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First Aid Beauty

Ultra Repair Oil-Control Moisturizer

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 32.00
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First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Oil-Control Moisturizer is an excellent mattifying moisturizer for oily skin. The fragrance-free formula makes good in its claims but loses steam--and misses our top rating--due to its jar packaging. See More Info for details on the issues such packaging presents.

This hydrator has a refreshing gel texture those with oily skin are likely to love, especially when they see it sets to a weightless, shine-free finish. As expected, the finish works well under makeup; in fact, it can easily replace your mattifying primer (although if you have very oily skin, we suggest layering both).

Hydration comes from ingredients like dimethicone and propanediol and shine control from absorbent nylon-12. You also get a very good mix of skin-soothing antioxidants plus a hefty dose of niacinamide to help refine and reduce enlarged pores. The niacinamide isn’t vulnerable to breakdown from light and air exposure, but the plant extracts are, so again, the jar packaging is a letdown. And don’t forget the contamination issue such packaging presents, since you’re repeatedly dipping fingers into a water-based formula.

Note 1: The ingredient list on the brand’s website differs from what is printed on the product’s packaging. The latter is the one we used for review and include here.

Note 2: First Aid Beauty sometimes offers their facial moisturizers in opaque, travel-sized tubes. If they follow suit for this formula, it is absolutely worth buying by those with oily skin.

Pros:
  • Sheer, refreshing gel texture.
  • Sets to a weightless, shine-free finish.
  • Very good mix of antioxidants and skin soothers.
  • Niacinamide helps refine and reduce enlarged pores.
  • Easily stands in for your oil-control primer.
  • Fragrance free.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging hinders the performance of the light- and air-sensitive ingredients and presents a contamination issue.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Facial Moisturizers: Many types of beneficial skin care ingredients such as all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.

References for this information:
Molecules, July 2018, ePublication
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

This oil-free cream instantly mattifies and delivers weightless hydration without clogging pores. This ultra-light formula provides optimal hydration for oily skin without leaving a greasy afterfeel. Oil-controlling ingredients deliver a powder soft finish, help minimize the appearance of pores and keep skin shine-free all day.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Nylon-12, Acrylates Copolymer, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Oleanolic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate 60, Tocopherol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris (Trimethylsiloxy) Silylethyl Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hexedecene, Lecithin, Citric Acid, Laureth-8, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol.

First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance

Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.

Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.

With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.

Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!

On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.

It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.

For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.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.

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