Melissa Day Cream
This moisturizer is not suitable for daytime use because it does not provide sun protection, a critical step in keeping skin young, smooth, and healthy. Also, despite an emollient texture for dry skin, the formula contains a high amount of alcohol and melissa extract; the latter is a plant extract that’s known to be irritating, although it also provides antioxidant benefits (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). There are plenty of good plant extracts that help skin without putting it at risk, so there’s no need to consider those whose plant ingredients are a mixed bag. Plus, using skin-care products with high amounts of alcohol is always counter-productive if you want positive results (see More Info to find out why).
The formula, which is about as natural as it gets, also contains some plant extracts known to cause sensitivity or provoke an allergic reaction, and the numerous fragrance ingredients, while natural, can wreak their own havoc on your skin. Please see More Info for details on why using products with strong fragrance is a bad idea for skin.
One more comment: The oily texture of this moisturizer cannot control shine. This contains far too many emollient ingredients to do anything except make oily skin look more oily.
- Contains several natural ingredients that improve dry skin.
- Contains enough alcohol that it can cause irritation and free-radical damage.
- Contains fragrance ingredients and fragrant plants known to be irritating.
- Absolutely the wrong product to balance combination skin or control shine.
Why Alcohol is a Problem for Skin
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,”Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Irritation from Fragrance
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Renowned for its harmonizing effects, Melissa (lemon balm) balances combination skin while extracts of anthyllis, carrot, witch hazel and English daisy soothe, soften and even the complexion. Shine is controlled and skin is calmed, smoothed and moisturized.
Dr. Hauschka At-A-Glance
Strengths: None for skin care; one good lipstick.
Weaknesses: Every skin-care product contains at least one volatile fragrance component or plant ingredient that can be irritating to skin as well as causing increased sensitivity when skin is exposed to sunlight;no sunscreens;the moisturizers are mostly redundant and easily replaced by plain, non-fragrant oils; no products to address even the most basic skin-care concerns; several hokey products with absolutely zero research attesting to their effectiveness.
Dr. Rudolf Hauschka is no longer around, although the Germany-based cosmetics company bearing his name definitely is. Sold primarily at health food stores, the products are a standout for their high prices alone.
If plants are your thing, these formulations, according to the ingredient lists, are some of the most "pure" there are. However, the formulas are a frustrating mix of good and bad natural ingredients, and there are no suitable options for those with oily, combination, or sensitive skin (especially for sensitive skin, as everything, and we mean every product, in this line contains fragrance).
As for the products themselves, despite the inclusion of lots of natural ingredients sure to pique consumer interest, Dr. Hauschka's development team seemingly ignored copious research on skin-care ingredients from the last 20 years or so. For example, almost every product has plant extracts that have irritation potential, and most of the problematic ones have no known benefit for skin, so you're risking irritation without a reward. Instead, the company literature goes on and on about how the products are rhythmically mixed and the spiritual connection between nature and people. It all sounds tempting and quite Zen until you realize such back-to-nature philosophies aren't necessarily the key to a healthy complexion. We have little doubt that most consumers using these products will experience some amount of skin irritation, and the textures of many items are inelegant at best; "silky" is s not a word that comes mind!
We're skeptical about the disclosure of the ingredients in the products because preservatives are not listed. If that is truly the case, the risk of contamination after just a couple of weeks of use is significant, especially considering how many plant extracts these products contain. The company insists that the ingredient lists are accurate and that the natural extracts and essential oils chosen have self-preserving propertiesbut cosmeti chemistry research doesn't support this; such ingredients don't have the same preservation track records as those (such as the parabens and phenoxyethanol) that show up in thousands of other products.
From a modern, research-supported perspective, this is one of the most ineffective, potentially irritating lines around and a classic example of why natural isn't automatically the best way to go for intelligent skin care. The moisturizers have their share of helpful ingredients for dry skin, but are about as state-of-the-art as a console television.
In early 2009 the company announced that they discontinued all of their sunscreens. This decision was in response to new European Union regulations governing labeling for products with UVA-protecting ingredients. Dr. Hauschka will not formulate a sunscreen with synthetic active ingredients, and from everything we've read and from all of the discussions we've had with cosmetic chemists about this issue, there is no way a sunscreen can meet the EU's new UVA standards without including asynthetic active.
For more information about Dr. Hauschka, call (800) 247-9907 or visit www.drhauschka.com.
Dr. Hauschka Makeup
Termed Decorative Cosmetics, the collection doesn't much reason to give this makeup more than a passing glance, as the products are downright ordinary to inadequate, and the prices should snap even the most meditative soul back to reality. Sadly, every color cosmetic product from this brand, even those meant for use around the eyes, contains one or more problematic fragrance ingredients.
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.