Tested on animals:Yes
If you have combination to oily skin you may appreciate the silky, thin lotion texture of this lightly moisturizing Balancing Emulsion Combination/Oily, but it's not the best option for your skin, for several reasons. For one, you can forget about the "Optimal Mineral Water" claims (we explain why that's marketing mumbo jumbo in the brand summary).
More to the point: Although this contains a decent mix of beneficial ingredients, it also includes potentially irritating ginger root extract (Contact Dermatitis, 1996), though the risk of this ingredient is uncommon. That ingredient aside, there is enough fragrance that you can smell it on your skin long after application (see More Info to learn why that's bad news for skin). The see-through bottle packaging is another weakness because it speeds up the degradation of the antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients that are sensitive to light (unless you take measures to always store it in a dark place).
As for the claims about vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacinamide) whisking away dead skin cells, it doesn't work that way. However, it's a great ingredient regardless, because it helps skin retain moisture, mitigates acne, and has other brilliant properties for skin as well (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2004).
Considering you can find better options at the drugstore without the risk to skin, and in packaging that will keep the beneficial ingredients stable, there's really no reason to bother with this formula. Check out our top-rated moisturizers instead.
- Silky, thin lotion texture ideal for lightweight hydration of combination to oily skin.
- Contains some beneficial ingredients for skin-repairing and anti-aging benefit.
- Fragranced enough to smell long after application, which can spell trouble for skin.
- Combination of irritants counteracts the benefits.
- Cannot "whisk away dead skin cells" as claimed (no exfoliation properties).
- See-through packaging won't keep antioxidants and other light-sensitive ingredients stable.
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 (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008; and 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; and Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).