First Aid Beauty claims Vitamin Hydrating Mist will "reawaken skin, restore hydration, and protect from environmental aggressors," but its formula errs on the side of putting skin at risk for potential irritation. How so? Between a high concentration of skin-irritating witch hazel, citrus extracts, and other fragrant ingredients (such as sandalwood, rosemary and patchouli leaf extract), spraying this on your face could incite skin-damaging inflammation.
Don't be misled by claims such as "free of artificial fragrances" and "safe for sensitive skin." Even naturally fragrant ingredients (of which Vitamin Hydrating Mist contains several, contributing to its lingering smell) have negative effects on skin including decreasing collagen production and more (see More Info for the full scoop).
Despite the lightweight finish, this isn't an ideal formula to set your makeup as the claims state. If anything, misting this liquid over your makeup is more likely to break it down. After all, the first ingredient is water, followed by polysorbate 80, which has a mild surfactant (cleansing) action. That certainly won't keep makeup in place and looking just-applied.
We'd be remiss not to mention that there are a few beneficial ingredients for skin in here, too (including antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E), but there are much better ways to incorporate those kinds of ingredients into your skincare routine without having to expose skin to troublesome ingredients—even within First Aid Beauty's own collection. One such solution? A well-formulated toner, of which you can find our top rated options here!
For a product claiming to restore skin, Vitamin Hydrating Mist fails due to its blend of good and not-so-good ingredients. For that reason, as well as the concerning recommendation that this be regularly sprayed onto the face (which can be a risk in terms of inhalation and potential eye irritation), Vitamin Hydrating Mist lands itself on the "DO NOT BUY" list. This is a rare miss from First Aid Beauty, whose products typically impress us.
Irritation from High Amounts of 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 for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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