Calm Gentle Daily Moisturizer
4 fl. oz. for $36
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime)
Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This moisturizer is meant for daily use, but it's not a good option for daytime use unless you follow with another moisturizer or foundation rated SPF 15 or greater. But why apply two products when only one can give your skin everything it needs during the day, namely antioxidants, skin repairing ingredients and sun protection. Daily sun protection is critical to helping dry, sensitive skin improve—not to mention reducing multiple signs of aging!

This moisturizer is a rich blend of emollients along with plant-based anti-irritants and antioxidants. Together, they work beautifully (and gently) to soften and replenish normal to dry or sensitive skin.

The fragrance-free formula's only weak spot is a tiny amount of ginger root extract. Although this plant has proven anti-inflammatory benefit when consumed orally, it can be a skin irritant, although that's not likely in this case given the small amount present in this moisturizer (Source: IFA—International Federation of Aromatherapists, www.int-fed-aromatherapy.co.uk).

The plant-based emollients and oils are a good source of skin-repairing fatty acids, and they help repair and strengthen the skin's barrier function—critical to maintaining smooth, healthy-looking skin.

One more comment: Arbonne claims this moisturizer is non-comedogenic, but we're skeptical. First, the non-comedogenic claim isn't regulated; that is, there are no standards explaining what this means or what products labeled "non-comedogenic" should not contain. Second, this moisturizer absolutely does contain ingredients that can potentially clog pores—the same ingredients that are so helpful for dry skin can be problematic for those struggling with clogged pores and breakouts.

  • Fragrance-free, gentle formula.
  • Contains some very good, research-proven emollients.
  • Nice mix of plant-based anti-irritants and antioxidants.
  • Capable of repairing and protecting the skin's barrier.
  • The non-comedogenic claim is misleading; this is not a slam-dunk moisturizer for those with dry skin and breakouts.

This non-comedogenic facial moisturizer feels weightless and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling soft and nurtured. Formulated to help provide hydrating relief from tightness, dryness and discomfort, this lightweight moisturizer restores and maintains skin moisture without leaving an oily feeling and can be used day or night.


Aqua/Water/Eau, Squalane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dipalmitate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Tripleurospermum Maritimum (Sea Mayweed) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Trisiloxane, Niacinamide , Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Stearic Acid, Carbomer, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Aminomethyl Propanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Brand Overview

Arbonne At-A-Glance

Strengths: A small selection of basic but effective cleansers and masks; good brush set; lip balm with reliable sun protection.

Weaknesses: Consistent and pervasive use of volatile fragrant oils that are irritating, allergenic, and/or photosensitizing for skin; disappointing toners and masks; no effective AHA or BHA products; no skin-lightening or effective anti-acne products; several sun-care products contain problematic ingredients.

Founded in 1975 with the goal of providing skin-care products with "unparalleled quality and effectiveness," Arbonne International is a direct-sales line many of my readers have an intense curiosity about. There must be lots of assertive Arbonne salespeople out there, because no other line with this type of business structure has generated the amount of email we receive, all asking if Arbonne products are worth it and whether or not many of the company's outlandish claims are true. More than many other lines, Arbonne is big on playing up the alleged evil of many benign cosmetic ingredients. Topping this list is mineral oil, which the company maintains interferes with skin functions and delivery systems. Cosmetics-grade mineral oil is not a problem for skin and is in fact one of the mildest and most effective ingredients for making dry skin look and feel better. It doesn't have the best texture or finish, but its effectiveness is indisputable (Sources: Journal of Burn Care Research, May-June 2006, pages 345–351; Contact Dermatitis, June 2003, pages 293–299; Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2001, page 79; Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2000, pages 44–46; and Dermatitis, September 2004, pages 109–116).

We have also been asked about whether it is true that all mascaras except Arbonne's contain bat excrement. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems many Arbonne salespeople are telling potential customers that all mascaras (except for Arbonne's, of course) contain this substance. We also found that many of the Arbonne representatives we spoke to love sharing the false rumor about lipsticks containing road-kill remnants (except for Arbonne's, of course). We wouldn't mention these tall tales if these were a few isolated incidents, but dozens upon dozens of women have contacted us asking for the truth behind these ludicrous claims. Just to be clear, cosmetic chemists are not venturing into dark caves to collect bat excrement or picking up carcasses of animals on the side of the road all in an effort to save money and create harmful cosmetics. And you have to wonder: If Arbonne products are so wonderfully effective, why do they need to sell themselves using scare tactics about what every other company's products supposedly contain?

Arbonne also advertises the fact that their products don't contain chemical fragrances because of their potential for causing allergic contact dermatitis. We agree with that stance, but it would give Arbonne more credibility if they didn't replace "chemical" fragrances with a slew of irritating plant extracts and volatile oils, several of which are well-known for their potential to cause skin problems. It is their overreliance on such ingredients that makes a disproportionate number of their products impossible to recommend.

we could go on, but to sum it up, despite my reservations, Arbonne has some good products to consider. However, the rather misleading marketing language is not convincing. None of the natural-sounding ingredients in the world can keep you from reacting to an irritating preservative or fragrance, or from breaking out due to cosmetic waxes such as stearic acid or myristyl myristate.

For more information about Arbonne International, call (800) 272-6663 or visit www.arbonne.com.

Arbonne Makeup

Arbonne's makeup is known is divided into two main groups, About Face and Virtual Illusion, and in contrast to its skin-care products, the claims are somewhat tempered. The color palette presented is divided into warms, cools, and neutrals. Although we don't agree with all of Arbonne's classifications, this system can be helpful for making your selection. Regrettably, this collection has seen very little change over the years. Instead, Arbonne focuses heavily on skin care while their latest makeup fails to approach the benchmark standards being set by dozens upon dozens of other companies. The average to poor products are particularly distressing because, for the most part, Arbonne's makeup is overpriced.

Despite this, there is some good news. The makeup categories to focus are blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, gloss, and brushes. You should know that contacting an Arbonne representative to purchase makeup (you cannot purchase it via the company's Web site without having being assigned a representative) will result in more than just a monetary transaction. The Arbonne representatives we encountered were on a mission to recruit anyone who buys (or expresses interest in) their products. Dealing with this company demands patience or a strong resolve. You will need to refute not only the employees' fervent belief that Arbonne products and philosophies are superior to all others, but also the assertion that joining the company is a life-altering experience on par with the most profound spiritual journey you can imagine. Speaking as a consumer, this sort of selling is not appealing, but we are sure there are others looking for just the financial opportunity and lifestyle change Arbonne offers. Those who agree with me should know that the About Face and Virtual Illusion collections include nothing that can’t be found elsewhere, from companies that make it much easier to obtain products than Arbonne does. One more point: Returning products to Arbonne is incredibly frustrating. You must contact your consultant to obtain her information, and then call the company to obtain a return merchandise authorization number. If your consultant doesn't step up, you're stuck with the products unless you want to deal with the company directly, which is about as pleasant as a root canal.

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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Loved it but concerned about reviews, anything similar?

I was given a tube of this moisturiser to try (and hand back asap!?) by a local Sales Rep (I had to endure her lengthy sales pitch too). Anyway I found it really effective as it's lightweight, non-greasy and highly moisturising for dry skin, but am concerned about ginger ingredient(s) etc and the lack of SPF. I have slightly sensitive, dry skin. Do you know of anything similar we could try please? Many thanks Paula et al! :o)

Reviewed by
Kate M
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Check out Neutrogena's Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 - Sensitive Skin.  It's got broad spectrum protection and it's great for both sensitive and slightly dry skin :)

Good enough to use up but not to repurchase

I attended one of the Arbonne "spa parties" when an extended family member became a sales rep for the company. Their regular line irritated my skin- however I was the only one with adverse reactions. Wanting to support the family member, I purchased this product. I did in fact like it, and felt like it did a good job of hydrating my dry, sensitive skin. However there was a slight tingle on application which indicated irritation to me (although it did not cause redness) so I will not repurchase.

Reviewed by
Ashleigh B.
Ginger extract

I am justo worried about the ginger extract here. Paula's team did not seem to pick up on that.

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi, and thanks for your comments! We actually do address this in one line of our review:

"The fragrance-free formula's only weak spot is a tiny amount of ginger root extract. Although this plant has proven anti-inflammatory benefit when consumed orally, it can be a skin irritant, although that's not likely in this case given the small amount present in this moisturizer (Source: IFA—International Federation of Aromatherapists, www.int-fed-aromatherapy.co.uk)."

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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