Benefit's The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel is an intriguing product for combination to oily skin, as we'll explain below. Unfortunately, its formula and the results are likely to prompt more frowns than happy faces.
Worth smiling about is the fact that this lightweight, water-based formula makes oily skin feel fresh and clean. The gel formula sets quickly to a shine-controlling matte finish. In fact, given the two ingredients (glycerin and propanediol) that are listed right after water, we were surprised at how matte this looked and felt. It just goes to show how powerful the primary absorbent ingredient (silica) can be!
Unhappiness sets in because although this mattifies skin instantly, within an hour or so the matte effect begins to feel (and look) uncomfortably dry. The amount of alcohol this mattifier contains is likely a contributing factor to this unpleasant side effect, not to mention it can have a rebound effect for those with oily skin, initially making it matte but eventually leading to increased oil production due to ongoing irritation.
As for the blurring effect on pores, the diamond powder isn't really doing the work. The effect is less a blur and more about how the strong matte finish automatically makes pores appear smaller because oily shine reflects light, and light makes pores look larger.
In contrast, keeping skin shine-free helps pores look smaller. Unlike the crop of "blur" products on the market, this POREfessoinal product doesn't have a thick gel or spackle-like texture that temporarily fills in large pores. In the end, applying a matte finish powder does more to reduce the appearance of pores than this mattifier.
The other issue is that this product's fragrance and fragrance ingredient limonene pose a risk of irritation. Although it's not super-potent, the scent combined with alcohol increases the odds of skin experiencing an irritant response.
Summing up, The The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel works to keep oily shine away for a decent period of time (we clocked three hours) but at the expense of feeling uncomfortable and making skin look progressively dull and dry. You can cover this effect with makeup, but there's still the issue of the fragrance + alcohol combination putting skin at risk of irritation. See our list of Best Oil-Absorbing Products for mattifiers that go the distance and offer results that are more attractive.
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.com.
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