Pevonia Botanica

Pevonia Botanica At-A-Glance

Strengths: One outstanding eye cream and retinol product for lips; a couple of very good cleansers and toners; products don't take everything-but-kitchen-sink approach to ingredients.

Weaknesses: Pervasive use of irritating synthetic and natural ingredients; no sunscreens included as part of daytime skin-care routine; sole sunscreen contains sensitizing preservative; no skin-lightening or BHA options; lack of effective options to manage acne; jar packaging; hokey claims that don't have substantiated proof.

Pevonia is a spa/salon line of skin-care products that has been around since 1991 and, like countless other spa lines, speaks of its unification of natural ingredients with advanced scientific technology. Its vast range of products showcases all manner of gimmicky ingredients, including caviar, numerous essential oils, marine DNA, and products said to oxygenate skin. Many of their products make mention of being triphase and homogenized. Although that may make them sound special, those terms are common to cosmetics chemists involved in mixing various ingredients. For example, many moisturizers (and emulsions in general) have multiple phases as they are being manufactured. One phase gets a certain blend of ingredients, those are mixed, and then the next phase is added. Hardly anything to brag about.

You may hear aestheticians selling Pevonia products speak of the outstanding results the products provide, all due to the company's fastidious selection of holistic, natural ingredients. It can be a spellbinding speech, but the reality is that many of the natural ingredients Pevonia uses (including lemon oil and arnica) are documented problems for skin, and many synthetic ingredients are included and some are also problematic. Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and methylisothiazolinone aren't the least bit natural, and their inclusion in these products is further proof that Pevonia's self-proclaimed title of skin-care leaders in the spa industry is on par with McDonald's spearheading vegetarianism. Of course, the overall message is to not let yourself get caught up in any cosmetic company's grandstanding until you have examined the proof behind the proclamations.

As expected, not everything is plant-infused smoke and mirrors with Pevonia. They deserve credit for their mostly succinct ingredient lists and do have a handful of remarkable products that are, surprisingly, fragrance-free. This is definitely a line to shop very carefully, and note that none of their routines are recommended because not a single one of them has a group of problem-free products (and all of them omit sunscreen, yet several products claim to offer UV protection, which is dishonest and misleading).

For more information about Pevonia, call (800) 446-3751 or visit www.pevonia.com.

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