Harmonie Calm Soothing Milky Cream
This moisturizer has a great name and a lush, silky texture to comfort dry, sensitive skin -- too bad its formula contains enough problematic ingredients that sensitive, reddened skin may become worse, not better!
Several ingredients in this moisturizer are great for dry, sensitive skin. And no question this contains fewer plant-based irritants than what's typically seen in Decleor's moisturizers. But when sensitive, reddened skin is the concern you don't want to see any problematic ingredients, natural or synthetic. With this moisturizer, you're getting a mix of good and bad, yet your skin deserves (and in fact needs) only the good stuff!
Adding to the frustrating formulation is that many of the good plant ingredients won't remain stable and effective because this moisturizer is packaged in a jar. See More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem. And check out our list of Best Sensitive Skin Products for superior, less expensive options.
One more comment: Decleor describes this as a day cream, but without sunscreen it is ill-suited for daytime use. The only difference between a day cream and a night cream is that the day cream should contain sunscreen and, of course, both should be well formulated and filled with antioxidants and skin-repairing and cell-communicating ingredients.
The fact that this moisturizer is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
- Contains some very good ingredients for dry, sensitive skin.
- Jar packaging won't keep the best ingredients stable during use.
- Some of the plant extracts are known irritants and a problem for sensitive skin.
This high-tolerance day cream with a silky, melting and luxurious texture is specifically formulated to care for sensitive and normal to dry skins. Thanks to the "Lacto Calm" complex, together with protective and comforting plant active ingredients, it acts on the skin like a caress to help soothe and relieve feelings of discomfort and redness by tackling the source of the skin's fragility.
Strengths: None of note.
Weaknesses: Expensive; pervasive use of volatile essential oils that have limited to no benefit for skin and are known irritants; almost all the sunscreens lack the right UVA-protecting ingredients; no product to address acne or skin discolorations; inappropriate jar packaging.
What can you say about a skin-care line where almost 85% of the products contain volatile, fragrant plant oils that have research showing they are irritating to skin? Few lines in this book received so many unhappy faces for this reason aloneyet those very oils are Decleor's claim to fame. This spa-oriented company was begun in 1975 by a massage therapist and is now owned in part by Japan-based Shiseido (whose sunscreens trounce Decleor's by leaps and bounds).
Decleor is all about aromatherapy for skin. They speak freely of the purity of the essential oils they use and the distillation processes that keep them active, but that's precisely the cause for concern. Yes, lavender, bitter orange, rose, geranium, neroli, and other "essential" oils smell wonderful, but the very ingredients that create those intoxicating scents are what is responsible for causing skin irritation, inflammation, and, in some cases, phototoxic reactions. These essential oils have active constituents but, because they are not regulated as such, any company can use whichever ones they like in any concentration. Moreover, companies don't have to indicate the quantities that were used, leaving the consumer to guess. The concept of aromatherapy has well-established benefits concerning inhalation of scents and the effects they have on one's mood and, sometimes, physiological function. But enjoying these oils via inhalation (where they really can be beneficial) is different from applying them to skin, where hypersensitivity is well-documented and topical usage is cautioned (Sources: Current Pharmaceutical Design, December 2006, pages 33933399; Phytotherapy Research, September 2006, pages 758763; European Journal of Oncology Nursing, April 2006, pages 140149; The Journal of Nursing, August 2005, pages 1115; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Not only are most of Decleor's products a giant step backward for your skin, they're also a real misfortune when you consider Decleor's terrible sunscreens and lack of truly state-of-the-art ingredients. In short, experiencing these products in a relaxing spa environment may make you feel refreshed or invigoratedbut if your goal is establishing a sensible, effective skin-care routine, youll need to keep shopping.
For more information about Decleor, call (888) 414-4471 or www.decleor.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.