Tarte's Knockout Tingling Treatment is one of those products we wish we could give a higher rating, but it includes ingredients that just make it bad news all-around (not to mention how it perpetuates some skincare myths).
Knockout Tingling Treatment comes in a plastic bottle with a twist-off cap. The texture is a water-like fluid that you dispense onto a cotton pad or your fingers. It's easy to smooth onto skin, and delivers an immediate brightening effect.
Reviewing the ingredient list, things start off great! There's skin-restoring niacinamide along with exfoliating acids like lactic acid, gluconolactone, malic acid, and salicylic acid. Even better is that the pH of this product is 3.3, meaning all these acids are at the proper pH to exfoliate skin.
That's where things start to go downhill. Tarte adds acetic acid (the main acid found in vinegar), along with sensitizing horseradish root extract, myrrh extract, myrtus communis extract, and sulfur. Ouch!
This leads to another issue with this product: Tarte labels this as a "tingling treatment" and in its advertising says, "you'll like the burn, but love the return!" We cannot stress enough that good skincare shouldn't be painful! While it's true that high concentrations of AHA can sting skin if it's abraded (for instance, if you've used a harsh scrub beforehand) or extra-sensitive, as a rule skincare shouldn't sting, burn, or tingle. Those sensations are your skin's way of telling you that it's being irritated, which is pro-aging.
As a side note, the burning sensation that's experienced with this product (and we tried it more than once and can attest it does sting!) isn't the result of the acids, rather it's those sensitizing ingredients we mentioned earlier.
It's a shame, because otherwise this is a great exfoliant. But the issues this could cause for skin aren't worth it; you're much better off with one of the alternatives you'll find on our list of Best AHA or BHA exfoliants.
- Contains beneficial AHAs and salicylic acid, at a pH where they are effective as exfoliants.
- Contains several skin-sensitizing ingredients.
- Skincare shouldn't burn or tingle!
Tarte Cosmetics At-A-Glance
Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, out of a desire to create a cosmetics line that would prove that glamour can be good for you. This comes in the form of products that highlight naturally-derived ingredients in their marketing campaigns, and occasionally taking swipes at the concept of synthetics in makeup.
This is ironic, as Tarte uses more than a few beneficial synthetically derived ingredients in their formulassilicones, synthetic fragrances, preservatives and on and on. However, well forgive them that as whats ultimately important is whether their products meet your needs, and to that we can say the brand excels in many areas at what they do.
However, a few products are a bit on the pricey side and there are a few iffy shades and textures to consider among their foundationsnoted in their respective reviews. A few caveats aside, most of Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils and an ever-expanding range of innovative products demonstrate that color is what they do best.
For more information about Tarte Cosmetics visit www.tartecosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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