Daily Moisture Cream

Price:
$46 - 2 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
1/21/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

Given sunscreen is the single most important product you need to use during the day, this product's lack of sunscreen means it should only be a consideration for nighttime use. You could use it during the day if you added a sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen over it but then the question becomes, is it worth it to use two products when you only really need one?

On many levels, this would be more than worth it if you have dry skin but, even better, you could use it at night. It is a beautiful formulation with numerous skin-repairing ingredients, water- binding agents, antioxidants, and cell-communicating ingredients. Unfortunately this level of excellence is wasted because Merle Norman, like numerous cosmetic companies can't give up their reliance on jar packaging despite the abundant research showing how problematic it is for any skin care product. Jar packaging won't keep the wonderful, beneficial ingredients in this formulation stable once it is opened (see More Info for details).

Pros:
  • Beautiful formulation for dry skin.
  • Generous blend of antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won't keep the beneficial ingredient stable once it is opened.
  • Shouldn't be used during the day unless you are also using another product with sunscreen over it.

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).

Luxurious, lightweight cream provides deep moisturization and comfort. Advanced formula locks in moisture to help plump away fine, dry lines. Exclusive Merle Norman Bio Moisture Complex™ — a special blend of emollients and humectants — binds moisture to the skin for intense, prolonged hydration. Non-greasy.

Water, Glycerin, Squalane, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Glyceryl Stearate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Myristate, Pistacia Vera Seed Oil, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Opuntia Streptacantha Stem (Cactus) Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Niacinamide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Fructose, Glycine, Lactic Acid, Urea, Inositol, Sodium Benzoate, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Triethanolamine, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance

Merle Norman opened her first cosmetics studio in Santa Monica, California, in 1931. She believed strongly that women would love her products, if only she could "get them on their faces," and the company's now-famous try-before-you-buy program was launched. To this day, women who visit any of Merle Norman's 2,000 boutiques spread across the United States, Canada, and Mexico can take advantage of the company's product samples before making a purchase.

The free samples are great, but the question is why anyone would be inclined to try Merle Norman skin-care products. Although there have been some improvements since the Cosmetics Cop Team last reviewed this brand, much of what was problematic back then is still around today, and still problematic - and that's not good news for your skin.

Across the board, the biggest issue is jar packaging. Several of the moisturizers didn't receive better than a neutral face rating because they are poorly packaged. For a company claiming to be cutting edge, they somehow missed, or chose to ignore, the research showing how state-of-the-art ingredients deteriorate when exposed to light and air. In addition, repeatedly sticking your fingers into a product isn't sanitary, and further degrades the ingredients. What good is adding a lot of antioxidants and other plant extracts or vitamins to a product if their efficacy is all but gone within a week or two of opening?

There are other weak spots to watch out for, too, especially in the Luxiva Changing Skin and Luxiva Clear Complexion lines. Merle Norman also sells a group of antiquated products that are little more than cold cream and super-greasy moisturizers. These are as far removed as you can get from what we know about what skin needs to look younger and function in a healthy manner. Using many of Merle Norman's products is like using a typewriter instead of a computer.

As far as what's to like, you'll find several well-formulated cleansers and toners, some reliable AHA and BHA products, and an impressive lip balm, and most of the SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum protection. Ultimately, it wouldn't be wise to try to assemble a comprehensive skin-care routine from Merle Norman, but if you focus on their better products you'll do okay.

For the record, it is perfectly fine to mix Merle Norman products with those from other brands. We doubt you'll get this advice if you visit any of the Merle Norman Studios, but it's true. In fact, this applies to any skin-care brand—what counts is the individual product and how well it's formulated, not the company's predetermined ideas that their products work best if and only if they're used together.

For more information about Merle Norman, call (310) 641-3000 or visit www.merlenorman.com.

Note: We know that we've stated for quite some time that the team wouldn't be revisiting this line because of Merle Norman's complete disinterest in helping us get the information we need to review their products accurately. Over the years, my staff has been kicked out of several Merle Norman boutiques, both here in the Seattle area and in other states. As soon as we began taking notes or if we asked too many questions, we were eyed with suspicion and then asked to leave. There are two reasons we changed our mind: (1) our Beautypedia subscribers kept asking us to re-review this brand, and (2) a Merle Norman employee agreed to help us obtain the information we need, as long as she remained anonymous. We wish to extend a sincere thanks to the woman who sent us dozens upon dozens of samples and helped us compile all of the accurate information that made these reviews possible.

Please note: These product prices are in U.S. dollars, and for reasons unknown Merle Norman products are substantially more expensive in Canadian boutiques. Please be aware when shopping that these ratings are a reflection of U.S. prices only.

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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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