Seriously Soothing Serum Stick
Acure’s Seriously Soothing Serum Stick has “serum” in its name, but it acts and feels more like a balm-type moisturizer, albeit one with a not-so-pleasant feel on skin. And, sadly, it’s also not “seriously soothing”, which we’ll explain below.
Housed in a twist-up stick, this dark-colored product (the color comes from the blue tansy oil) is easy to apply: just swivel up a bit and glide over your face and neck. The waterless formula instantly moisturizes, replenishing dry skin with its emollient-heavy formula that also contains antioxidant- and fatty acid-rich non-fragrant plant oils like jojoba, grape, and marula.
Although easy to apply, we found that even a sheer layer leaves a greasy-feeling film on skin. This isn’t objectionable (and may even be construed as a benefit) if you have very dry skin, but all other skin types will want to think twice before trying this.
Actually, everyone should think twice before trying this serum stick, since it’s not soothing. That’s because the blue tansy oil (Tanacetum annuum) contains camphor as one is its main components. Research has shown it’s toxic to healthy cells, although blue tansy oil also contains proven anti-inflammatory compounds like alpha-humulene. Like many fragrant oils, it offers a mix of benefits and risks to skin. Our take? Why expose skin to irritation when there are numerous non-fragrant plant ingredients that are gentle and effective?
Even if blue tansy oil wasn’t a problem for skin, the orange oil is, as it’s another source of fragrance ingredients shown to irritate skin. See More Info for details and check out our list of best serums for irritant-free options.
- Easy to apply.
- Instantly moisturizes.
- Contains antioxidant-rich plant oils.
- Fragrant orange oil risks irritating skin.
- Blue tansy oil is a strong source of skin irritant camphor.
- Leaves a greasy-feeling film on skin even when applied sparingly.
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
Blue Tansy & hyaluronic acid, normal to sensitive skin. Stick it to dry skin with this combo of blue tansy oil, grape seed oil, and hyaluronic acid.
Acure operates with the mission statement of using only the purest, most effective fair trade, natural and organic ingredients available. At first glance, there are a lot of interesting products in the line, as Acure includes a great deal of antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients in their formulas. Unfortunately, on closer inspection of the brand, we found quite a few inconsistencies.
First the good news: Along with the inclusion of antioxidants at nearly every turn, Acure made the effort to avoid jar packaging, which is beneficial in terms of protecting the abundance of anti-aging ingredients their products contain. They are also exceptionally affordable products, an increasing rarity in the cosmetics industry.
On the other hand, Acure stretches the boundaries of belief when it comes to what some ingredients are capable of, such as plant stem cells. While fruit and plant stem cells can function as antioxidants, they cannot lift skin, repair wrinkles, or affect the skins own growth factors when added to a skincare product. Not only are plant stem cells unable to substitute for the body's own stem cells, but also they (like all stem cells) must be alive to function. Once these delicate cells are added to skin care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless. Plant stem cells make for a good story, but the research simply isn't there to support their use in skin care or the claims attributed to them.
One point worth noting: when we originally reviewed Acure in 2015, much of the brand's focus was on so-called toxic or harmful ingredients found in other brands' skin care products that were not present in its own. This has since shifted to a much more positive approach targeted on the quality of ingredients Acure uses as opposed to any unnecessary fearmongering.
For more information on Acure, visit www.acure.com or call 1-877-902-2873.
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.