St. Ives Watermelon Glowing Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer

St. Ives

Watermelon Glowing Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer

1.80 fl. oz. for $ 5.99
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Brand Overview

St. Ives’ Watermelon Glowing Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer has refreshing aesthetics that make for a great sensory experience, but its fragrant, jar packaged formula holds it back from being a great skin care experience.

This gel-cream feels remarkably light and soothing. It immediately plumps and hydrates skin and absorbs quickly to a demi-matte finish that works well for normal, combination, and oily skin.

Most impressive, ingredient-wise, is that this contains a good amount of antioxidant niacinamide, which has multiple benefits: it’s restoring, helps brighten dull skin, and refines the appearance of pores. Acting as supporting ingredients are antioxidant vitamin E and the watermelon extract that gives this product its name.

That’s about it as far as the positives go, though. St. Ives makes specific claims about this providing blue light protection from electronic devices, but to truly do that you need a much more robust formula than this. Yes, the niacinamide helps, but they amount of vitamin E and watermelon extract is likely too small to make a significant impact.

In fact, fragrance is higher up on the ingredient list than the watermelon. It’s not overpowering – it’s more of a light, candy-like watermelon scent – but still, it poses a risk of irritating skin.

Even if these issues weren’t present, another is: this comes packaged in jar, which exposes the beneficial ingredients, including the watermelon, to light and air, diminishing their effectiveness (see More Info for details).

With all these factors in mind, it’s best to select an option from our list of best moisturizers rather than this one.

  • Lightweight, slightly mattifying gel moisturizer ideal for normal, combination, and oily skin.
  • Contains a good amount of skin-brightening and pore-refining niacinamide.
  • Includes antioxidant vitamin E and watermelon extract.
  • Formula would be more impressive with a greater complement of antioxidants.
  • Contains skin-irritating fragrance and fragrance ingredients.
  • Packaged in a jar, which compromises most of its beneficial ingredients.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Beneficial Ingredients: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include 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: Yes

Hello, daily glow! Made with 100% natural watermelon juice, our lightweight, oil free face moisturizer refreshes and hydrates for soft, glowing skin on the daily. It also contains niacinamide and Vitamin E, which help repair damage and neutralize the effects of artificial blue light from devices like your cell phone. The result? Healthy, glowing skin every day! This juicy moisturizer quickly absorbs for a non-greasy feel that won’t clog pores. Plus, it’s perfect for combination to oily skin.

Water (Eau), Propanediol, PPG-3, Isostearyl Methyl Ether, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copoylymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Tromethamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance (Parfum), Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyanocobalamin, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.

St. Ives At-A-Glance

Two things set this line apart in the minds of consumers familiar with the brand: the Swiss angle and their apricot face scrubs. This notoriety didn't translate to thoughtfully formulated products, though. Instead, most of the scrubs are too abrasive, and the apricot is simply there as an extract, never mind that in a scrub it doesn't have any significant benefit for skin. The same can be said of the selection of supposedly Swiss-based herbs. Most of them have soothing properties, but it doesn't matter to skin if the ingredients came from Switzerland or South Dakota. If anything, the whole Swiss angle is getting a bit tired. You can bet that there are no scientists working high in the Swiss alps to formulate these products. St. Ives is a line with very little worth considering, so feel free to breeze right by as you shop for skin-care products at your local drugstore.

For more information about St. Ives, owned by Unilever, visit

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.

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