Tested on animals:No
Boots' No. 7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil adds to the growing number of face oils on the market, and it has some great ingredients that can definitely benefit your skincare routine if you have dry skin. Unfortunately, Boots also includes some not-so-good components in this oil, and that, coupled with its less-than-ideal packaging, is why it only earns an average rating on Beautypedia.
No. 7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil comes in a clear glass bottle with a dropper dispenser. While the dropper dispenser is a great delivery system for this oil (it makes it convenient to portion out just how much or how little you want to use), the clear glass isn't the best container for this blend, which we'll get to in a moment.
The oil itself is light yellow, and true to Boots' claims, has a very lightweight feel. The texture works well on its own used all over the face, or as an additive to a moisturizer or serum, and it isn't overly greasy (it dries down pretty quickly). There are only two oils contained in this blend, though both are great. Jojoba oil can help enhance skin's barrier repair properties and ability to heal from damage, and rosehip oil has antioxidant properties (Skin Research and Technology, 2012, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2011, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 2000, and Journal of Food Nutrition, 2002). Boots also included additional antioxidants like vitamin E (listed as tocopherol acetate), vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), and vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate).
The problem is that with the clear glass bottle, these beneficial ingredients are routinely exposed to light, and antioxidants in particular break down in the presence of light and air. For this oil to have its maximum antioxidant benefit, it would have to be stored out of direct light and only brought out when you're ready to apply it.
Even if this did have better packaging, it contains a couple of ingredients that aren't good for skin. Alcohol is the fifth ingredient listed here, and while it does help give this oil its lightweight feel and relatively quick dry down time, it's also potentially drying at this amount—which is the opposite of what you want in a moisturizing face oil! See More Info for details on why alcohol is a problem in skincare products, especially those used on a daily basis.
The second problematic ingredient here is fragrance. A perfume-like scent is apparent as soon as you open the bottle, and for several minutes after you apply this oil, it lingers. Fragrance actually comes higher on the ingredient list than many of the good ingredients, like the previously mentioned vitamins A and C, and it can be an irritant. See More Info for additional details on why fragrance is be a problem for skin, particularly sensitive skin.
If Boots' No. 7 Youthful Replenishing Oil had skipped these two ingredients and chosen better packaging, it would definitely have earned a higher rating. As it stands though, it's only average, and doesn't get our enthusiastic endorsement. We recommend instead one of the better options on our list of Best Face Oils.
- Lightweight oil works well on its own or mixed into other products.
- Contains beneficial jojoba and rosehip seed oils.
- Contains antioxidants vitamin E, A, and C.
- Clear glass bottle isn't the best packaging for the beneficial ingredients.
- Contains an iffy amount of potentially-drying alcohol denatured.
- Has a strong fragrance that lingers.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Alcohol helps ingredients like retinol and vitamin C penetrate into the skin more effectively, but it does that by breaking down the skin's barrier—destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012 and Journal of Hospital Infection, 2003).
A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).