Hydro Grip Primer
Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer is an unusual primer in several ways. However, the all-skin-types, fragrance-free, pump-dispensed formula doesn’t have outstanding aesthetics. It also contains a potentially problematic amount of skin-drying alcohol.
As the fifth ingredient in this water-based, silicone-free primer, the denatured alcohol only poses a moderate risk of irritating or drying out skin; however, research is clear as little as 2% of this type of alcohol to irritate skin (and we suspect this product contains that much or more), so caution is warranted, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Aside from the alcohol, we were also disappointed that once this gel-textured primer sets it leaves a slightly sticky, hairspray-like feel on skin. This is primarily due to the film-forming agent (PVP) but we suspect the natural film forming and binding agent pullulan is also contributing. The appearance on skin does resemble the “…glassy, post-hot-yoga-class glow” Milk mentions as a selling point, but other products give that type of glow without feeling sticky.
Surprisingly, the stickiness doesn’t negatively impact makeup application, although we did not test this with every conceivable type of foundation (liquid and powder formulas worked well). We did not observe this primer helping makeup last longer, so ultimately chalked it up to a ‘why bother?’ product.
As for the cannabis-derived hemp seed, it can hydrate skin, but likely not in the surprisingly low amount this primer contains. The same is true for the niacinamide and other plant extracts called out in the claims.
- Fragrance free.
- Works well with liquid and powder foundations.
- Leave a sticky, hairspray-like finish on skin.
- Amount of alcohol poses a risk of irritating skin.
- Doesn’t help makeup last longer.
- Contains minimal amounts of beneficial ingredients.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.
There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
Hemp-derived cannabis seed extract hydrates to plump and smooth for blissed-out skin. A shot of blue agave extract forms an invisible layer to grip makeup for all-day hold. Allow formula one minute to fully absorb to activate full grip effect. Aloe water, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid, and B vitamins boost skin for a healthier-looking base and a glassy, post-hot-yoga-class glow.
Milk Makeup At-A-Glance
Milk Makeup is one branch of the Milk media company, based in New York and Los Angeles, where creativity and innovation are at the forefront. That vision echoes throughout their skincare and makeup lines, designed to create cool, effortless looks with easy application.
Since many Milk Makeup products can be used several waysa blush is a highlighter is an eyeshadowand since even some skincare products come in solid, swipe-on formulas, their target audience is a savvy girl-on-the-go: one whos not afraid to experiment with a low maintenance, high concept look. Milk makeup was created to travel well and often, since few products come in liquid form, and all can be applied without brushes, puffs, or applicators. Not everyone's ideal makeup can be done in five minutes in the back of a cab--but if you're that girl, you're a "Milk girl."
For the most part were impressed by Milk Makeups performance, design, and vibe, but their ingredient selection isnt exactly worry-free: While Milk Makeup advertises their products as made with the best possible ingredients, many of them, unfortunately, contain irritants such as citrus oils. A multi-tasking, time-saving product isnt worth your time or money if it also exposes your skin to troublesome ingredientsalthough some Milk products fare better in this regard, so do take a peek at our reviews!
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.