Marine Calm Gentle Creamy Cleanser

by H2O+  
Price:
$18 - 4 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Face/Body Cleansers
Last Updated:
7/23/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This cleanser looks creamy but doesn’t feel all that creamy. In fact, given the formula, it’s a better option for normal to oily skin than it is for dry skin. Although this ably removes makeup and rinses without leaving a skin-dulling residue, it’s not appropriate for sensitive skin because it contains lavender oil. All skin types would do well to avoid lavender oil, but this is especially true if your skin is sensitive. Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it’s fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).

An extra-gentle cleanser that lifts away impurities, soothes and calms sensitive skin with Jojoba, Spirulina, Coconut and Almond Milk

Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamide MEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Milk) Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond Milk) Extract, Saponaria Officinalis (Soapwort) Extract, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-12 Dimethicone, PEG-30 Castor Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone

H2O+ is a boutique line that's been on the scene since 1989. The brand has had its ups and downs over the years, and, like many natural-themed boutique brands, has lost much of its retail distribution and cachet due to their own overzealous expansion and the boom in other natural product lines. Now H2O+ is back, but not with the same widespread availability they enjoyed during their heyday. Previously, there were lots of H2O+ stores in malls throughout the United States; today the brand has only a handful of stores in only a few states. Other than the stores, the line is haphazardly distributed in various department stores and retail locations, such as Ulta. The trouble is that these other locations do not stock the complete H2O+ line, so it's hit-or-miss that you'll find the specific H2O+ product you're looking for. This was not an easy line for the Cosmetics Cop Team to compile.

As you might have guessed from the name, H2O+ is all about water. Specifically, they want you to think that seawater contains essential elements that your skin must have to get rid of everything, from wrinkles to acne. As a result, the majority of H2O+ products contain various types of seaweed, algae, and a mishmash of other marine plants. What H2O+ fails to provide is proof (meaning research) showing that these marine plants and marine creatures are the answer to your skin-care concerns.

What is known is that most plant extracts, from the sea or the land, provide antioxidant properties, and that's great. But, the plants that live in water hold no special advantage in a skin-care product.

As an aside, certain types of algae such as Corallina pilulifera have properties that can help collagen from breaking down in the presence of sunlight. To that end, certain types of algae could be described as anti-aging, but this is true for lots of plant extracts, not only for the marine variety. By the way, despite this research, H2O+ products do not contain Coralline piluifera (Sources: Marine Drugs, March 2010, pages 1189–1202; Experimental Dermatology, September 2008, pages 771–779; and Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, February 2002, pages 840–845).

Keep in mind that the exotic identities and seaworthy origins do not make algae and other marine extracts better or more significant for skin than other ingredients from other sources that can provide the same, or, in many cases, more significant, benefits.

What you'll find is that H2O+ skin-care products are far more about fragrance and spa allure than about the beneficial ingredients skin needs to defend itself against environmental damage and be able to resist signs of aging. Sea plants may indeed hold some exciting advances for skin, but the manner in which H2O+ uses them isn't likely to net you great results. Instead, they use the same cosmetic ingredients most other brands do to create silky, elegant textures. These ingredients definitely count toward a product's appeal and performance, but they're best for your skin when they're interwoven with other essentials—and that's where H2O+ often falls short. This line's biggest obstacle is its love of fragrance over ingredients such as antioxidants, skin-identical substances, and ingredients that help damaged cells make healthier cells (the kind that act younger so you'll look younger).

The high points include the cleansers and makeup removers along with a smattering of odds and ends that are worth considering if you happen to come across them in the store; otherwise, there is nothing here you must seek out. The most important thing to keep in mind is that H2O+ doesn't have a range of products to address various skin types and concerns. Fragrance isn't skin care, yet this is the very thing H2O+ uses more than anything else.

For more information about H2O+, call (800) 242-2284 or visit www.h2oplus.com.

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About the Experts

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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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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