SkinLongevity Vital Power Infusion
SkinLongevity Vital Power Infusion is billed as a "first of its kind" product, yet the ingredients it contains (at least the best ones according to published research) are found in lots of other products, from toners—which is what this product most closely resembles—to moisturizers. Were it not for a couple of drawbacks, this would be worth considering by all skin types.
The texture of this product is a fluid gel—thicker than a toner but thinner than most gel-based moisturizers or serums— and it is dispensed via a pump applicator. The glass bottle packaging is beautiful (and heavy), but what's inside is somewhat of a mixed bag for your skin.
On the plus side, SkinLongevity Vital Power Infusion contains some good hydrating ingredients that make skin feel instantly replenished, along with cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide and a form of vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside) that functions as antioxidants and may help improve skin tone.
Once set, this can feel slightly tacky, but that's less of an issue if you apply this at night rather than during the day when you might follow with makeup (as this slightly sticky finish can lead to trickier makeup application).
The less desirable ingredients include alcohol and several fragrance ingredients that pose a slight risk of irritation. This leaves a lingering scent on skin, but it's not too potent. It's disappointing that the amount of alcohol is greater than the plant-based antioxidants and peptides, especially given the anti-aging claims this product makes. This disappointment extends to the tiny amount of what BareMinerals calls out as "Long Life Herb Extract"—listed on the label as Peucedanum Japonicum. (Incidentally, this extract isn't any more helpful than many others are, and certainly not more impressive than well-researched alternatives such as green tea, resveratrol, vitamin C, etc.)
In the end, this toner-like treatment product has promise, but given its best, most proven ingredients can be found in other products that don't share this one's drawbacks, it doesn't deserve strong consideration. The packaging is a sight to behold, but this would be much better without the subtle yet lingering fragrance and an amount of alcohol that trumps some of the formula's more intriguing ingredients.
- Fluid gel formula spreads easily and instantly hydrates all skin types.
- Adds a lasting glow to skin.
- Contains a good mix of niacinamide + vitamin C.
- Can feel slightly tacky on skin.
- Contains more alcohol than plant-based antioxidants and peptides.
- Contains several fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation.
Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003)
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.
The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of, yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn't your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).
Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.
Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.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.