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Curel

Intensive Moisture Facial Cream

1.40 fl. oz. for $ 30.00
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Curel’s Intensive Moisture Facial Cream feels soothing, but between its poor packaging, mostly lackluster formula, and the inclusion of one skin irritant, this isn’t the solution dry, sensitive skin needs.

We love that this cream has a silky-smooth texture that glides across skin with ease, imparting a feel of instant hydration. It absorbs quickly without a greasy feel, and makes skin appear plumped and moisturized.

These results are in part because this contains tried-and-true hydrators such as glycerin and dimethicone, along with emollient squalane, which is rich in both fatty acids and antioxidants. This also contains allantoin, an ingredient well-known for its skin-soothing properties.

The problem is that for a product “designed for dry, sensitive skin”, this should have a greater complement of water-binding agents to lock in moisture long term, as well as additional skin-soothing benefits to calm sensitivity and alleviate redness. What’s here is a good start, but the skin type this is marketed toward needs something more potent.

Also at issue is that this contains a small amount of irritating eucalyptus leaf extract. While not nearly as problematic as eucalyptus oil (you can’t even smell it here), it’s an iffy inclusion (especially for a product designed to treat sensitive skin!)

Also problematic is that this is packaged in a jar. Such packaging exposes beneficial ingredients to both light and air exposure, which can cause them to break down and lose their effectiveness (this is particularly true for squalane). There’s also a concern about hygiene, especially in water-based products like this one (see More Info below for details).

While we appreciate the intent behind this face cream, you’ll find superior options on our list of best moisturizers.

Pros:
  • Silky-smooth texture absorbs quickly and makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Includes moisturizing glycerin, dimethicone, and squalane.
  • Contains skin-soothing allantoin.
Cons:
  • Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
  • Includes eucalyptus leaf extract, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
  • Packaged in a jar, which compromises its beneficial ingredients.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Beneficial ingredients: Beneficial 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

Designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin, this lightweight moisturiser intensely nourishes and comforts your skin. Absorbs instantly and leaves the skin with a healthy glow. Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream helps to fill up the ceramide reservoir, and to improve your skin´s natural barrier function. Soothing hydration helps protect skin from dryness and external stimuli.

Water/Aqua, Glycerin, Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Squalane, Trisiloxane, Dimethicone, PEG-3 Dimethicone, Allantoin, Magnesium Sulfate, Butylene Glycol, Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Succinic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Bis-Methoxypropylamido Isodocosane, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Methylparaben.

Strengths: Inexpensive and generously-sized; contains a consistent range of tried-and-true emollient ingredients.

Weaknesses: None of the products are state-of-the-art formulas; several products listed as being good for sensitive skin or not containing fragrance are fragranced and/or contain ingredients those with sensitive skin should avoid; Many products contain a high amount of irritating eucalyptus extract the foot cream contains irritating citrus juices; the hand cream is overly fragranced.

Long a staple of the body-care aisle at drugstores around the world, Curel and its sister company Jergens (and Biore) are owned by the Japan-based Kao Corporation. Like Jergens, Curel offers an assortment of body lotions for dry, itchy skin. Whereas Jergens has expanded into an array of self-tanning products alongside their body lotions, Curel remains firmly based around body lotions for dry skin. Considering Curels specialty, its disappointing that so many of their body lotions disappoint, either due to average formulas or the inclusion of fragrant plant extracts (most often eucalyptus).

Theres truly nothing worth considering from Curel, and that sad. The price point is excellent, the sizes are generous, but none of this matters if whats inside the bottles isnt great for your skin. Dont get us wrong; Curels body lotions contain some workhorse ingredients such as petrolatum and glycerin. Those can be great for dry skin, but theyre just the beginningdry skin needs a range of ingredients, including repairing and cell-communicating substances plus antioxidantsand those are lacking in pretty much every product Curel offers. In essence, Curel isnt the cure for dry skin.

If youve been intrigued by this line, your curiosity can stop here. Curel isnt the answer for dry, itchy, or sensitive skin (indeed, several of its products are a problem for sensitive skin). Other drugstore body lotions offer more for your money, and without problematic ingredients like eucalyptus. Some of those may cost a bit more, but when youre getting a truly superior formula, its money well spent!

For more information about Curel, call (800) 572-2931 or visit www.curel.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.

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