Skinn by Dimitri James

Hydro-Surge Deep Moisture Lifting Treatment

3.00 fl. oz. for $ 24.00
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It is worth noting that the claims for this moisturizer are in direct opposition to what Dimitri James writes in his booklet, Becoming Beauty. Take a look at the claims about the product that “only water can ‘moisturize’ your skin” or that water is “vital for beautiful, younger looking skin” and “keeps skin firm, toned, and radiant.” Yet in James’s book, he states “ordinary water cannot penetrate skin,” but who knows where he got that information because water absolutely can penetrate skin—think of what happens to skin when you soak too long in the bathtub.

James also declares that most creams are 99% water, which is 100% false; despite water being the main ingredient in many moisturizers, even the worst moisturizers can never be 99% water, otherwise, they wouldn’t look like a lotion, serum, or cream. He also asserts that it “...would be great if the water contained in these products did something to improve your skin rather than simply fill up a jar.” Clearly, James is conflicted about whether or not water is useful or useless for skin, but it’s abundantly clear that water alone cannot moisturize skin.

The studies that have compared the water content of dry skin with that of normal or oily skin show that there doesn’t appear to be a statistically significant difference. Healthy skin requires a water content of about 15%, and adding too much moisture, like soaking in a bathtub, is bad for skin because it disrupts the skin’s outer barrier (the intercellular matrix) by breaking down the substances that keep skin cells functioning normally and in good shape.

What is thought to be taking place when dry skin occurs is that the intercellular matrix (the substances between skin cells that keep them intact, smooth, and healthy) has become depleted or damaged, bringing about a rough, uneven, and flaky texture that allows water to be lost. But, adding water won’t keep that moisture in the skin unless the outer barrier is maintained or repaired, and, again, too much water causes problems (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, July 2008, pages 23–34; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, September 2007, pages S1–S4; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2007, pages 75–82; and Dermatologic Therapy, March 2004, Supplement 1, pages 43–48).

Getting back to the product itself, I’m concerned about the lavender flower water base. Lavender in any form isn’t great for skin due to its irritant potential and the facts that it can cause skin cell death and has estrogenic properties. This is otherwise an OK lightweight moisturizer those with normal to oily skin will find appealing, but it’s a shame most of the really good stuff that all skin types need are present in such tiny amounts.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Only water can "moisturize" your skin, but water typically found in ordinary creams and serums cannot penetrate the surface of your skin. Yet water is vital for beautiful, younger looking skin. Water keeps skin firm, toned and radiant. Skinn introduces the world's first certified organic "wetter water". We actually broke the surface tension of certified organic water, creating a moisture molecule that can penetrate skin and carry with it many water soluble anti-aging actives to firm, tone, lift and boost radiance. It's like a flash flood of moisture for thirsty cells.

Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Glycerin, Isopentyldiol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium PCA, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Biosaccharide Gum, Glycolic Acid, Chlorella Vulgaris (Algae) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Glycosaminoglycans, Hyaluronic Acid, Bisabolol, Copper PCA, Chlorphenesin

Skinn by Dimitri James At-A-Glance

Strengths: The toner; a few good moisturizers, including some designed for the eye area (even though skin around the eyes doesn't require a separate product) and for oily skin; the lip scrub; the Nutri-Lift products (even though they don't lift skin in the least); mostly good, and some intriguing, makeup palettes; some great mascaras; the automatic eyeliner pencil.

Weaknesses: No sunscreens (How can you take any cosmetic line's anti-aging claims seriously when they completely overlook the importance of sun protection?); jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products; no products to manage acne or skin.

Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.

Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.

Skinn's promises for their makeupthat they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfectionare beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.

All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.

Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.

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.

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