bareVitamins Skin Rev-er Upper
2.3 fl. oz. for $21
Category:Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products
Last Updated:05.03.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

bareVitamins Skin Rev-er Upper used to rate as a very good 1% BHA (salicylic acid) product with a pH of 3.5 to ensure exfoliation will occur. It seems the company changed the formula somewhat (or finally listed all of the ingredients) and not for the better. This contains several plant extracts that are a distinct problem for skin, with the biggest offender being arnica. This also contains potentially problematic amounts of ivy and witch hazel and the St. John's Wort (listed by its Latin name of Hypericum perforatum can be a problem if you're not protecting your skin from sun exposure every day. What a shame, because this is no longer a BHA product we can recommend, and there are so few options! Paula's Choice offers a BHA lotion you may want to consider instead, as it is formulated without problematic plant extracts.


Get a more radiant looking complexion by creating a smooth surface for bareMinerals foundation. This product was designed to rejuvenate your complexion like a daily multi-vitamin supplement, when the added benefits off glycolic and salicylic acids to prepare the skin for flawless makeup application every time.


Water (Aqua), PPG-14 Butyl Ether, Cetyl Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Salicylic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Arinica Montana Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy Extract), Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Extract, Vitus Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Mel (Honey) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Bisabolol, Allantoin, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Glycolic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Brand Overview

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; great “100% natural” lipliner; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.

Weaknesses:The mineral makeup has its share of pros and cons and isn't for everyone; several of the loose powder products with shine have a grainy feel and cling poorly; some of the skin care contains problematic ingredients.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Too harsh; made my skin red

The formula feels great as it goes on, but turns my skin red and is very irritating. The redness lasted for about a day. I have to agree with Paula's on this one; it's not worth the money. Try a cleanser for exfoliation rather than something meant to be left on the skin all day.

Reviewed by
Amanda C.
Works great for me

I am 45 and have had clogged pores and fairly oily skin forever...even now, but to a bit lesser extent. Still have the "monthly" breakouts, though. Once I started using this in the AM (under a good sunscreen) and in the evening (under a light night cream) I haven't had one if those breakouts (and they were pretty bad...like, don't want to leave my house bad) since! Miracle! So, I would highly recommend this to anyone to try, if you have combination skin like me. Make sure to use sunscreen!

Reviewed by
Mary H.

My skin absolutely loves this product. I was having problems with clogged pores and black heads and some breakouts so I tried a benzoyl peroxide product and my skin freaked out and became extremely red with small red bumps and the texture completely changed and became rough. This product was the only thing that has helped with all of these issues but didn't irritate my skin further. My skin glows now is much softer and the clogged pores and blackheads are all but gone.

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