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Boots

Botanics Simply Calm Hydrating Serum for Stressed Skin

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 17.99
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Boots’ Botanics Simply Calm Hydrating Serum for Stressed Skin starts things off on the right foot but is ultimately undone by some questionable ingredient inclusions.

Housed in a lightly frosted bottle with a dropper dispenser, this lightweight lotion-textured serum should be stored out of direct light to protect its delicate ingredients from breaking down. It’s suitable for all skin types, absorbs quickly with no greasy feel, and provides lightweight hydration.

Turning to the formula, it starts off promising with soothing aloe, two forms of antioxidant vitamin C, moisturizing hemp seed oil, and plumping sodium hyaluronate. Problematically, though, these good ingredients are accompanied by fragrant lavender, orange peel, and rosemary oils, along with the fragrance ingredients limonene and linalool. They’re not here in the highest concentrations – they’re near the end of the ingredient list – but they’re prominent enough to smell, and any amount of fragrance is an issue, especially considering this product is intended to calm skin (see More Info for details on why fragrance in skin care is a problem).

This isn’t a solution for stressed skin; in fact, it’s likely to make matters worse, so we advise choosing one of the far better soothing serums on the market instead.

Pros:
  • Lightweight gel-cream texture is suitable for all skin types.
  • Contains soothing, antioxidant, and moisturizing ingredients.
Cons:
  • Needs to be stored out of direct light.
  • Contains several fragrant ingredients that are skin irritants.

More Info:

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

The perfect addition to any routine, simply layer a few drops of this serum under our Hydrating Face Cream, morning or night. Made with cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil and aloe vera, this water-based serum offers fast hydration while calming and soothing stressed feeling skin without leaving an oily residue. Contains an essential oil blend of lavender, mandarin and rosemary.

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Ether, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sclerotium Gum, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Bisabolol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Sodium Phytate, Limonene, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower/Leaf/Stem Oil, Linalool.

Boots At-A-Glance

Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.

Boots sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, youll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.

Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.

You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldnt be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).

For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.

Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.

Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.

Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.

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.

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