This neck and chest (décolleté) cream isn’t much different from the facial and eye-area moisturizers Dr. Hauschka sells. If you have superior formulas (which this is not), then the similarity would be fine; that is, your neck and chest need and should be getting the same beneficial ingredients you apply to your face, and that should include daily sun protection. You just don’t need separate products for the neck and chest area.
The plant oils in this neck cream will improve dry skin anywhere on the face or body, but because you also will be exposing your skin to several irritating plant extracts, along with a potentially problematic amount of alcohol, it ends up causing more problems. This also contains numerous fragrance ingredients that irritate skin, damaging its ability to heal and produce healthy collagen. That isn’t “regenerating” in the least, nor is this product something you should apply to any part of your body. Your chest and neck deserve more than this offers.
Irritation from Fragrance
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Why Alcohol is a Problem for Skin
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,”Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Extracts of moisture-balancing marsh mallow and birch leaves are combined with isoflavone-rich red clover in an exquisite composition that moisturizes and renews. Eight plant oils, including macadamia nut and argan, replenish the neck and décolleté. Field horsetail fortifies and helps firm for a visibly smoother appearance.
Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Alcohol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Althaea Officinalis Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Hectorite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Lysolecithin, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Extract, Fragrance, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Coumarin, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Benzyl Salicylate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Oryzanol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Glyceryl Stearate, Lecithin, Stearic Acid, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract
Dr. Hauschka At-A-Glance
Strengths: None for skin care; one good lipstick.
Weaknesses: Every skin-care product contains at least one volatile fragrance component or plant ingredient that can be irritating to skin as well as causing increased sensitivity when skin is exposed to sunlight; no sunscreens; the moisturizers are mostly redundant and easily replaced by plain, non-fragrant oils; no products to address even the most basic skin-care concerns; several hokey products with absolutely zero research attesting to their effectiveness.
Dr. Rudolf Hauschka is no longer around, although the Germany-based cosmetics company bearing his name definitely is. Sold primarily at health food stores, the products are a standout for their high prices alone.
If plants are your thing, these formulations, according to the ingredient lists, are some of the most "pure" there are. However, the formulas are a frustrating mix of good and bad natural ingredients, and there are no suitable options for those with oily, combination, or sensitive skin (especially for sensitive skin, as everything, and we mean every product, in this line contains fragrance).
As for the products themselves, despite the inclusion of lots of natural ingredients sure to pique consumer interest, Dr. Hauschka's development team seemingly ignored copious research on skin-care ingredients from the last 20 years or so. For example, almost every product has plant extracts that have irritation potential, and most of the problematic ones have no known benefit for skin, so you're risking irritation without a reward. Instead, the company literature goes on and on about how the products are rhythmically mixed and the spiritual connection between nature and people. It all sounds tempting and quite Zen until you realize such back-to-nature philosophies aren't necessarily the key to a healthy complexion. We have little doubt that most consumers using these products will experience some amount of skin irritation, and the textures of many items are inelegant at best; "silky" is s not a word that comes mind!
We're skeptical about the disclosure of the ingredients in the products because preservatives are not listed. If that is truly the case, the risk of contamination after just a couple of weeks of use is significant, especially considering how many plant extracts these products contain. The company insists that the ingredient lists are accurate and that the natural extracts and essential oils chosen have self-preserving properties—but cosmeti chemistry research doesn't support this; such ingredients don't have the same preservation track records as those (such as the parabens and phenoxyethanol) that show up in thousands of other products.
From a modern, research-supported perspective, this is one of the most ineffective, potentially irritating lines around and a classic example of why natural isn't automatically the best way to go for intelligent skin care. The moisturizers have their share of helpful ingredients for dry skin, but are about as state-of-the-art as a console television.
In early 2009 the company announced that they discontinued all of their sunscreens. This decision was in response to new European Union regulations governing labeling for products with UVA-protecting ingredients. Dr. Hauschka will not formulate a sunscreen with synthetic active ingredients, and from everything we've read and from all of the discussions we've had with cosmetic chemists about this issue, there is no way a sunscreen can meet the EU's new UVA standards without including a synthetic active.
For more information about Dr. Hauschka, call (800) 247-9907 or visit www.drhauschka.com.
Dr. Hauschka Makeup
Termed Decorative Cosmetics, the collection doesn't much reason to give this makeup more than a passing glance, as the products are downright ordinary to inadequate, and the prices should snap even the most meditative soul back to reality. Sadly, every color cosmetic product from this brand, even those meant for use around the eyes, contains one or more problematic fragrance ingredients.
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