Mega Mushroom Advanced Skin Relief Face Serum

by Origins  Origins by Dr. Andrew Weil
Price:
$68.50 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
1/29/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Oh, the irony! On the one hand, as this serum states up front, “Irritation silently simmering within skin’s surface may be aging your skin faster than the candles on your birthday cake.” And they are right, irritation absolutely can be “silently simmering” beneath skin’s surface, causing damage without you actually feeling it, which is why all things irritating must be kept far away from your skin. On the other hand, this product is LOADED with known irritants!

All of the fragrant oils and many of the plant extracts in this product can cause acute irritation, similar to almost every single one of Origins’ products. Despite Dr. Andrew Weil’s name on the product, this is a mega-problem for your skin. It does contain some exotic types of mushrooms that do have antioxidant action, but most of them take second place to the fragrant irritants, such as lavender, orange, grapefruit, patchouli, rosemary, and linalool.

This serum is NOT calming, soothing, or in any way helpful for sensitive skin. And with the irritants it contains, it is not capable of helping “defend against silent skin-agers as never before.” Please see our list of Best Serums for considerably better formulas for all skin types.

Irritation silently simmering within skin’s surface may be aging your skin faster than the candles on your birthday cake. Now it’s within your control. This patent-pending, clinically-proven serum features Dr. Weil’s famed mega-mushroom blend now fortified with Chaga and Pleurotus Mushrooms and Sea Buckthorn. So it helps defend against silent skin-agers as never before. Calms. Soothes. Makes skin more resilient. The result: visible aging is slowed. Now that’s a relief.

Water, Jojoba Seed Oil, Glycerin, Yeast Extract, Olive Fruit Oil, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hypsizygus Ulmarius Mycelium Extract, Orange Oil, Lavender Oil, Patchouli)Oil, Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Geranium Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Olibanum) Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Pleurotus Ostreatus (Mushroom) Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract, Inonotus Obliquus (Mushroom) Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ginger Root Extract Turmeric Root Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Mango Leaf Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Grapefruit Peel Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Olive Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Spike Moss Extract, Wheat Bran Extract, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Cholesterol, Linoleic Acid, Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Corn Oil, Tocotrienols, Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, Silica, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Calcium Carbonate, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol

Started in 1990, Origins was Estee Lauder's contribution to the (still going strong) demand for natural products. Their approach and claims all hinge on the wonder of plants and the allegedly miraculous properties they offer for skin, whether it be dry, sensitive, oily, or simply showing the effects of time. Here's the issue: Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ones. Ironically, Origins isn't all that "natural" because it uses its share of synthetic ingredients, and the plant extracts they do use include some that are bad for skin.

We have never been opposed to using natural ingredients. However, it lacks integrity when a company throws in any plant ingredient with no proven benefit for skin beyond anecdotal information, and then boasts about all sorts of improbable results. It becomes a far more serious issue when the natural ingredients in question have published research showing that they are in fact irritating or damaging to skin. That's the predicament of reviewing Origins' skin care products: almost every product they sell contains several volatile oils (another term for essential oils), all of which have their share of negative qualities when used on skin. In their attempt to appear more natural, Origins uses quite a bit of these offending ingredients, and they're often listed before the much more beneficial additives, such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients.

You might be wondering why, if Origins has had such continued success, their products can be such a problem for skin? Can't women just use what they like? The answer is two-fold: yes women can use what they like, but often women like what isn't good for them. For example, smoking is bad for skin (and for your lungs), but lots of people smoke; getting a tan from the sun is bad for your skin, but lots of people spend time outdoors getting a tan; and using products that contain irritating ingredients is bad for your skin, and lots of products come to the table with these inconsistencies.

As we have explained in the introduction to the book, there is a litany of problems that take place when skin is irritated or inflamed, but fundamentally this results in the skin's immune system becoming impaired, collagenase (the breakdown of collagen) occurs, and the skin is stripped of its outer protective barrier. What is perhaps most shocking is that all of these damaging responses can be taking place underneath the skin and you won't even notice it on the surface. The clearest example of this is the significant and carcinogenic effect of the sun's "silent" UVA rays. You don't feel the penetration of these mutagenic rays, but they are taking a toll on your skin nonetheless (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2006, pages 30–38; International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2006, pages 183–193;Skin Research and Technology; November 2001, pages 227–237; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327–337; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, November 2003, pages 663–669; Drugs, 2003 volume 63, issue 15, pages 1579–1596; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, March 2002, pages 138–146; Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2003, page 63; Global Cosmetics, February 2000, pages 46–49; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1995, pages 83–87).

Most of the Lauder companies really have their acts together when it comes to formulating state-of-the-art moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens that leave out the problematic plant extracts (and that represents a lot of products given the almost two dozen cosmetics companies under the Lauder corporate banner). Origins is the exception, and we encourage my readers who prefer to shop for skin care at the department store to explore the truly far better options from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, or even La Mer. Even salon-styled Aveda, also owned by Lauder, with a natural theme similar to Origins, has less problematic formulas.

For more information about Origins, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 674-4467 or visit www.origins.com.

Origins Makeup

Compared to the makeup offered by almost all of the other Estee Lauder–owned lines, Origins falls short by virtue of including ingredients that align with its marketing image of offering natural ingredients that have the blessing of Mother Nature regardless of the risks they pose for skin. As omnipotent as Mom may be, this force of nature is a disaster waiting to happen. A secondary reason Origins isn't competing as well with its sister companies is that for many products (particularly the lipsticks, blush, and cleverly named but non-essential specialty products) the technology isn't as advanced. That lack of technological creativity combined with significant amounts of hostile essential oils will help you understand why we recommend exploring similar, but superior (and irritant-free), options from any of the other Lauder companies from Clinique to M.A.C.

If you're prone to being swayed by the promises of natural products (though Origins is not any more natural than many other lines, it just uses the most problematic plant extracts possible), there are a few outstanding gems to unearth here, and at prices that aren't unrealistic. Additionally, Origins' latest tester units, especially in their freestanding stores, are accessible and user-friendly. They include pull-out counters for added space and feature large mirrors. Combine this with a low-key yet helpful sales staff and knowing what to zero in on and you'll find shopping the best of Origins is a pleasure.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
Page of 1
  1. Melinda p
    Reviewed on Friday, February 14, 2014
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    p u
    • Even if it worked....it does not....the smell is terrible. Two thumbs way down

  2. Lauren C.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 21, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Yet another strike out for my red cheeks.
    • This was yet another product recommeded to me to reduce the redness in my cheeks due to keratosis pilaris rubra faceii. The mushroom was suppose to help with inflammation/redness. Well, it didn't. It smelled funny, made my cheeks sticky, and I just ended up throwing it away. Between reading Paula's review and understanding why my cheeks are red, I'll never waste money on this again.

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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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