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Tarte Cosmetics

Rainforest of the Sea Quench Hydrating Primer

1.69 fl. oz. for $ 32.00
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A good face primer makes makeup application easier and helps it last longer. Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Quench Hydrating Primer achieves this, but also exposes skin to some troublemaking ingredients. As such, it’s not a primer we can enthusiastically recommend.

The squeeze tube-dispensed, thick gel texture slips over skin and absorbs quickly, setting to a soft matte finish that leaves a thin layer of hydration. The finish is best for normal to combination skin and the formula is suitable for breakout-prone skin, although don’t take that as our endorsement.

Tarte includes some intriguing ingredients such as hydrating oligosaccharides, turmeric, neem (Melia azadirachta), algae, and amino acids, but all of these are in short supply compared to the denatured alcohol and fragrance. These are the troublemakers we mentioned earlier, and both can irritate skin. See More Info for the full story.

By the way, we’re skeptical the tiny amount of beneficial ingredients will provide much pollution defense as claimed, especially when denatured alcohol makes it easier for airborne pollutants to penetrate skin by weakening its barrier defenses.

In the end, this primer’s best traits are easily found in the various options on our list of best foundation primers.

Pros:
  • Enhances makeup application and wear.
  • Hydrates without feeling heavy.
  • Absorbs quickly.
Cons:
  • Highly fragrant formula likely to irritate skin.
  • Contains more denatured alcohol and fragrance than exciting ingredients.

More Info:

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol. Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcoholstearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Quench Hydrating Primer absorbs immediately to awaken and refresh your skin, delivering antioxidants, probiotics, and amino acids. It helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also providing pollution defense with hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich algae.

Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Polyglyceryl-10 Behenate/Eicosadioate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipropylene Glycol, Algae Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Kluyveromyces/Lactobacillus/Lactococcus/Leuconostoc/Saccharomyces Milk Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Citrate, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.

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 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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