Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream
Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream has an impressively creamy-rich texture that feels amazing on normal to dry skin, and it contains an excellent mix of hydrating and replenishing ingredients. We would love to rate this better, but all that good is knocked down several notches by the inclusion of several fragrant plant oils that can irritate and sensitize (and trigger redness on) skin. How frustrating!
Packaged in an opaque flexible metal tube that has a clinical-medicinal look, a small amount of this cream bathes skin in moisture, plus the packaging keeps the formula’s light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
Tiger grass is one name for the antioxidant-containing Centella asiastica plant, whose leaf water is the third ingredient in this facial moisturizer. It’s a good soothing plant that’s also known to be hydrating. Although it has become a buzzed-about ingredient, at least this time the enthusiasm makes sense.
Along with the tiger grass are several nourishing and hydrating ingredients such as panthenol shea butter, niacinamide, and macadamia nut oil; all wonderful for dry skin. We’ve written about the resurrection plants mentioned in the claims before, and the minerals can help improve hydration because they play a role in how water is transported through skin, but the celebration stops there.
The party crashers include lavender, grapefruit, rosemary, and rosewood oils. All of these fragrant plant oils contain volatile compounds that can trigger skin irritation and signs of sensitivity, not to mention grapefruit oil is a photosensitizer (it can cause negative reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight without sun protection). See More Info for details.
Dr. Jart includes some good plant extracts, too, and while it’s true that each of the fragrant oils is also a potent source of antioxidants, for the health of your skin you’re better off selecting natural ingredients that only provide benefits vs. those with benefits and risks. You’ll find such products on our list of best face moisturizers.
Last, what about the claim that this formula utilizes a “double-layer structure to improve penetration of ingredients”? That sounds interesting and is likely true, but such formulary techniques are common in many other products. And of course, if Dr. Jart really is using does penetration-enhancing technology, that makes the fragrant oils Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream (which your nose will instantly detect) a bigger risk for skin.
- Excellent mix of hydrating and replenishing ingredients.
- Rich, creamy texture bathes dry skin in moisture.
- Packaged to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
- Contains several fragrant oils known to irritate and sensitize skin.
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:
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
Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream soothes skin damage caused by dryness, irritation, and inflammation. It’s formulated with an advanced, Nolsome Capsule, which features a double-layer structure to improve penetration of ingredients. Resurrection plant, houttuynia cordata, and yarrow enhance the skin’s viability and help support strong skin. Minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium help improve skin moisture levels and restore fatigued skin for a healthy appearance.
Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance
Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.
Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.
No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims
It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.
For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.
Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.
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.