Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator
Ironically, Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator contains almost no parsley seed, but that's OK, because parsley is a terrible ingredient for skin, and potentially phototoxic. This is but one of many problems with this overpriced moisturizer.
What is beneficial for your skin is the mix of emollients that are present, such as rosehip oil (this is not a fragrant oil), glycerin, and squalane. These ingredients are found in many products (from drugstore to high-end moisturizers) that don't present problems for your skin.
Things go further downhill with the inclusion of a significant amount of the irritant witch hazel water. Witch hazel water (as used here) has a high-alcohol content (most forms of witch hazel are 14–15% alcohol) due to the distillation process used to extract it from the plant. The formula also contains several fragrant plant oils that pose a strong risk of irritation, and that simply do not have any proven benefit for the skin. (We prefer fact to fable when it comes to taking great care of your skin.)
If the drawbacks above weren't enough, this moisturizer also contains the preservative methylisothiazolinone, which is not recommended for use in leave-on products due to its sensitizing potential at concentrations greater than 0.01%. Given that you can't be certain of the concentration in this product, it's best to avoid it in favor of formulas with more skin-friendly ingredients (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, December 2012, pages 334–341, and November 2011, pages 276–82).
We recommend skipping Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator in lieu of the far better moisturizers on our list of Best Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime).
- Contains some moisturizing and skin-repairing ingredients for dry skin.
- Contains a concerning amount of the irritant witch hazel water.
- Short on antioxidants.
- Numerous fragrant oils and the preservative methylisothiazolinone pose a strong risk of irritation.
- Expensive for what amounts to an unexceptional, ordinary moisturizer.
A light, rapidly absorbed facial moisturizing fluid that delivers superb anti-oxidant hydration and leaves the skin feeling smooth and supple.
Strengths: Some products are packaged to keep their light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable.
Weaknesses:Multiple fragrant ingredients are present in each product reviewed, and this poses a strong risk of irritation; no effective options for treating concerns like acne, brown spots, or rosacea; jar packaging for some of the moisturizers wont keep the beneficial ingredients stable; overpriced.
Australian brand Aesop bears the same name as the famous Greek storyteller, and their skin-care products certainly emulate the art of storytelling with their formulas and marketing. The question is whether or not you can believe Aesop and their natural-themed skin-care stories, or if its mostly fable.
From Aesop's stripped-down, utilitarian packaging, earthy product descriptions, and overall design aesthetic, its easy to see why those interested in natural-oriented products are attracted to the Aesop brand. How could skin-care products that seem to be so pure and natural be bad, right? We certainly understand the emotional pull natural products have on many people, but the truth is there are good and bad natural ingredients (snake venom and poison ivy are both natural ingredients, but you wouldn't want them on your face), just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients. Going natural without knowing the details of what you're buying is a recipe for skin problems, not a guarantee of better products.
Refreshingly, compared to many natural-themed lines, Aesop doesn't rely on scare tactics or outlandish claims. Therefore, you wont read anything about toxins or about made-up claims that all chemicals are bad (because everything is composed of chemicals). Instead, Aesop prefers to rest on the quality of their formulas and oeuvre to do the real selling. Judging by the number of requests we've had to review this brand, their less sensationalized approach is working!
With that promising start, its disappointing that Aesop chose to include such a generous amount of fragrance and plant-based irritants in many of their products. In fact, there wasn't a single fragrance-free option in any of the products that we reviewed. (In fact, the box they were shipped in was saturated with fragrance just from the shipping process.) There were a few products with lower amounts of added fragrance, these instances are noted (where applicable)but there usually were other compelling reasons to avoid any given product in this brand, or at least to consider it cautiously.
Also noteworthy: You will find that much of Aesop's line, from their cleansers, toners, and moisturizers to their masks and eye treatments, have high-end price tags. While we tend to leave it up to the reader to determine what is or isn't expensive, there were a few instances where the formulas were so basic that we had to mention the disconnect with the cost, these were truly simple blends of ingredients that in no way justified their cost.
All of the above is a prelude to the most critical downfall of the Aesop products: There are no options that can successfully (and without potential irritation) address the needs of various skin types or skin concerns of many people. Whether you're struggling with acne, wrinkles, both, or numerous other concerns, from sensitive skin to conditions like rosacea or eczema, you wont find brilliant products to treat them here. Overall, that means assembling a great skin-care routine with Aesop products just isn't possible.
Aesop is sold primarily in department stores like Barneys New York, online, as well as freestanding Aesop stores throughout the United States. Despite their growing distribution, we cannot stress enough how much this lines products disappoint. Aesop has natural ingredients aplenty, but what good is that when so many of the natural ingredients they chose are of little to no benefit for skin, or are potentially problematic?
For more information about Aesop, visit http://www.aesop.com/usa/
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.