Laszlo Blue Firmarine Night Gel

Price:
$225 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
3/13/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

The lightweight gel texture of this moisturizer is ideal for normal to oily or combination skin, but for certain you don't need to spend anywhere near this much to get that benefit! Really, the price is jaw-dropping, and even more so when you note that the formula isn't that remarkable and, in fact, has its share of issues.

On the one hand, this contains the skin-repairing ingredient sodium hyaluronate plus lots of water-binding agents to help skin retain moisture without feeling oily. On the other hand, it's a problem that this contains the preservative methylisothiazolinone, a known skin sensitizer that is contraindicated for use in leave-on products (Source: Contact Dermatitis, December 2012, pages 334–341). Granted, the amount of methylisothiazolinone is low, but it's not a welcome ingredient, especially for sensitive skin.

Another letdown is that this is packaged in a jar, which won't keep the key ingredients (including the called-out spirulina) stable once opened. For $225, packaging that keeps the good ingredients fresh and active is the least you should expect! And one more strike against: The blue color comes from a synthetic dye ingredient, and dyes aren't skin care any more than fragrance is skin care.

You can find better, and much less expensive lightweight or gel moisturizers from our list of Best Moisturizers., so there's really no need to take this product seriously.

Pros:
  • Lightweight, hydrating texture contains some good water-binding agents.
Cons:
  • Shockingly overpriced.
  • Jar packaging won't keep the key ingredients stable once this is opened.
  • Contains a sensitizing preservative not recommended for use in leave-on products.
  • The blue color comes from a synthetic dye ingredient.
More Info:

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 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).

Visibly firm, tone and clarify your complexion while skin rests overnight. This lightweight moisturizing gel replenishes skin with nutrients including Spirulina Maxima that boost resiliency and elasticity.

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin Biosaccharide Gum-1, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Acrylates/PEG-10 Maleate/Styrene Copolymer, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Carbomer, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Blue 1, Ext. Violet 2.

According to the company's brochure, Dr. Erno Laszlo, a Hungarian dermatologist, was "the first to combine the exact science of his profession with the art of cosmetology" using "precisely diagnosed treatments dispensed with a doctor's touch." He treated Hungarian royalty, women whose lack of beautiful skin was apparently enough to get them shot in the face by potential suitors (no kidding)—until Laszlo saved the day with his revolutionary products. We admit that that's great copy, but there are rumors that he was never a medical doctor in Hungary or anywhere else in Europe, and he was certainly never licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Medical status aside, the claims and "story" behind these products are just another verse in the litany of hyperbole the cosmetics industry is famous for.

In his time (1920s through the 1930s), Laszlo's notoriety was built on "prescribing" skin-care regimens for wealthy women who could afford to "succumb to the 'Laszlo Ritual' of daily skin care." The ritual included regimented splashing of the face with extremely hot water before and after washing with bar soap. Today's Laszlo ritual talks of harnessing the power of water not only to cleanse skin but also to tone, firm, hydrate, clear, and energize skin. Amazing isn't it? If water alone and a certain splashing technique with traditional bar soap can take care of skin, then what's the point of Laszlo's profusion of (mostly poor) products? Why not just offer some soap and a tip sheet on how to splash most effectively, and let the water perform the miracles the company claims it can? If you think this sounds as ridiculous as we do, imagine trying to explain it to customers without backing away sheepishly. While neighboring cosmetics counters extol advanced formulas claiming to work like Botox or speak of their potent, patented cosmeceutical ingredients, Laszlo's team is going on and on about splashing skin with water and the "clocking system" they use to determine your skin type (a system that is more complicated than helpful).

Looking at historical background is one thing, but the real problem with legendary or ancient skin-care routines is that new research more often than not negates what we once thought to be true. After all, in Laszlo's heyday, no one knew about sun damage or the need for exfoliation, or that hot water can hurt skin and cause surfaced capillaries. Water-soluble cleansers weren't around, no one knew the connection between antioxidants and skin care, elegant sunscreens didn't exist, and Laszlo clearly didn't know that soap is too irritating and that irritation is a problem for skin (it's one of the major causes of collagen destruction). Plus, alkaline substances (that's what soap contains) have research showing they can increase the bacterial content in skin and damage the skin's healing process. With today's gentle cleansing options, there is no need to subject skin to the harshness of soap, regardless of how oily it is.

Further, anyone with any skin type who adheres to routine use of Laszlo's products is only setting themselves up for trouble, whether it's persistent irritation or a dry, tight feeling that will have you reaching for a moisturizer in desperation (and possibly making oily or breakout-prone areas worse as a result). There are some reliable, well-formulated products in this line, but following Laszlo's regimented routine is a path to skin irritation and dryness—and that's not the way to "worship your skin."

For more information about Erno Laszlo, call (888) 352-7956 or visit www.ernolaszlo.com.

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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