Hydra Light Moisturizing Gel
This gel from Nuance is supposed to provide lightweight moisture for combination to oily skin, but instead has a potentially irritating (and truly bare-bones) formula that can actually make oily skin worse and lead to more breakouts. See More Info for details!
The problems start near the beginning of the ingredient list, with the inclusion of witch hazel water. The water is distilled from all parts of the witch hazel plant, so you don't know exactly what you're getting, but you would be getting an irritating amount of alcohol as witch hazel is stabilized with alcohol which can dry out skin, the opposite of what a good moisturizer should do! Witch hazel also contains tannins, which can constrict blood flow and lead to irritation. This also contains the potentially irritating fragrance chemicals eugenol and limonene. It's also important to realize that irritation can increase oil production.
There are some good ingredients present, such as cucumber and grape extracts, along with aloe leaf juice, but they all are listed after the witch hazel water, making this a risky formula for any skin type.
- Contains some good antioxidant and skin-soothing ingredients, such as cucumber and grape extracts.
- High amount of witch hazel water that includes skin drying alcohol, as well as potentially irritating tannins and eugenol which can increase oil production and impede healing.
Inflammation in skin is usually related to external factors, such as irritation that damages the skin's barrier, in numerous ways, whether you can see the reaction or not. When irritation on the surface of skin occurs, it activates specific chemicals in the brain called neuropeptides (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2007), which are specifically the kind that regulates the hormonal system of the body.
When this happens, it causes inflammatory chemicals that directly target the oil gland, triggering an increase in oil production, which, in turn, can increase the size of the pore and the likelihood of acne—the more inflammation, the worse the risk (European Journal of Dermatology, 2002; and Dermatology, 2003).
Bottom line: Inflammation and its resulting irritation, whether internal or external (for this discussion externally it would be due to the use of irritating ingredients, hot water, overusing scrubs, and so on), is practically a guarantee you will see excess production of oil, larger pores, and acne breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009; and Dermato-Endocrinology, 2011).
That's reason enough to avoid products with irritating ingredients, which often come in the form of fragrance, including the misnamed "essential" oils.
With cucumber extract, apple fruit extract & aloe leaf juice.
A reasonably priced retinol product with packaging that keeps the retinol stable; good skin-brightening product; excellent cream body cleanser; good body cream for dry skin.
Many products contain lavender oil, which is a known skin irritant, despite its nice scent; most of the moisturizers are packaged in jars, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients will lose their effectiveness once the lid is opened; many of the star ingredients lack independent research proving their effectiveness; very few fragrance-free products; an anti-acne product that has the potential to make acne breakouts worse.
Its a simple fact of the cosmetics industry, and its been the case for decades: A beautiful actress or model touting the benefits of a brand can have an enormous influence on how people make decisions about what products to buy! Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Jennifer Aniston has sold their face and fame to a cosmetic company to proclaim its benefit. Now, actress Salma Hayek has an eponymous line of skincare and makeup products called Nuance Salma Hayek.
Hayeks acting career began in her native Mexico, where she became a star after appearing in successful films and telenovelas. She then made the jump to Hollywood and found commercial success in English-speaking projects, as well as branching out into directing and producing. Cosmetics companies took note of Hayeks success and ethnic beauty, which lead to Revlon contracting Hayek to be one of their models in late 1999.
In 2011, Hayek decided to strike out on her own by creating Nuance Salma Hayek. The actress says the inspiration for the line is her grandmother, who used traditional Mexican home remedies to craft her own skincare products. Many of Nuances products contain the same ingredients (or at least derivatives of those ingredients) used by Hayeks grandmother, such as blue agave and prickly pear. As nostalgic and folksy as that sounds, anecdotal stories about skin care dont relate to the phenomenal evolution of research that now exists about skin.
While it is possible that blue agave and prickly pear are decent ingredients for skin, there is scant evidence or any research proving that to be the case. Though there certainly isnt any negative information yet about these extracts, the fact that Nuance relies heavily on them for anti-aging benefit means theyre ignoring some truly great ingredients with vast amounts of proven research showing they work!
Even more to the point, regardless of how good an ingredient is for skin, whether the concern is dryness, acne, signs of aging, oily skin, blackheads, sagging, puffy eyes, or anything else, skin is a complex organ, and one or two good ingredients is not even remotely enough to take the best care of it. Believing these kinds of homespun tales will end up hurting your skin. The same way eating only the same two or three foods every day wouldnt keep your body healthy, two or three ingredients wont keep your skin healthy, either.
Aside from the marketing spin, the line itself, which is extensive, has far more negatives than positives. The facial moisturizers rely heavily on jar packaging, meaning the light-and air-sensitive ingredients in those products will start to lose their effectiveness as soon as the jar is opened. Another misstep is the inclusion of lavender oil in many productsa not-so-great natural ingredient that research has shown can cause many problems, including skin-cell death, meaning it has no place in skincare products! Yes, lavender smells good, but oftentimes what pleases your nose isnt going to make your skin happy.
Of course, there are some standout products among Nuances offerings. There is a goodand affordableretinol product, as well as an excellent skin lightener, a truly great body cleansing cream, and a body moisturizer thats great for dry skin. As a whole, though, the line is largely unimpressive, and is bolstered more by its celebrity cache than by the strength of its products performance.
Note: Although Nuance Salma Hayek offers makeup, too, only the skincare is reviewed at this time. We noticed that our area CVS stores carried only a small portion of the makeup, and many items were deeply discounted, which is a sign the color line might be going away.
Nuance Salma Hayek is sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacies. For more information, visit www.cvs.com or call 1-888-607-4287.
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.