04.02.2015
2
2
Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $65
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:04.02.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

There's limited research indicating that probiotics are helpful for skin, but at least there's potential. They're certainly helpful when ingested, but skin-care products aren't meant to be ingested and your skin can't digest food (like probiotic-rich yogurt), so that leaves you with a lackluster moisturizer that's needlessly expensive. In no way does this product exfoliate skin as claimed either, because probiotics are not exfoliants. This contains plant oils and thickeners that are inappropriate for blemish-prone skin. If you have acne and your aesthetician recommends this product, … run, don't walk, run … to another aesthetician, or better yet, to a dermatologist or www.beautypedia.com to find products with ingredients that have substantiated research proving they are effective and that don't contain any problematic ingredients.

Claims

Epicuren Discovery and Natren Inc, world-renowned researcher of cultured probiotic lactobacillus Acidophilus, have combined their efforts to create a mildly exfoliating skin cream to address blemish-prone skin. Helps to calm and restore the healthy flora to the skin.

Ingredients

Deionized Water, Octyl Palmitate, Lactobacilli Extract, Safflower Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Extract Of Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Butylene Glycol, Glycerine, Vitamin E Acetate, Horsetail, Cucumber, Chamomile, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Vitamin A Palmitate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben

Brand Overview

Epicuren At-A-Glance

Strengths: All of the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection; one good sunscreen; a skin-lightening product with arbutin; excellent eye-makeup remover.

Weaknesses: Expensive; most products come in very small sizes; mostly problematic cleansers and scrubs (no line needs this many scrubs); Epicuren often fails to disclose ingredients accurately, which violates FDA regulations; irritating anti-acne products; several products contain irritating ingredients; similar moisturizer formulas despite wide variances in price; irritating AHA products due to unusually low pH levels; use of gimmicky ingredients, including colostrum, placenta, and noni juice; lip balms with sunscreen contain menthol.

You may have come across this brand while visiting a spa, but like many spa-designed products the claims are far more impressive than the formulas, and it's here that Epicuren Discovery takes the cake! They make some of the most farfetched claims and poorly formulated products the cosmetics industry has to offer.

Promising "a highly effective path to aesthetic improvement" along with an ageless complexion, it's no wonder Epicuren has stimulated so many questions from our readers. It's hard to resist the allure of a line like this, especially when you're being told about the products from well-meaning aestheticians who've just spent the last hour doting on your face.

At the heart of Epicuren is the company's exclusive (always exclusive, isn't it?) enzyme protein complex. They refer to this complex as the Metadermabolic Enzyme and describe it as "a protein that is combined with a waterborne solution of B vitamins to create a protein with intelligence." They claim it encourages your skin to rejuvenate itself, and they actually equate it to how exercise encourages your metabolism. Talk about nonsense! As you might have guessed, there is no research to back any of this up!

Whatever the company wants to call their complex, enzymes, whether from a protein or other substance, aren't extraordinarily beneficial ingredients for skin. They're notoriously unstable and certainly not likely to withstand the environmental exposure inherent to jar packaging, which Epicuren occasionally uses. As for the B vitamins, they show up in most Epicuren products, but they are used throughout the rest of the cosmetics industry as well. More to the point, no single group of vitamins or enzymes is capable of providing skin with everything it needs to repair itself, reduce inflammation, and become better able to withstand the factors that cause aging or the effects of aging.

Most notable is what Epicuren products lack. They come up short on antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients. Skin, just like your diet, needs far more than a few beneficial ingredients. As the largest organ of the body, your skin requires a complex array of substances to keep it healthy and acting younger.

Even more shocking is Epicuren's blatant disregard for both FDA-mandated ingredient disclosure as well as global regulations. Product after product lists either made-up terms (e.g., "food grain distillate" or trade names such as Optiphen, which is a preservative, alongside ingredients that are listed inaccurately [we supply the correct names in parenthesis]). Not only is such labeling illegal, but also it keeps consumers in the dark about exactly what they'e putting on their skin. Epicuren had this same issue when we first reviewed their products in 2000, and it is shocking to me that they're still getting away with this deception on so many of their products.

Epicuren's assertion of being all natural is about as bogus as calling polyester natural. Their products contain synthetic preservatives, synthetic sunscreen agents, synthetic fragrance, and silicones to name a few. Plus, many of the natural ingredients they do include are irritants, and, therefore, are bad for skin.

After all of the bad (perhaps surprising) news above, you may be wondering if there are any bright spots in this line. In fact, there are, though they are few and far between, and those bright spots are dimmed somewhat by the needlessly high prices. The best news is that Epicuren gets all of their sunscreens right in terms of reliable UVA-protecting ingredients. Many of them also have elegant, lightweight textures and non-greasy finishes that consumers will enjoy, and anything that encourages more frequent sunscreen usage is positive. Epicuren also has a few sleeper products, such as a fragrance-free, fast-acting eye-makeup remover and an intriguing skin-lightening product with an impressive amount of the hydroquinone alternative arbutin. None of this good news is enough to warrant an Epicuren shopping spree, but if you're curious about these products or frequent a spa that retails this brand, at least you'll know which ones are worth your time and money after reading my reviews.

For more information about Epicuren Discovery, call (800) 235-1217 or visit www.epicuren.com.

Note: Our research assistant reported that Epicuren's customer service response for an initial email was very good; however, if follow-up questions occur (as is often the case), don't expect to hear from the company again. This odd behavior happened unfailingly, even when our team used a variety of different email addresses.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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.

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04.15.2015
Comment to Review overview

In reading the "review overview" it states that the product claims it will exfoliate. I have this product and it does not claim on the bottle of such action. On the contrary it has helped my acne go away.

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04.16.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Epicuren still purports the mild exfoliation claims on their website for this product, unfortunately, but we're glad that it is no longer on the packaging!

—Admin
04.03.2014
Not good for acne-prone skin!

As mentioned in the Beautypedia Review, the ingredients are not good for acne-prone skin. I have this and when I purchased this expensive product I could not find a list of the ingredients. Much to my dismay, it is not friendly for my skin at all and caused me to break out terribly. I am surprise how out of touch this company is with their ingredients vs. their claims--it specifically says it is for blemish-prone skin.

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