This eye cream contains some great ingredients, yet none of them are special or unique for the eye area, and that includes the allegedly miraculous “soil minerals”. More of a fancy way to describe dirt, soil minerals most likely cannot penetrate skin as the molecular structure of the minerals is simply too large. But even if they could penetrate, what good would that do? Minerals require enzymes and other substances in the body in order to work—just adding them to an eye cream isn’t going to make your wrinkles, dark circles, or puffiness retreat.
Considering how much Bare Escentuals hypes their soil minerals, it’s interesting to note they haven’t pointed to any research proving why this complex is so amazing. Instead, we get consumer use studies of the products, yet this type of information is rarely helpful, despite seeming so.
Despite the lush, emollient texture of this eye cream, it makes two errors that cannot be overlooked. The first is jar packaging. The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients (which this eye cream contains) break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
The other issue that truly puts your skin at risk is the inclusion of lavender oil. 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. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, but is fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
In the end, we know it’s hard to believe, but the truth is, most eye creams aren't necessary. If you’re using a well formulated facial moisturizer and/or serum that’s loaded with anti-aging ingredients, these can and should be used around the eye area, too—no need for a separate product.
Hydrate the eye area with this moisturizing cream that diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Powered by our ActiveSoil Complex, this formula revitalizes skin and boosts moisture leaving the delicate eye area looking revived, refreshed and luminous.
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Glycerin, Propanediol, Saccharide Isomerate, Cetyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Soil Minerals, Colloidal Gold, Ceramide 2, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Dipeptide-11, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-18, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Scutellaria Alpina Flower / Leaf / Stem Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Polygonum Fagopyrum Seed Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Hydrolyzed Rhizobian Gum, Caffeine, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, PEG-8, Linalool, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenylpropanol, Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate
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.