05.16.2014
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Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment, for Combination/Oily Skin
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $20
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Oil-Absorbing/Mattifying
Last Updated:05.16.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment, for Combination/Oily Skin is a boring moisturizer. Despite enticing claims, this product is primarily water, thickener, and preservative. Lots of ingredients follow these basics, but none of them are intriguing for skin and leave it shortchanged yet highly fragranced.

Claims

A light, easily absorbed, non-clogging, oil-free moisturizing gel. Innovative technology purifies and balances the skin in the areas you need it most, while delivering essential moisture to the drier areas and essential protection for the day ahead.

Ingredients

Water (Solvent/Diluent), PEG-8 (Humectant), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Laureth-23 (Emulsifier), Carbomer (Stabilizer/Viscosity Modifier), Methylparaben (Preservative), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Fragrance (Fragrance), Sodium Hydroxide (Ph Adjuster), Propylene Glycol (Humectant), Benzoic Acid (Preservative), Chlorphenesin (Cosmetic Biocide), Glycerin (Humectant), Polyquaternium-51 (Film Former), Sodium Hyaluronate (Humectant), Sodium PCA (Humectant), Trehalose (Humectant), Urea (Humectant), Zinc Gluconate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Algae Extract (Natural Additive), Hydrolyzed Algin (Soothing Agent), Zinc Sulphate (Cosmetic Astringent), Arnica Montana Extract (Natural Additive), Camellia Sinensis Extract (Natural Additive), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract (Skin Conditioning Agent), Butylparaben (Preservative), Ethylparaben (Preservative), Propylene Glycol Alginate (Binder), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (Skin/Hair Conditioning Agent), Sodium Stearate (Surfactant), Propylparaben (Preservative), Isobutylparaben (Preservative), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Butylphenyl Methylpropional (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Salicylate (Fragrance Ingredient), Acacia Senegal Gum (Film Former), Serine (Skin Conditioning Agent), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (Fragrance Ingredient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant)

Brand Overview

The Body Shop At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the few cosmetic companies that lists complete product ingredients on its Web site; affordable; the Aloe Products for Sensitive Skin are appropriate for that skin condition; good selection of eye makeup removers; one of the best pressed-powder foundations around; great pressed powder; liquid eyeliner; lip gloss; nice selection of affordable makeup brushes and specialty products.

Weaknesses: The Tea Tree Oil collection; subcategories that focus on one beneficial ingredient (vitamin E, vitamin C, etc.) to the exclusion of others, making for several collections of one-note products; no effective routine to address blemishes; poor skin-lightening products; surprisingly lackluster to poor foundations and concealers.

This England-based company was one of the first to offer "natural" products in freestanding stores. Founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in 1976, and the store's success spurred her husband to turn the business into a franchise opportunity, thus spawning the opening of several more stores across England and, by the end of the 1980s, the United States. As Roddick has commented, the timing of her stores and their merchandise occurred just as Europe was "going green." It is not unrealistic to speculate that were it not for the success of The Body Shop, companies such as Aveda, Origins, and numerous others may not have started on such sure footing. Most consumers are drawn to products with natural ingredients, even though those from The Body Shop, like many other companies claiming natural, use the same standard cosmetic ingredients seen throughout the industry. If anything, The Body Shop's worldwide expansion has caused them to rely less on natural ingredients and more on robust, effective, synthetic ingredients. Can you imagine the smell of millions of bottles of Banana Shampoo rotting in a warehouse?

A somewhat controversial business transaction occurred in 2006 when L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop. Fans of the brand and its stance on animal testing protested that this corporate marriage made for strange bedfellows given L'Oreal's dodgy history with animal testing. The acquisition had many consumer groups focused on ethical and organic business practices calling the sale a cop-out and accusing Roddick of selling out to "the enemy." Roddick commented that the sale had more to do with L'Oreal wanting to learn more about community trade, which could prove a financial windfall for the developing nations and tribes The Body Shop has conducted business with for years. (Sources: www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=66584-l-oreal-the-body-shop-takeover-ethical; and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4894854.stm). Regardless of motivation or ethical issues, what's certain is that L'Oreal's financial and developmental clout will allow the continued expansion of The Body Shop, although in terms of product improvements, you'll find more signs of that with the makeup than the skin-care products because that is L'Oreal's strength.

An attractive point of difference for this line is their ongoing commitment to environmental and social causes as well as fair trade and animal rights advocacy. For those efforts, the company (fueled by Roddick's personal passion for such issues) deserves high marks. If only the products were as sensible as the company's Mission Statement! It's not that there aren't good products to be found in The Body Shop's familiar green-trimmed stores, but far too many of them are ordinary formulations whose natural ingredients make little impact aside from looking good on the label. And many products contain irritating natural ingredients or fragrance components that place them a notch below the competition. This is not a company that has kept up with the latest research in what skin needs to look and feel its best. Instead, most of their products take a one-note approach to skin care, forcing customers to choose whether they want the benefits of vitamin C or E, seaweed, aloe, or a host of others—several of which have so-so benefit for skin, or less so in the amounts included in The Body Shop's products. Still, the line has remained affordable and is readily available, and so as long as you pay attention to the products that are worth your time and money, The Body Shop has some effective products in store for you.

Postscript: The Body Shop's founder, Anita Roddick, passed away in September 2007 at the age of 64. Although through the years we have had my issues with several of her company's products, it must be said that her business acumen and worldwide humanitarian efforts deserve accolades. She was a unique, passionate businesswoman, and we have no doubt her input will be sorely missed.

For more information about The Body Shop, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 263-9746 or visit www.thebodyshop.com.

The Body Shop Makeup

Makeup isn't the main attraction at The Body Shop, at least if you survey the store and notice the small display compared to shelf after shelf of body lotions, butters, scrubs, and shower gels. Yet if you're drawn to the makeup display you will find it is nicely organized, with product labels and prices in plain view, plenty of testers and mirrors, and even a bit of counter space for your purse. It's an inviting setup, and the sales staff is low key and willing to let you play, which is always a plus. As it turns out, L'Oreal's acquisition of The Body Shop has paid off handsomely for the makeup, which received a much-needed spiffing-up in October 2006. Several products were reformulated, new products (mostly improvements) debuted, and the packaging improved both functionally and visually. Due to the extra attention paid to the makeup you will find some outstanding options for foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner, makeup brushes, and creamy lipsticks. The prices are reasonable too, but they're no bargain if you don't shop this line carefully. Still, L'Oreal has infused some panache into a makeup collection whose core products were becoming ho-hum, and the changes are welcome!

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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11.25.2014
More helpful review request

I really enjoy the smell of the Body Shop seaweed line products. I see they are all in "poor" ratings along with other products, from multiple brands, mainly due to irritants. I know there's a list of the "irritants" but it would be extremely helpful if specific ones were given in a product review, especially if they are cause of low rating. It might also help minimize the perception of bias with competing Paula's Choice products (which I do love many, but they can be costly as well). Thanks!

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Trixie S.
11.25.2014
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thank you for your comments! In this case, it's difficult to list the particular irritants, since The Body Shop only lists "fragrance" in its ingredient lists and not the source of the fragrance. Fragrance in general is an irritant, whether from natural sources or synthetic. In some instances there are non-irritating sources of natural fragrance (such as vanilla), but since The Body Shop doesn't list them, we can't be certain what they are. We hope this helps answer your question!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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