A definite frustration with most of the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care product line is that most of the moisturizers start out with such promise and then quickly go south. Such is the case with this one. Although it does contain an impressive array of plant oils it also contains some problematic plant oils, including neroli and lavender oil along with synthetic fragrance components. How disappointing. See More Info for details on why frequent use of highly fragranced products is a problem.
The packaging is also not the best. Though this doesn't come in a jar it does come in a clear glass container which allows sunlight in and that causes the plant oils to start going rancid. It's one of the reasons the extra virgin olive oil you buy in a grocery store either comes packaged in a dark tinted glass bottle or a metal tin. Between the packaging and the fragrance the only thing super about this mix of oils is the claims, not the formula.
- Good array of beneficial plant oils.
- Clear glass packaging won't keep the plant oils from going rancid.
- Has too much fragrance (both natural and synthetic) which is a problem for all skin types.
- Some problematic oils for skin like lavender oil.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
The intense, aromatic blend of 100% pure plant oils in this rich, rebalancing night-time treat is suitable for all skin types. It helps to soften dry or mature skin and balance combination or oily skin. Use at night after cleansing and toning (but before moisturising). Naturally active ingredients include softening argan and organic rosehip oils, soothing neroli, lavender and chamomile essential oils plus antioxidant natural source vitamin E.
Strengths: Reasonable prices.
Weaknesses: No sunscreens; jar packaging; products are overly fragranced and contain irritating plant extracts; no reliable products for acne; products for those with rosacea, sensitive skin, and eczema contain irritating fragrant components and perfume.
Liz Earle began her United Kingdom-based cosmetics company in 1995 with her name affixed to the label, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care. Originally located on the Isle of Wright, the company their products were inspired by the natural foliage of this part of the worlds rainy, cold environs.
A prolific writer of more than 30 beauty books along with a background as a beauty journalist and broadcaster, Earle became a diehard believer in all things natural. One of her books even suggests you can beat cellulite with scrubs, creams, and massage oils. We wouldnt bet on it any more than the allure of all natural holds the answer to having beautiful skin, but even Earles products dont follow that philosophy wholeheartedly as they are not all natural in the least. In fact, you could say they are about as natural as polyester. Labeling the line naturally active is a clever play on words; it makes you think the products are natural without really saying they are.
After 15 years of being one of the biggest independent UK-based personal care companies Liz Earle was bought by Avon in 2010. That has certainly changed the face of the company! Its interesting to point out that despite Avons home consultant business model, Liz Earle stopped the home consulting side of their business shortly after joining the fold at Avon.
Business decisions aside, the products are what matter and whats inside those products matters most. We were first struck by the lines lack of sunscreens. The companys convoluted explanation for this is how the weather in the UK doesnt warrant it (though were not sure how that factors into the brands U.S. distribution) and also because synthetic sunscreens are bad for skin. None of that is true. Daylight (as in UV light, which is present whether the sun is shining or not) in any amount causes immediate and long-term skin damage. Only a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day causes premature aging, though you wont see these effects until years later. Numerous studies have shown how regular use of sunscreen with all types of active ingredients, including synthetic and mineral, makes skin look significantly younger, longerand reduces risk of skin cancer.
The company does say mineral sunscreen ingredients are good yet that only shows up in their Daily Eye Repair with an SPF 10 (SPF 15 is considered the minimum by medical and regulatory boards around the world) and it appears this product is only be sold in the U.K. There is no explanation why there arent other mineral-based sunscreens in the line.
Although we find the lack of sunscreens a sign of bad (or at least shortsighted) skin care, we are also highly skeptical of skin-care companies that sell bust and neck treatments. Earles Superskin Bust & Neck Treatment claims the natural ingredients it contains can plump skin around the bust. Again dont count on it, but we admit the application description will arouse something! Ironically, the description for the product explains how sun exposure ages skin, but then were going back to the lack of sun protection in the line. Now thats contradictory! Regardless skin on the neck, chest, and face benefit from the same state-of-the-art ingredients and there is not a shred of unbiased research to the contrary.
Despite the reservations mentioned above, there are some interesting formulations in Earles line with great price points. But even the better formulas suffer from too much fragrance, dubious and overblown claims, and prevalent use of irritating plant extracts. Oddly enough, the fragrance-free formulations in this product line have some of the more ordinary formulations when it comes to antioxidants or soothing emollientstwo categories of ingredients those with sensitive skin really need.
In short, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skin Care is nothing to get all that excited about, whether youre a fan of natural ingredients or simply want skin care from the U.K.
For more information about Liz Earle, visit www.lizearle.com or call 1-800-515-5911.
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.