This lightweight serum boasts of being clinically proven to reduce the kind of wrinkles Botox injections can eliminate, but bareMinerals' clinically proven claim isn't supported with any details of how the results were obtained, so you're left to take their word for it. And remember, this is a company that wants you to believe that "soil minerals" from dirt are your skin's antiwrinkle salvation, so we're not sure why they needed this product anyway if their other ones are supposed to be so miraculous.
The truth is this serum doesn't contain anything that can have Botox-like results or that's capable of making wrinkles look much better, whether they're the result of sun damage or facial expressions. The amount of film-forming agent (think hairspray) can make skin feel a bit tighter and smooth out fine lines, but you can get those benefits from lots of other products.
The formula contains a few intriguing anti-aging ingredients, but they're not unique to this product and not as impressive as those included in lots of products from other lines. Most important, the inclusion of fragrant lavender oil is a deal-breaker, and the reason for the poor rating. See More Info to learn why lavender oil is pro-aging and a problem for all skin types.
For superior products to quickly improve wrinkles, see our list of Best Specialty Products.
- Hydrates skin without feeling heavy.
- Contains a few intriguing anti-aging ingredients such as ceramide and soybean oil.
- Expensive given its unimpressive results.
- Contains fragrant lavender oil, which is a proven skin irritant.
- Cannot adequately replace, or even come close to, the results possible from Botox injections.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Clinically proven to diminish the appearance of forehead wrinkles, brow furrows, crow's feet and frown lines, this potent treatment is created to work on multiple surface layers of the skin.
Water (Aqua/Eau), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Behenyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Tribehenin, Isohexadecane, Batyl Alcohol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate 60, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Polyquaternium-51, Polysorbate 80, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Soil Minerals, Potassium Hydroxide, Ceramide 2, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Trisodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool.
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. The self-proclaimed "healthiest, purest makeup in the world" was founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s, and is now run by Leslie Blodgett, who appears regularly on QVC and the company's own infomercials to support and demonstrate her products. Blodgett is largely credited with turning the line she began into a $150 million business—no small feat. The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skin-care products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
Supporting the company's portrayal as a leader in purity are the corresponding claims that the bareMinerals makeup does not contain fragrance, oil, binders, preservatives, emulsifiers, or any other harmful chemicals. Although this line does have its advantages for someone with sensitive skin, as it turns out, bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it's similar to arsenic, a fact you won't see in any advertising for bareMinerals. However, just as cosmetic-grade mineral oil is not identical to the petroleum from which it originated, neither is bismuth oxychloride identical to bismuth. The bismuth oxychloride used in cosmetics is non-toxic, but this background offers a good example of how skewed a company's definition of "natural" can be.
Aside from the health and purity claims, loose powders are as messy as it gets in terms of your vanity (countertop, not ego) and your makeup bag. The powder just gets all over the place, and the very basic packaging does not do much to minimize the mess. Additionally, while there are softer neutral shades, and some fairly exotic shades as well, most are mildly to extremely shiny and make any amount of crepey skin look more so. The face powder does provide some amount of opaque coverage, but the shine and the thickness can be a bit much. The loose powder eyeshadows and blushes apply in a somewhat lighter way, though they still provide significant coverage. Many women ask me about mineral makeup and whether or not it really is better for skin. The answer to that question is "No."
Although most mineral makeup is innocuous, the texture, appearance, and application have difficulties that make it not comparable to today's best liquid or pressed-powder foundations. We agree with bareMinerals' stance that foundation shouldn't look or feel like a mask, nor should there be a line of demarcation where the application stops. However, their foundations are not the only ones able to achieve this, and there is no inherent benefit to this type of foundation over numerous other options.
There isn't much to say about the skin-care products, but what's worth paying attention to is noted in the At-a-Glance section.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.