The POREfessional Pearl Primer
Benefit's The POREfessional Pearl Primer takes key elements of its well-known The POREfessional Primer and adds a little something extra. Unfortunately, it didn't take anything away, meaning this sequel has the same problems of the original!
This primer comes in an easy-to-use squeeze tube and has a silky-smooth feel thanks to its silicone-based formula. While it looks almost like a soft pink spackle, it's easy to smooth across skin, and has a slight hint of pearl (not sparkle) that makes skin look more radiant.
As claimed, The POREfessional Pearl Primer makes skin appear temporarily smoother, "filling in" pores to make them seem less apparent. It also aids in makeup application, though it doesn't make foundation last any longer or look any better than it normally would on its own.
The issue here though is that just like the first POREfessional primer formula, the Pearl version contains both fragrance and the fragrance ingredient limonene. The smell is quite strong initially and lingers for a while. Not only is that unpleasant, but fragrance can lead to irritation, and irritation can make oily skin worse, the result of which is that your pores can eventually appear larger, not smaller (see More Info for details).
You're much better off with one of the less irritating options you'll find on our list of Best Foundation Primers.
- Slight pearl effect makes skin appear more radiant.
- Temporarily diminishes the appearance of pores.
- Aids in a smooth foundation application.
- Doesn't make foundation last longer.
- Contains fragrance and the fragrance ingredient limonene, which can irritate skin.
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
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.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.