Tested on animals:No
Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream won’t rescue your complexion unless it’s dry and in need of moisture, so the first thing to keep in mind is that despite the ballyhoo heralding this product’s arrival, it’s essentially a tinted moisturizer. It just happens to be a very good one that provides gentle, mineral-based sun protection, and handily earned our highest rating!
What makes this fragrance-free formula so great isn’t the mineral water and impressive-sounding “215% increase in skin’s hydration after just one week” claim (more on that in a moment). Rather, this tinted moisturizer is wonderful for normal to dry skin because it moisturizes, provides anti-aging sun protection, and adds radiance while providing sheer, natural-looking coverage to enhance already-great skin. This isn’t the product to consider if you need moderate to full coverage, but that’s not a ding; rather, it’s a hallmark of tinted moisturizers, which traditionally provide sheer, translucent coverage.
The formula’s lovely gel-cream texture applies easily, setting to a satin-like dewy finish that adds a healthy glow. The finish is too moisturizing for those with combination or oily skin, though if you have slightly oily skin you may find it workable—but have some powder ready for the shine-prone areas. This is worth trying if you have breakout-prone skin that’s also dry, and it is also well suited for sensitive skin.
As for the claim of boosting hydration by 215%, bareMinerals seems to be referring to the mineral-infused water in this product. As the story goes, they “reverse engineered” a standard tinted moisturizer formula so the water is the first thing to touch your skin. The problem? It’s not with the science behind the formula, but the claim; if the water is what’s responsible for the huge jump in hydration, that’s not good! Why? Skin actually doesn’t like or need a lot of water to be hydrated. In fact, too much water is bad for skin, as it begins to break down the intercellular matrix, which are the substances (like ceramides) that keep skin healthy, smooth, and intact.
Thankfully, this tint moisturizes skin not with water (which really isn’t all that moisturizing, minerals or not) but with proven emollients and water-binding agents such as propanediol, trehalose, and squalane. Those ingredients, not the mineral water, are what makes Complexion Rescue feel so smooth, moisturizing, and, yes, comforting over dry skin. But admittedly, the mineral water makes for a better story!
bareMinerals offers a very good range of warm to neutral shades, with options for fair (but not porcelain) to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. The only shade to be careful with is Suede, which tends to dry too pink. The shades marked as “Cool” do tend to be a cool (pink-based) but have enough warmth (gold tones) so they still look natural.
- Elegant, gel-cream texture smoothes and hydrates dry skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Natural-looking coverage highlights rather than hides skin.
- Very good range of shades for most skin tones.
- Contains some intriguing plant-based antioxidants.
- Exaggerated marketing claims.