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Origins

GinZing Ultra-Hydrating Energy-Boosting Cream

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 28.50
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Ingredients

Brand Overview

The core ingredients in this moisturizer qualify it as ultra-hydrating (it feels wonderful on dry skin) but the good is joined by a lot of bad, meaning overly fragrant plant oils and other fragrance ingredients that are proven to irritate skin.

Fragrant oils in this cream include those from citrus and mint, among the most highly sensitizing, as well as the potent fragrance sensitizer limonene—and none of these ingredients is present in minuscule amounts, which only increases the risks to skin. See More Info for details.

The other issue is this moisturizer's jar packaging. As we detail in the More Info section, this type of packaging won't keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable once opened. That's a good thing for the volatile fragrance ingredients, not so good for the beneficial ingredients, including some very good plant- and vitamin-based antioxidants.

This is natural done wrong; see our list of Best Moisturizers for several options that only contain skin-beneficial natural ingredients.

Pros:
  • Very good mix of hydrating emollients.
  • Contains several proven antioxidants.
Cons:
  • Highly fragrant formula poses an unacceptable risk of irritating skin.
  • Contains more sensitizing fragrance ingredients than state of the art ingredients.
  • Jar packaging won't keep the formula's best ingredients stable once opened.
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:

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 & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: 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 also is 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, 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

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes
Major hydration. Major energy. Origins GinZing Ultra-Hydrating Energy-Boosting Cream, formulated with coffee seed oil & cupuacu butter, jumpstarts skin hydration levels for maximum moisture and a vibrant glow. Hydrates for 24 hours, restores radiance, rapidly refreshes & leaves skin energized.
WaterAquaEau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) ExtractExtrait D'Orge, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Salicylic Acid, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Algae Extract, Linoleic Acid, Caffeine, Pantethine, Trehalose, Folic Acid, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Biotin, Arginine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Squalane, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Urea, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Polyquaternium-51, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.

Origins At-A-Glance

Strengths: The makeup products fare best including liquid concealer, blush, brow enhancer, and lip liner; very good makeup brushes composed of synthetic hair.

Weaknesses: Almost every skincare product contains potent irritating ingredients; no products to effectively address needs of those with acne or skin discolorations; some of the makeup products contain irritating ingredients.

Started in 1990, Origins was Estee Lauder's contribution to the (still going strong) demand for natural products. Their approach and claims all hinge on the wonder of plants and the allegedly miraculous properties they offer for skin, whether it be dry, sensitive, oily, or simply showing the effects of time. Here's the issue: Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ones. Ironically, Origins isn't all that "natural" because it uses its share of synthetic ingredients, and the plant extracts they do use include some that are bad for skin.

We have never been opposed to using natural ingredients. However, it lacks integrity when a company throws in any plant ingredient with no proven benefit for skin beyond anecdotal information, and then boasts about all sorts of improbable results. It becomes a far more serious issue when the natural ingredients in question have published research showing that they are in fact irritating or damaging to skin. That's the predicament of reviewing Origins' skin care products: almost every product they sell contains several volatile oils (another term for essential oils), all of which have their share of negative qualities when used on skin. In their attempt to appear more natural, Origins uses quite a bit of these offending ingredients, and they're often listed before the much more beneficial additives, such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients.

You might be wondering why, if Origins has had such continued success, their products can be such a problem for skin? Can't women just use what they like? The answer is two-fold: yes women can use what they like, but often women like what isn't good for them. For example, smoking is bad for skin (and for your lungs), but lots of people smoke; getting a tan from the sun is bad for your skin, but lots of people spend time outdoors getting a tan; and using products that contain irritating ingredients is bad for your skin, and lots of products come to the table with these inconsistencies.

As we have explained in the introduction tothe book, there is a litany of problems that take place when skin is irritated or inflamed, but fundamentally this results in the skin's immune system becoming impaired, collagenase (the breakdown of collagen) occurs, and the skin is stripped of its outer protective barrier. What is perhaps most shocking is that all of these damaging responses can be taking place underneath the skin and you won't even notice it on the surface. The clearest example of this is the significant and carcinogenic effect of the sun's "silent" UVA rays. You don't feel the penetration of these mutagenic rays, but they are taking a toll on your skin nonetheless (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2006, pages 3038; International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2006, pages 183193;Skin Research and Technology; November 2001, pages 227237; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 1625; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327337; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, November 2003, pages 663669; Drugs, 2003 volume 63, issue 15, pages 15791596; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, March 2002, pages 138146; Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2003, page 63; Global Cosmetics, February 2000, pages 4649; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1995, pages 8387).

Most of the Lauder companies really have their acts together when it comes to formulating state-of-the-art moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens that leave out the problematic plant extracts (and that represents a lot of products given the almost two dozen cosmetics companies under the Lauder corporate banner). Origins is the exception, and we encourage my readers who prefer to shop for skin care at the department store to explore the truly far better options from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, or even La Mer. Even salon-styled Aveda, also owned by Lauder, with a natural theme similar to Origins, has less problematic formulas.

For more information about Origins, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 674-4467 or visit www.origins.com.

Origins Makeup

Compared to the makeup offered by almost all of the other Estee Lauderowned lines, Origins falls short by virtue of including ingredients that align with its marketing image of offering natural ingredients that have the blessing of Mother Nature regardless of the risks they pose for skin. As omnipotent as Mom may be, this force of nature is a disaster waiting to happen. A secondary reason Origins isn't competing as well with its sister companies is that for many products (particularly the lipsticks, blush, and cleverly named but non-essential specialty products) the technology isn't as advanced. That lack of technological creativity combined with significant amounts of hostile essential oils will help you understand why we recommend exploring similar, but superior (and irritant-free), options from any of the other Lauder companies from Clinique to M.A.C.

If you're prone to being swayed by the promises of natural products (though Origins is not any more natural than many other lines, it just uses the most problematic plant extracts possible), there are a few outstanding gems to unearth here, and at prices that aren't unrealistic. Additionally, Origins' latest tester units, especially in their freestanding stores, are accessible and user-friendly. They include pull-out counters for added space and feature large mirrors. Combine this with a low-key yet helpful sales staff and knowing what to zero in on and you'll find shopping the best of Origins is a pleasure.

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.