Amazonian Clay BB Illuminating Moisturizer

by Tarte Cosmetics  Amazonian Clay
Price:
$32 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
8/14/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

We must state up front that the claims made for the clay in this product are without scientific support. Whether sourced from the banks of the Amazon or the shores of the Mississippi River or your backyard, clay cannot “neutralize any negative skin condition.” Actually, that’s an incredibly broad statement that’s open to interpretation: What does it mean to “neutralize” a skin condition anyway? Stop it from getting worse? Make it go away? Either way, clay is not the answer to a broad range of skin concerns.

Even if clay were a powerhouse ingredient for skin (it isn’t; at best, clay is a good absorbent ingredient for oily skin), the amount of it in this serum is so small your skin isn’t likely to notice. Instead, you’re getting a lot of standard (and synthetic) ingredients, which is all well and good, but it’s not able to give you the dream complexion this serum promises.

This product is closer to a foundation primer than a serum; it has a sheer tint and a silky lotion texture that leaves skin feeling moist and with a subtle glow. The formula contains two sunscreen ingredients (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and benzophenone-3), but does not list an SPF rating, so you cannot rely on it for sun protection. A mix of antioxidants is present, but for the most part the amounts aren’t all that impressive.

Note that the sunscreen ingredients in this product can make it a problem for use around the eyes; some people may experience a stinging or burning sensation, which is true for many synthetic sunscreen actives. We mention this here because this product is more like makeup and, therefore, likely to be applied close to the eyes.

Pros:
  • Silky lotion with a sheer tint helps smooth skin tone and add a subtle glow.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • The claims about what Amazonian clay can do for your skin are not supported by any published research.
  • Antioxidants are present, but mostly in low amounts.
  • Contains two sunscreen ingredients, but no SPF rating.

Ideal for all skin types, this natural skin brightener is infused with Amazonian clay, vitamins, and tea extract to moisturize and replenish the skin. This healing clay completely neutralizes any negative skin condition so that you are left with a healthy, radiant complexion.

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone-3, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Calcium Sodium Phosphosilicate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Butylene Glycol, Phytantriol, Kaolin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Boron Nitride, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, supposedly out of a need to create a cosmetics line that "would prove that glamour can be good for you." Well, to be honest, we didn't know that glamour could be bad for anyone, no matter who was selling it. In this case, good-for-you glamour is about the products being "natural." Of course, lots of women believe that natural ingredients are the only way to go because they're told, and unfortunately often believe, that the synthetic ingredients in cosmetic products are toxic and poisonous for your skin. That is a misguided belief!

Ironically, despite Tarte's attention-getting marketing concept, their products aren't any more natural or healthier than loads of other products. We take particular issue with the company's claim of being preservative-free, synthetic dye-free, and talc-free. Not only are these ingredients not a problem for most people, but also many of Tarte's products do contain them! What is that about? Didn't anyone at Tarte read their own ingredient labels?

We are beyond understanding how a cosmetics company can base their advertising on what their products do not contain, yet fail to realize, or just won't acknowledge, that their products in fact do contain them—the very ingredients they tell you are toxic or poisonous for your skin. We mean, really, if your products (in this instance Tarte products) do contain isododecane, imidazolidinyl urea, butylene glycol, parabens, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, that's the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever… if Tarte chooses to mislead and misinform the consumer it doesn't seem to matter, because many uninformed women won't notice the hypocrisy—they'll just accept Tarte's claims at face value.

Marketing hype and ingredient deception aside, the ingredients Tarte does leave out of its products are sulfates (though sulfates are rarely used in makeup products anyway, so it is a trait most makeup products share), phthalates, and synthetic fragrance (but "natural" fragrance isn't any better for skin). That's nice, but in the scope of things, not really all that special.

We appreciate that Tarte conveys their message without the "granola," antiglamour, or anti-elegance image that's characteristic of many "natural" lines. The trade-off is that you're going to pay extra for Tarte's glamorous image and packaging. Although there are a handful of products in the Tarte lineup worth the splurge, if you only shopped this line for cosmetics, your wallet would definitely be lighter—and there's no need to splurge to the point of incurring debt just to outfit your makeup bag with all things Tarte. After all, you aren't going to be applying the packaging to your skin.

Those who shop carefully should pay close attention to Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils, and a handful of their innovative products. If you're looking for matte eyeshadows, however, you're out of luck. Tarte isn't as full-featured as several other makeup artistry lines (Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier come to mind), and Tarte doesn't outdo Rimmel or Sonia Kashuk at the drugstore, but their good products are indeed good.

For more information about Tarte Cosmetics call 855-968-2783 or visit www.tartecosmetics.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

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

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

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

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. sally
    Reviewed on Friday, December 28, 2012
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Good results
    • I have been using this product for several months, and couldn't be more pleased! (It was a gift from a Sephora associate). I mix it with my tinted moisturizer and the results are amazing. I am allergic to many skin care & cosmetic products, so I'm thrilled to have found a product that agrees with my skin. It gives my fair (and sometimes dull) skin a wonderful glow. i use cream blush and a little shadow and mascara and I'm good to go. I would give it a BEST rating!

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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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