Better Daze Ahead Restorative Cushion Cream
Farmacy’s Better Daze Ahead Restorative Cushion Cream is a mostly well-formulated option in the emerging market of CBD skin care. Unfortunately, the intriguing formula is undone by poor packaging.
The texture of this cream is luxurious – it’s a rich, almost whipped formula that’s deeply hydrating, and thus best for those with normal to dry skin (those with combination or oily skin might find this too emollient). That’s thanks in part to the oils included, among them hemp and coconut.
Getting to the CBD aspect of this product, Farmacy states this contains 50mg of CBD, derived from CBD-enriched hemp oil. CBD – or cannabidiol – is the non-intoxicating component of marijuana and hemp plants that emerging research shows has anti-inflammatory and even anti-aging properties when applied topically to skin.
CBD is an exciting ingredient, but one that still is not entirely regulated, a loophole allowing some brands claim to have CBD in their products but actually just have hemp extract. CBD should be listed on ingredient lists as “cannabidiol” among other terms (see More Info below for details), though that’s not the case here.
That doesn’t mean this doesn’t contain actual CBD, and from evidence on Farmacy’s site, it looks like it does. Farmacy’s FAQ mentions CBD specifically, and this cream is sold on a separate site from Farmacy’s main website that requires you to verify that you are 18 years or older before you can enter it – all signs that this is the real deal. Still, it’s most helpful for brands to list the ingredient as “cannabidiol” to make things easier for consumers. After all, that is the name approved for use in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients regulatory database.
Backing up the CBD is Farmacy’s blend of adaptogens, mostly mushroom extracts. While they have value to skin as antioxidants (along with other plant-based antioxidants in the formula), the concept of adaptogens applied directly to skin needs more research at this point. The thinking is that since these ingredients adapt to harsh changes in the wild, they can do the same on your skin – but there is no definitive proof yet that they can do that.
The problem with this cream, despite all its potential, is that it’s packaged in a jar. Jar packaging exposes CBD and all the other antioxidant ingredients to light and air, both of which cause them to begin to lose their effectiveness as soon as the container is opened. This also contains a small amount of fragrance, which puts skin at risk for irritation. See More Info for details.
- Rich, whipped cream texture is hydrating for normal to dry skin.
- Contains moisturizing, non-fragrant plant oils.
- Includes CBD, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
- Contains antioxidant-rich plant extracts.
- Packaged in a jar, which compromises its beneficial ingredients.
- Includes fragrance, which isn’t the best for skin.
What to Look for When Shopping for CBD: Many products claiming to contain CBD don’t actually contain it. This is true even when CBD or CBD oil is in the product’s name or the company’s marketing information says it contains CBD. Because of this, consumers shopping for CBD topicals are advised to choose very carefully.
Technically, according to the FDA, topical products claiming to contain CBD or cannabidiol should list “cannabidiol” on the ingredient label, because this is the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients)-approved name. The problem? Not every brand follows this. Until the FDA finalizes their regulation on alternative names for cannabidiol, brands can and do use other terms for cannabidiol.
Alternative names for cannabidiol on a label such as “CBD”, “CBD isolate”, “CBD oil”, or “CBD-rich hemp extract” may contain cannabidiol but they also may not. In order to be 100% certain, you can always ask the company for their product’s specification, known as the assay. Reputable brands will be happy to provide this information; be skeptical of any brand that refuses to share this information.
Even better: Some companies list the dosage their CBD product contains in milligrams and include on their websites independent third-party certification that the amount of CBD claimed on the label is accurate.
Jar Packaging & Beneficial Ingredients: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.
References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
A silky-soft and restorative moisturizer infused with non-psychoactive, hemp-derived CBD oil (50 mg) + adaptogens to help balance dry, distressed skin.
Farmacy is the creation of entrepreneurial businessman and self-described “plant geek” Mark Veeder. Due to a chance discovery, he was able to bring together his childhood background on a farm and his experience as a marketing and public relations expert to create a skin care brand focused on farm-raised ingredients.
As the story goes, during his time as a marketing professional in New York City, Veeder still maintained a 7-acre farm 90 miles away. The chance discovery happened in 1999, when he noticed an unusual green variant of the normally-purple Echinacea Purpurea on his property. Excited by what this could mean, he sent the plant to a lab for testing. The test results showed that this version had 300 times more of the antioxidant cichoric acid than the usual strain of the plant. Veeder patented it, sold it to local nurseries, and named it GreenEnvy. Fifteen years after the initial discovery, he resolved to create a skin care company, Farmacy, with GreenEnvy as its star ingredient.
Before you get too excited: there’s little independent research backing the claims surrounding GreenEnvy’s potency (most of the research has been done on Farmacy’s behalf), though as with most plant extracts, it provides antioxidant benefits and may also prevent collagen breakdown, which is nice but hardly unique to this plant.
As for the products themselves, most have solid foundations (great, plant-based antioxidants abound) but some of them are undone by additions that make them less-than-ideal for skin. Many contain fragrant plant oils which, while natural, aren’t good for skin. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, puts skin at risk for irritation that can cause numerous problems. Frustratingly, many of the fragrant plants are, in fact, also brilliant antioxidants; however, plenty of natural ingredients also provide antioxidant benefits without risking skin irritation and other problems.
We like that Farmacy’s take on natural is to combine it with key lab-engineered (synthetic) ingredients. This approach is refreshingly honest and affirms the research-supported fact that just because an ingredient is synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad for skin. The truth is there are good and bad natural ingredients as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients.
Farmacy’s other issue beyond fragrance is that several of the products are packaged in jars, which exposes their good ingredients to light and air that will eventually cause them to break down and lose effectiveness.
There is one mineral-based sunscreen that’s a standout, especially for sensitive skin, but because of the issues mentioned above, this line isn’t quite the farm-fresh merger of nature and science it’s made out to be.
To learn more about Farmacy, visit https://www.farmacybeauty.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.