03.13.2013
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Oil-Control Night Treatment
Rating
6.8 fl. oz. for $45
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime)
Last Updated:03.13.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Promising to "break the acne cycle while you sleep" is a wonderful idea, but this poorly formulated toner won't have any impact on acne, other than maybe to make matters worse. This treatment product contains a high amount of alcohol, which is problematic for all skin types due to its irritating, drying nature. See More Info to learn how products with high amounts of alcohol also make oily skin and breakouts worse, not better.

Although this contains some good absorbent ingredients to mattify skin, that's hardly a special way to control oil—any powder would have the same temporary effect. Nothing about this ordinary formula of water, alcohol, silica, talc, perfume, and several other irritating fragrant ingredients is able to reduce the redness and inflammation that accompanies acne.

Pros:
  • Contains absorbent ingredients to tone down oily shine.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Amount of alcohol is likely to be drying and irritating.
  • Highly fragrant, but fragrance isn't skin care and can increase irritation.
  • Doesn't contain ingredients that can heal skin or reduce acne.
More Info:

How Irritating Ingredients Make Oily Skin Worse: Applying irritating ingredients such as alcohol to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily, breakout-prone skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).

Why Highly Fragrant Products are a Problem: 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 to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Claims

Break the acne cycle while you sleep. This night treatment absorbs excess oil overnight without drying to prevent breakouts, heal blemishes and soothe the skin.

Ingredients

Water, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Talc, Calcium Carbonate, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Citric Acid, Denatonium Benzoate, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Zinc Oxide.

Brand Overview

Erno Laszlo At-A-Glance

Strengths: One good toner; some good moisturizers; pH-correct AHA product; tinted moisturizer with sunscreen; workable concealer, powders, and powder blush.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the majority of products contain one or more considerably irritating ingredients; basic skin-care regimen revolves around using drying bar soap and alcohol-laden toners; the TranspHuse line; jar packaging.

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.

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.

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