A definite frustration with most of the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care product line is that most of the moisturizers start out with such promise. They often have a great mix of beneficial plant oils, antioxidants, and soothing plant extracts. Then things quickly go south with the inclusion of way too much fragrance (both synthetic and natural). To make matters worse, many of the products use jar packaging which won't keep the much needed ingredients, especially the natural ones, stable because they start breaking down in the presence of air. See More Info for details on jar packaging.
All of the above concerns apply to this moisturizer. What a disappointment.
This has a beautiful combination of emollients, plants oils, and antioxidants including niacinamide and vitamin E. It also includes urea which is a helpful exfoliant and water-binding agent similar to glycolic acid. However, the amount of fragrance this contains is a problem for skin because of the irritation it causes.
- Very good mix of plant oils, soothing agents, and antioxidants.
- Overly fragranced, which poses a risk of irritation.
- Jar packaging won't keep the beneficial ingredients stable as they breakdown in the presence of air.
Jar packaging: 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).
Daily use of highly fragranced products: 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).
This perfectly balanced moisturiser softens, smoothes and conditions skin for a naturally healthy-looking glow. Rich in natural actives, including borage oil (a rich source of the essential fatty acid GLA) and natural antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E to replace lost moisture and help protect against dryness.
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Esters, Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea) Extract, Sodium Lactate, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tocopheryl Acetate, Beta-Carotene, Sodium PCA, Urea, Niacinamide, Inositol, Glycine, Parfum (Fragrance), Fructose, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Distearate, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Liz Earle began her United Kingdom-based cosmetics company in 1995 with her name affixed to the label, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care. Originally located on the Isle of Wright, the company their products were inspired by the natural foliage of this part of the world’s rainy, cold environs.
A prolific writer of more than 30 beauty books along with a background as a beauty journalist and broadcaster, Earle became a diehard believer in all things natural. One of her books even suggests you can beat cellulite with scrubs, creams, and massage oils. We wouldn’t bet on it any more than the allure of all natural holds the answer to having beautiful skin, but even Earle’s products don’t follow that philosophy wholeheartedly as they are not all natural in the least. In fact, you could say they are about as natural as polyester. Labeling the line “naturally active” is a clever play on words; it makes you think the products are natural without really saying they are.
After 15 years of being one of the biggest independent UK-based personal care companies Liz Earle was bought by Avon in 2010. That has certainly changed the face of the company! It’s interesting to point out that despite Avon’s home consultant business model, Liz Earle stopped the home consulting side of their business shortly after joining the fold at Avon.
Business decisions aside, the products are what matter and what’s inside those products matters most. We were first struck by the line’s lack of sunscreens. The company’s convoluted explanation for this is how the weather in the UK doesn’t warrant it (though we’re not sure how that factors into the brand’s U.S. distribution) and also because synthetic sunscreens are bad for skin. None of that is true. Daylight (as in UV light, which is present whether the sun is shining or not) in any amount causes immediate and long-term skin damage. Only a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day causes premature aging, though you won’t see these effects until years later. Numerous studies have shown how regular use of sunscreen with all types of active ingredients, including synthetic and mineral, makes skin look significantly younger, longer—and reduces risk of skin cancer.
The company does say mineral sunscreen ingredients are good yet that only shows up in their Daily Eye Repair with an SPF 10 (SPF 15 is considered the minimum by medical and regulatory boards around the world) and it appears this product is only be sold in the U.K. There is no explanation why there aren’t other mineral-based sunscreens in the line.
Although we find the lack of sunscreens a sign of bad (or at least shortsighted) skin care, we are also highly skeptical of skin-care companies that sell bust and neck treatments. Earle’s Superskin Bust & Neck Treatment claims the natural ingredients it contains can plump skin around the bust. Again don’t count on it, but we admit the application description will arouse something! Ironically, the description for the product explains how sun exposure ages skin, but then we’re going back to the lack of sun protection in the line. Now that’s contradictory! Regardless skin on the neck, chest, and face benefit from the same state-of-the-art ingredients and there is not a shred of unbiased research to the contrary.
Despite the reservations mentioned above, there are some interesting formulations in Earle’s line with great price points. But even the better formulas suffer from too much fragrance, dubious and overblown claims, and prevalent use of irritating plant extracts. Oddly enough, the fragrance-free formulations in this product line have some of the more ordinary formulations when it comes to antioxidants or soothing emollients—two categories of ingredients those with sensitive skin really need.
In short, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care is nothing to get all that excited about, whether you’re a fan of natural ingredients or simply want skin care from the U.K.
For more information about Liz Earle, visit www.lizearle.com or call 1-800-515-5911.