Nix It Complexion Solution
Versed’s Nix It Complexion Solution is a rare miss from the brand. As a product designed to treat breakouts and blemishes, it’s well-intentioned, but in an unfortunate twist several irritants in the formula means it could actually make them worse.
This fluid product comes in an opaque plastic squeeze tube with a clear, somewhat bulbous dispenser. Its texture is lightweight yet oily, thanks in part to the inclusion of sunflower and evening primrose oils. It’s not super-greasy, but this likely isn’t the preferred texture for those with oily to combination skin who are trying to spot-treat breakouts.
While we don’t recommend this product, it’s not without some positives: the aforementioned packaging protects its good ingredients from light and air, plus it contains a good amount of salicylic acid, a gold star ingredient for exfoliating deep into pores to help with acne at a pH of 3.18, which is within the optimal range of 3 - 4 for it to act as an exfoliant.
There’s also the previously mentioned evening primrose oil, along with oat and rice oils, all of which have soothing and antioxidant properties.
That’s where the positives end, though. Nix It includes tea tree oil - immediately apparent from this product’s smell - which is a mixed bag when it comes to treating acne. In amounts of 5%, it can reduce the number of pimples people experience – but it’s not likely there is that much of it there. Even in smaller amount, however, also contains fragrance components that put skin at risk for irritation, and irritation makes breakouts increase because it stimulates nerve endings at the base of the pore to trigger more oil.
Adding to the problem is that this also contains lemon and lavender oils, plus the fragrance ingredients limonene and linalool – all of which heighten the risk of irritation from this fluid even more. See More Info below for details on how irritation can affect breakout-prone skin.
- Includes salicylic acid at a pH optimal for it to act as an exfoliant.
- Contains soothing evening primrose, oat, and rice oils.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Oily texture isn’t the best for those with acne-prone skin.
- Fragrance components in tea tree oil could lead to skin irritation.
- Contains irritating rosemary, lemon, and lavender oils + fragrance ingredients, putting skin at additional risk for irritation.
Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice.
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for it to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
It’s invisible, it’s effective, it’s non-drying, and it’s here, which means your unwelcome visitors will not be. Use it to tackle those early-stage (you know the type—you can feel it coming), healing-stage, and deep underground trouble spots. It does so with inflammation-calming, non-drying ingredients, so you won’t be left with flakes in the wake of your breakouts. Tea tree and a blend of other skin-friendly oils help control excess oil, soothe redness, fight bacteria, and prevent blemishes from forming. Salicylic acid chips in by exfoliating away pore-clogging dead skin cells and refining stretched-out pores that can get impurities trapped inside. Its unique invisible dry-oil formula absorbs into skin residue- and shine-free, so it can be applied over makeup throughout the day too.
Versed Skincare is the creation of Katherine Power, former West Coast fashion editor of Elle magazine and co-founder of the LA-based fashion company Clique Brands. Versed is positioned as the sister brand of the company’s Who What Wear clothing line sold at Target, and so Versed is sold there as well as other retailers.
Versed’s philosophy is straightforward: offer affordable, effective skin care products that are both vegan and, in the brand’s words, clean. “Clean” is an ambiguous phrase in the beauty industry that lacks a standard, regulated definition (it varies from company to company), but in this instance it means that there are no so-called “toxic” and “questionable” ingredients in Versed’s products.
While some of these ingredients – such as formaldehyde and artificial fragrance – are certainly best avoided, others are labeled as bad based on outdated research, poorly designed or inconclusive studies, or simply anecdotal evidence, and not on the conditions (or concentrations) in which these ingredients are actually used in real-world skin care applications.
That aside, Versed has an attractive aesthetic that goes along with this clean philosophy: pastel-colored packaging with plain type that explains what each product’s purpose is and calls out key ingredients in each. For the most part, Versed products are packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; however, there are a few instances of clear and jar packaging, which compromise the benefits of some ingredients, particularly antioxidants.
The formulas from Versed are a mixed bag. Some contain a host of beneficial ingredients while totally avoiding irritants, others are good but basic, and some others include fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of sensitizing skin (and we should be clear – fragrance, both synthetic and natural, can irritate skin). It really is a situation where the products are best judged on a case-by-case basis, as the hit-or-miss nature of the line requires more scrutiny than simply choosing based on product claims and skin type.
Despite the extra effort needed, Versed does have some good products to offer, and the convenience of being available both online and in a major retailer like Target, will have a lot of appeal to a good number of people. You can learn more about Versed at https://versedskin.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.