is very affordable and the jar huge, so it will last you for ages. However, it takes a couple of minutes to absorb and it’s not suitable for those with combination to oily skin.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link, which means we get a commission when you purchase the item from this link. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support Beautiful with Brains. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Name: Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
Brand: Caudalie
Size: 40ml
Price: €21,60

From Caudalie’s website:
This gel-cream has immediate and long-lasting calming properties. It reactivates the skin’s hydration mechanisms and replenishes its water reserves. Skin is left refreshed, hydrated and comfortably soft.

What I liked:
- lightweight texture, absorbs quickly
- very moisturizing, leaves skin soft and smooth for the entire day
- didn’t make me breakout
- tube packaging

What I didn’t like:
- may be too rich for those with oily skin
- although the packaging states “sensitive skin”, it still contains fragrance

Caudalie Vinosource is a plant-based moisturizing range for all skin types (although the packaging says it is especially targeted for those with sensitive skin) which uses extracts derived from grape to hydrate skin. The Moisturizing Sorbet contains three of them: Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice and Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water. But while Grape Extracts have been proven to have antioxidants properties, two of them are pretty far down the ingredient list and the only one present in high concentration is Grape Fruit Water.

Gattefosse, the company that makes it, claims that it “provides the skin with essential nutrients (trace elements, mineral salts and hydro-dispersed essential oils)” and that it is “recommended for moisturizing, nourishing or soothing treatments”. I’m sure that Grape Fruit Water contains some goodies that are beneficial for skin and moisturizes it, but how powerful its antioxidant properties are isn’t clear. I couldn’t find any studies on Grape Fruit Water yet and until I do, I’ll only consider it a nice moisturizer.

Another very hydrating ingredient included in this Moisturizing Sorbet is Shea Butter. Derived from the African shea tree, it is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, and does a great job at moisturizing even very dry skin. A bunch of other antioxidants, like Tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Chamomile, are also present, but in small concentrations. Still, the opaque tube packaging, which is pretty and sleek, will keep them stable.

I was quite surprised to see that the product includes fragrance. While the subtle grape scent is very pleasant, fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients used in cosmetics. Because of this, I don’t think it should have been included in a product targeted to those with sensitive skin. If you have a different skin type, and you’re not prone to allergies, then the fragrance shouldn’t cause problems for you so use it without fear.

Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet has a sorbet-like texture that’s very lightweight, which made me think at first that it wouldn’t hydrate skin well but I was wrong. It absorbs quickly into the skin, moisturizes and soothes it, leaving it soft and smooth for the entire day, without causing breakouts. Also, a little goes a long way, so the tube will last you for a good while. Overall, this is a really nice, although on the pricey-side, moisturizer for dry skin, but it could be a tad too rich for those with oily skin.

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Dicaprylyl Ether*, Glycerin*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract*, Hexyldecanol*, Hexyldecyl Laurate*, Behenyl Alcohol*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Erythritol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopherol*, Lecithin*, Caprylyl Glycol, Mannitol*, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols*, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Sodium Arboxymethyl Betaglucan, Sodium Phytate*, Potassium Sorbate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Homarine Hcl, Glyceryl Caprylate*, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15. *Origine Vegetale.

Available at: amazon, lookfantastic.com and nordstrom

Summary
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet has a lightweight texture that sinks in quickly into the skin, yet is very moisturizing, leaving skin soft and smooth. Suitable for those with dry skin, those with oily skin may find it a bit too rich.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: a sample of this product was in a GlossyBox I purchased with my own money. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link, which means we get a commission when you purchase the item from this link. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support Beautiful with Brains. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Oxy Seaweed Power Deep Calm Balm

Name: Seaweed Power Deep Calm Balm
Brand: Oxy
Size: 50ml
Price: £5.99

From Oxy’s website:
OXY Deep Calm Balm is an oil-free moisturiser. It harnesses the power of natural seaweed to keep skin soft and hydrated, whilst helping to prevent oily skin, spots and blackheads

What I liked:
- lightweight texture, absorbs quickly
- moisturizing, makes skin soft and smooth
- keeps the oil at bay for a few hours
- helps prevents breakouts
- creates a good base for foundation
- sleek and hygienic packaging

What I didn’t like:
- not moisturizing enough for those with dry skin

Last week, I introduced you to the Oxy Seaweed Power skincare range, which uses the power of natural seaweed to prevent oily skin, spots and blackheads. Today, I’ll talk about my favourite product in the range, the Deep Calm Balm. Just like the other products in the line, this moisturizer also comes in a white tube with an image of an algae on it. I really like the packaging, it is sleek and hygienic. The moisturizer itself is white in color and has a subtle, refreshing scent that disappears very quickly.

The texture is quite lightweight and absorbs really quickly into the skin. It makes skin very soft and smooth, and creates a perfect base for makeup, thanks to the blend of silicones it contains. But don’t worry about them breaking you out, they won’t. Not only this cream didn’t make my skin break out, but I haven’t even been getting the odd pimple since I’ve started using this range! In addition, it keeps my skin moisturized all day, and keeps the oil at bay but this only for a few hours. I don’t think it would be moisturizing enough for those with dry skin though, but then this range, although Oxy claims it is suitable for all skin types, was designed for those with oily and acne-prone, not dry skin.

The moisturizer contains Zea Mays Starch, which has absorbent properties and can soak up excess oil, and Lactic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acid derived from milk, that exfoliates skin by dissolving the “glue” that holds the skin cells together, thus allowing them to slough off. This ensures the dead cells aren’t blocking the opening of the pores so that sebum can flow more freely, thus helping prevents breakouts. The moisturizer can also regulate sebum production and inhibit acne bacteria thanks to the combined action of Hydrolyzed Algin, a substance extracted from the membrane skin of brown seaweed, and Zinc Sulfate.

Ingredients:
Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zea Mays Starch, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Panthenol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Isoceteth-10, Parfum, Silica, Zinc PCA, Hydrolyzed Algin, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool, Zinc Sulfate, Butylphenyl Methylproponial, Alpha- Isomethyl Ionone, Pentaerythrityl tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate.

Available at: Amazon and Boots

Summary
Oxy Seaweed Power Deep Calm Balm is a lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly, leaving skin soft, smooth and hydrated. It also helps keep the oil at bay for a few hours and prevent breakouts. The packaging is sleek and hygienic too.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link, which means we get a commission when you purchase the item from this link. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support Beautiful with Brains. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Does Everyone Need To Use A Moisturizer?

We all know the mantra: cleanse, tone and moisturize. But is the last step really necessary for everyone? Contrary to popular belief, no. Not everyone needs a moisturizer. But what is a moisturizer anyway? A moisturizer is a product especially designed to improve the moisture levels of the skin and repair its natural protective layer thus keeping it hydrated and soft. Now, our skin already produces its own moisturizer, which is called sebum, but sometimes this alone just isn’t enough to keep skin naturally moisturized and a moisturizer is needed. But when? And who needs to use to it?

Who doesn’t need a moisturizer

If you have normal skin, then your skin is already producing the right amount of sebum it needs to keep it moisturized and thus, using a moisturizer isn’t really needed. The only exception is when, under extreme environmental conditions (like when the weather is too cold for instance), the skin’s protective barrier gets damaged and skin becomes unable to retain the moisture it needs. In this case, you need a moisturizer to replenish the moisture that’s been lost and repair the skin’s barrier. Those with oily skin too don’t need to use a moisturizer. That’s because oily skin produces too much sebum on its own and, as annoying as that may be, it ensures that your skin already has all the moisture it needs. Using a moisturizer in this case, may make skin worse and greasier, not better.

Who needs a moisturizer

People with combination skin need a moisturizer only on those areas of their face that are dry. That’s usually the cheeks, so they should apply a moisturizer there and skip the oilier T-zone. It’s those with dry skin who need moisturizers the most and it’s mainly for them that these products are designed. Dry skin simply doesn’t produce enough sebum to keep skin naturally moisturized, is often flaky and feels tight. People with dry skin need to use a moisturizer daily to keep their skin in good condition.

Don’t confuse moisturizers with antiaging products

There seems to be a popular belief that moisturizers are formulated to prevent and fight premature aging. That’s not true. Not always anyways. The ingredients that help fight the signs of aging are retinoids, antioxidants and sunscreen agents and most moisturizers on the market either don’t contain them or contain them in concentrations that are too small to be effective. Thus, most of them are just basic formulas that replenish lost moisture and repair the skin’s protective barrier, which are important functions, but not needed by everyone. If you have oily or normal skin, you’d want to skip a moisturizer and invest in a good antiaging serum instead.

The bottom line

Moisturizers are products designed to improve the skin’s moisture levels, and as such they are needed only when skin doesn’t produce enough sebum (its natural moisturizer) on its own. Some people may never need a moisturizer, others may need it only in winter but not in summer, while others may need to slather it on only on some areas of the face and not on others. As a general rule, you should apply moisturizer only when (and where) your skin feels dry, tight and looks flaky. Otherwise skip a moisturizer and only use an antiaging serum instead. You’ll save money and your skin will thank you.

Do you use a moisturizer?

Product Review: Venus Prime Rughe Crema Multivitaminica Idratante ACE Plus

Name: Prime Rughe Crema Multivitaminica Idratante ACE Plus
Brand: Venus
Size: 50ml
Price: €5,20

From the packaging:
Longlasting hydration. Fights first wrinkles and free radicals. Creates a special microclimate on the skin that protects against UV rays, pollution and fluctuations in temperature. Contains a special optic corrector that minimizes first wrinkles and evens out skin imperfections.

What I liked:
- moisturizes skin for hours
- makes skin brighter and firmer
- good formula full of vitamins and niacinamide
- the price

What I didn’t like:
- jar packaging is not hygienic and can compromise the efficacy of the ingredients
- contains bad preservatives
- the smell is horrible

Can I just start this review by saying that I’m shocked that Venus doesn’t have an online website? I mean, it’s 2011 and this Italian brand has been around ever since I can remember and they still don’t have a website?! WTF?! How are people supposed to be up-to-date with all their latest news? Don’t they realize what great opportunity to promote their brand and engage with their fans they’re missing out on?

Now that I got that out of my system, let’s get started with the proper review. Venus Prime Rughe Cream Multivitaminica Idratante ACE Plus (Venus First Wrinkles Multivitaminic Hydrating Cream Ace Plus, what a long name, huh?) is a pale yellowish salmon color and has a lightweight and velvety consistency that spreads easily on the skin and absorbs immediately without leaving any oily or greasy residue behind. It also has a strong and horrible smelly scent that lingers for a while, which I hate, but you get used to it after a while.

The instructions say to apply the cream every morning, but because it contains retinol which is broken down by sunlight, I prefer to use it as a night cream. It could be used during the day too as long as you you wear broad-spectrum sunscreen (which is something you should do anyway). After about a month of use, I can safely say that I’m very happy with how this cream has performed on my skin. When I wake up in the mornings, my skin is still very soft and hydrated. In addition, fines lines appear temporarily reduced while my skin looks brighter and has actually become firmer. Very impressive, especially since the price is so cheap!

The reason why this cream works so well is because of its formula. It is silicone-based but contains Vitamins E and C (Tocopheryl Acetate and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) to fight free radicals and help prevent premature aging, and Vitamin A (Retinol), which is one of the very few ingredients that has been proved to reduce overtime fine lines and wrinkles while also exfoliating skin. In addition, it also contains Niacinamide, which does pretty much everything from hydrating skin to reducing water loss to improve elasticity. And none of them is listed at the very end of the ingredient list so their concentrations are just about enough to do something!

However, I have a major issue with this cream: the packaging. Antioxidants, and Retinol in particular considering it is not a very stable form of Vitamin A, need to be packaged in a tube for them to work properly. These ingredients, when packaged in a jar and are thus exposed to light and air, will degrade overtime and lose their efficacy. So, even though after a month, the jar is still almost full as you need so little, by the time the product runs out, its antiaging benefits may have disappeared. I really don’t understand why companies bother to come up with great formulas if they then comprise them with such horrible packaging.

Another problem I have with the formula is that it is uses Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone as preservatives, which can be irritating. I didn’t experience any negative reactions but still there are milder and still effective preservatives out there that could have been used instead. All in all, though, I think this is a great cream badly packaging. If they changed the jar to a tube I would definitely repurchase but as it is, I’d rather try something else next time.

Available at: Italian supermarkets

Summary
Venus Prime Rughe Crema Multivitaminica Idratante ACE Plus is rich in Vitamins A, C and E and Niacinamide that will hydrate and firm skin, help fight premature aging, make wrinkles and fine lines appear smaller. However, the jar packaging compromises their efficacy overtime. The texture is lightweight and quickly absorbs but the scent is horrible. Because not everyone can tolerate Retinol, I think that considering the price, this cream is an inexpensive way to know if this ingredient can work for you or if it will just irritate your skin. But if Retinol works for you and you’re just looking for a good product that contains it, then you’d be better off with a product packaged in a tube which will keep it stable and effective overtime.

Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: the item was purchased by me for both personal and review purposes. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. For more information, please see my disclaimer.