The search for a natural facial moisturizer

by Valerie on June 7, 2007 · 3 comments

I have always had trouble with moisturizers for my face. They seem to work for a while, and invariably stop working. Whether it’s because my skin decides it no longer likes them, or because of a weather change, I am always finding myself changing moisturizers.

The last moisturizer I tried before my near-natural products switch was Bliss’s Ounce of Prevention PM, which worked beautifully for almost six months, and then just stopped working. And while it was great under foundation in winter, by the time warm weather rolled around, it was too heavy. Sadly, its lighter counterpart, Ounce of Prevention AM, made me red and break out. Sigh – you get the idea – the more research I did, the more I was disappointed. Most moisturizers were chock-full of chemicals, and if they gave me a nice skin texture, it was usually because of silicone-based ingredients, not because they were actually helping my skin.

I was also finding that even a really expensive product was often not much better than a drugstore counterpart. The trial and error process of trying many moisturizers, though, gave me an idea of what worked and did not work for me. For example, ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil seemed to help my skin, but products with cucumber extract (long lauded to be soothing for redness) did nothing for me.

A note on cost – as much as I love beauty products, I just can’t believe that the expensive product is always better. It’s really about ingredients, not about brand or packaging. For example, I had liked Bobbi Brown products because they have ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil, but found them overpriced for the ingredients in them (example: beeswax is the base of several of her balms – do you know how inexpensive beeswax is, even the high end kind?). Also, some of the very high end skin care are often a combination of very basic natural things (like lavender essential oil) with some parabens and other chemicals.

Switching to trying all-natural (or, as I am resigning myself to, near-natural) skincare motivated me anew to find a moisturizer (or three) I love. My goal is to find something like the Bobbi Brown products (ie lots of good high quality ingredients) but paraben-free, more geared towards sensitive skin, with anti aging properties and at under $50 a jar. Actually under $20 a jar is my real hope, but who knows. This would be much more possible if I was just looking for dupes and not caring about the chemicals. In fact, I had a phase a few years ago where I tried to find drugstore dupes of high-end skincare — that is possible (ie most Lancome skincare has dupes amongst L’oreal skincare, especially since they are owned by the same company). That said, based on my experience in trying many drugstore products, I know very few use ingredients like shea butter and essential oils in high quantities.

So back to what I tried recently:

First, because it’s so easy to find and fairly inexpensive, and probably the closest thing to a drugstore dupe of high-end in the paraben-free world, I tried some Burt’s Bees facial skincare. I tried both their Marshmallow Vanishing Crème and the Evening Primrose Crème. The Marshmallow Vanishing Crème was not too heavy, and seemed to absorb fairly well, but the scent just made me gag. Now, I usually don’t mind Burt’s Bees products, even though some of them have heavy herbal or honey scents, but the Vanishing Crème was just foul smelling.

The Evening Primrose Cream is more a balm than a cream. It is very similar to Bobbi Brown’s Extra Balm, just not as luxe. The Primrose Cream is too heavy for me except in the dead of winter. I liked it, but I think I prefer Weleda’s Skin Food when I need a shot of heavy moisture at nighttime.

I initially bought Skin Food for my ultra dry legs last winter – sadly it was still not heavy enough for my legs, so I put it away. A few weeks ago, I was reading reviews on it on makeupalley and and noticed many people use it as a nighttime facial moisturizer. I tried it, and WOW – unlike other heavier balms (which do nothing for pore size), Skin Food actually shrunk my pores AND hydrated my face like you would not believe.

I have also been testing Juice Organics’s moisturizer as well as its high end counterpart, Juice Beauty, but those are for another day to discuss.

In sum: if you have dry skin, Weleda Skin Food is AMAZING, and Burt’s Bees Evening Primrose Cream might work for you too. I do think they are good for night mainly, so I am still searching for a light everyday moisturizer (or two!). I will keep you posted!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen June 8, 2007 at 4:47 am

Your website is great! Really informative and well written. Please keep up the good work : )


2 Karen June 8, 2007 at 4:48 am

Your blog is great! I love that you are so informative and your blog is very well written. Your tips about etailers are right on- doing research etc. Please don’t stop bloggin : )


3 Valerie June 10, 2007 at 5:02 am

Thanks Karen 😀 Hope to see you here again soon! Are you the same Karen who writess I am working on linking all the beauty blogs I read on my blog. If it is you, I have to tell you, it is fantabulous.


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