Like most moisturizers from Origins, this delivers a strong daily dose of irritation due to the numerous fragrant plant oils it contains. The formula contains some excellent rich emollients and smoothing agents for dry to very dry skin, but so do many other creamy moisturizers that omit the problematic ingredients. Because this is packaged in a jar, many of the good ingredients won’t remain stable during use, which is disappointing given this product’s price. Please see More Info for further details on the issues jar packaging and fragrant irritants present. The small amount of salicylic acid isn’t enough to prompt exfoliation. In short, this is not the way to lift or promote youthful skin. Without the fragrant oils and in better packaging, this would be a worthwhile moisturizer to consider—though it cannot lift skin or perform in any way like an injectable (think dermal fillers).
- Contains some helpful emollients and antioxidants.
- Loaded with fragrant oils research has shown are irritating.
- Jar packaging depletes the effectiveness of several key ingredients.
- Amount of salicylic acid is too low to exfoliate skin.
Irritation From Fragrance and Fragrant Oils
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).
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).
Although the results are not the same as an injectable, nature's power lift contains a topical version of the ingredient found in many popular dermal fillers plus the legendary Commiphora plant. And it is clinically proven to help visibly firm, redefine lost contours and restore volume to sunken facial skin. The smooth "plumpness" of youth reappears.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lauryl Lactate, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Fusanus Spicatus (Australian Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Bark Oil, Cytrus Aurantium Dulcus (Orange) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Eugenol, Limonene, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Anogeissus Leiocarpus Bark Extract, Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract, Menyanthestrifolia (Buckbean) Leaf Extract, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract/Extrait D’Orge, Centaurium Erythraea (Centaury) Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate, Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Squalane, Caffeine, Salicylic Acid, Myristyl Myristate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Cholesterol, Linoleic Acid, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, PEG-100 Stearate, Phytosterols, Tromethamine, Cetearyl Glucoside, Trehalose, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol, Arginine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocotrienols, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, 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.
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.