Tula Breakout Star Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer

Tula Skincare

Breakout Star Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 48.00
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Brand Overview

Tula’s Breakout Star Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer gets so much right when it comes to providing hydration to acne-prone skin – there’s only one tiny factor keeping it from reaching the ranks of our best moisturizers!

Things start off strong with the packaging; this comes in an opaque plastic tube with a pump dispenser that protects its good ingredients from breaking down. Inside is a lightweight gel that smooths across skin with ease. It’s hydrating yet not overly emollient, making skin appear refreshed and plumped, while providing a soft matte finish – ideal for the combination to oily acne-prone skin this is designed to treat.

What’s most impressive, though, are the ingredients. This contains the acne-fighting exfoliant salicylic acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid, or BHA) at an effective concentration of 2%. Even better, it’s formulated at a pH of 3.6, right in the middle of the optimal range of 3-4 for it to work its exfoliating magic. This means using this on a daily basis is likely to have a positive impact on acne breakouts.

Backing up the BHA are lightweight hydrators, such as glycerin and aloe, ‘biotic ingredients (including Lactococcus ferment lysate), which help regulate skin’s microbiome for a healthier appearance, pore-refining niacinamide, azelaic acid, soothing bisabolol, and antioxidant plant extracts, among them watermelon, apple, and lentil. It’s a good mix that skips most of the pitfalls of many other products designed to treat acne.

The one issue with this, though, is that it also contacts orange peel extract. While not here in a large amount, undetectable through smell, and not as sensitizing as the oil form of the ingredient, it still puts skin at slight risk for irritation, and simply just isn’t necessary in this product. If this one ingredient weren’t present, this would easily get our top rating!

Still, it’s a very good moisturizer for acne-prone skin, and worth consideration.

  • Lightweight, mattifying formula is ideal for combination to oily skin.
  • Acne-fighting salicylic acid is present at an effective concentration and pH.
  • Contains ‘biotic ingredients to help regulate skin’s microbiome.
  • Includes pore-refining niacinamide and azelaic acid.
  • Contains antioxidant plant extracts and soothing bisabolol.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Contains orange peel extract, which poses a risk of irritating skin.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Finally, the oil-free moisturizer acne-prone skin needs & deserves. Clinically-proven to treat & prevent acne with FDA-approved 2% salicylic acid, while azelaic acid brightens marks left by past blemishes. Non-comedogenic so won’t clog pores. Lightweight yet effective, this hydrating facial moisturizer is oil-free, alcohol-free & won’t dry out skin.

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 2%. Inactive Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Niacinamide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Azelaic Acid, Bisabolol, Cetearyl Olivate, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lactic Acid, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ozonized Oryza Sativa (Rice) Callus Culture Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum.

Tula Skincare is a brand focused on an emerging group of skincare ingredients: probiotics. While it’s long been known that probiotics (such as those found in yogurt) were beneficial for health when consumed via certain foods and supplements, new research shows they’re also beneficial applied directly to skin. Internally, probiotics (which are live microorganisms that live in and on the body) can regulate digestive health; externally they play a role in managing a key component of skin’s surface known as its microbiome.

Tula was founded by Dr. Roshini Raj, a still-practicing gastroenterologist who says she noticed that many of her patients who had consumed probiotics showed signs of improvement in their skin. This concept of balancing skin became the core foundation of Tula, a word which means “balance” in Sanskrit.

To that end, all Tula products contain probiotics (in the non-living form of lysates, which retain many of the same topical benefits as live probiotics), along with some pre- and postbiotics as well. Postbiotics are exciting because these by-products from the breakdown of probiotics give each person’s microbiome key substances skin needs to be strong and healthy.

There are a couple of standout options, but unfortunately, Tula includes fragrance in the majority of their offerings, and fragrance – whether synthetic or from natural sources (essential oils and extracts) such as Tula uses, puts skin at risk for irritation. Irritation can disrupt skin in a way that counteracts the anti-inflammatory benefits of probiotic ingredients, so these formulas would be better minus the fragrance.

As far as packaging goes, with a few rare exceptions (such a couple of products in jars), Tula does a good job keeping its skin care in opaque containers that protect its best-yet-most-delicate ingredients from losing their potency in the presence of light and air. Overall, it’s a hit-or-miss brand – with some top-notch options, some that are good (except for the fragrance), and others to skip altogether.

To find out more about Tula, visit https://www.tula.com/.



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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.

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