Sulfate Free Rapid Exfoliating CleanserAM
The only thing this cleanser does rapidly is irritate skin. It contains a high amount of lavender oil and also contains peppermint oil (the mint aroma is potent). Lavender oil causes skin cell death and increases oxidative damage, neither of which is helpful for skin (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150 and January 2008, pages 9–14; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229), and peppermint is just a skin and eye irritant as well, which isn’t good for skin either. By the way, this isn’t a detergent-free cleanser as claimed because a main ingredient is sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, a common detergent cleansing agent (also known as a surfactant). It’s not a bad ingredient, just one that makes the detergent-free claim utterly false. And the sulfate-free nonsense just perpetuates the myth that there is something wrong with sulfates, and there absolutely is not. The cleansing agent, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, can be just as drying and irritating depending on how it is formulated; there is nothing preferred about it except for a marketing ploy.
This water-activated, detergent-free cleanser leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean, but never stripped. Because this cleanser is sulfate free, it can thoroughly cleanse without damaging the skin's natural moisturizing factors. It removes skin plaque which ordinary cleansers can't. Your skin care products will penetrate better and makeup will go on smoother. Contains mild alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHA's) buffered with green tea extract to gently resurface and bring out new layers of skin.
Skinn by Dimitri James At-A-Glance
Strengths: The toner; a few good moisturizers, including some designed for the eye area (even though skin around the eyes doesn't require a separate product) and for oily skin; the lip scrub; the Nutri-Lift products (even though they don't lift skin in the least); mostly good, and some intriguing, makeup palettes; some great mascaras; the automatic eyeliner pencil.
Weaknesses: No sunscreens (How can you take any cosmetic line's anti-aging claims seriously when they completely overlook the importance of sun protection?); jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products; no products to manage acne or skin.
Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.
Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.
Skinn's promises for their makeupthat they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfectionare beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.
All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.
Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.
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.