04.17.2013
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Pore Refining Serum Pores Take a Backseat
Rating
1.35 fl. oz. for $20
Last Updated:04.17.2013
Jar Packaging:No
pH:>4.70
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Will your pores take a backseat when using this BHA exfoliant serum? Possibly, but not because of the BHA (salicylic acid). Although this exfoliating ingredient is presented in an impressive amount, the formula's pH of 4.7 means it cannot function as an exfoliant. That's a shame because a well-formulated BHA exfoliant really can help reduce enlarged or clogged pores. You'll find examples of such products on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.

Beyond the disappointment of the pH, this lightweight product (which is dispensed from a tube onto an attached rounded sponge applicator) feels silky and sets to a soft matte finish that, to a minor extent, helps blur the appearance of pores. Our chief concern is the amount and lingering nature of the fragrance. It's possible this much fragrance can make oily skin (and thus, enlarged pores) worse due to the irritation it causes. Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).

On balance, there isn't as much to love about this product as there is to be concerned with, so it's best to just leave it on the shelf.

Claims

Refine, mattify, and visibly reduce the appearance of pores in as little as seven days with this complexion-boosting serum. The innovative applicator provides easy and targeted use on the T-zone, delivering a soft, smooth finish that radiates.

Ingredients

Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Nylon-12, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Citrate, Laureth-7, Parfum, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Ethylhexylgycerin, Citric Acid, D-Limonene, Linalool, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Bezyl Salicylate, Tocopherol, Oleanolic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose.

Brand Overview

Sephora At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; some good cleansers and makeup removers; the Blotting Papers; good powder foundation; impressive blush and shiny eyeshadow options; great metallic finish eyeliner; awesome brow kit; bountiful selection of lipsticks and lip glosses; a couple of very good mascaras; several outstanding makeup brushes;  testers are available in-store for each product, and sales pressure is practically nonexistent.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to below-average toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens; no options for those dealing with acne or skin discolorations; some SPF-rated products (including foundations) lack sufficient UVA-protecting actives; the lip plumper is too irritating; too many disappointing eye-makeup products, including several disappointing eyeliners and brow pencils; unappealing shimmer powders.

Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-care products can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.

Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.

Sephora Makeup

Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold in their boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.

What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.

More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesn’t compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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