These liquid-soaked pads are supposed to deliver a powerhouse dose of antioxidants to skin while helping tighten pores, but they simply can't do that, due in large part to the packaging (more on that in a moment).
As promised, Enlightening Treatment Pads are packed with antioxidants, which can protect skin from free-radical damage and potentially help repair it as well. They're great ingredients in the fight against aging, and we're glad to see so many of them here.
But, because these pads are packaged in a jar, those antioxidants will begin to degrade as soon as you take off the lid (see More Info for details). To get the full benefit of a formula with antioxidants, they must be packaged in a container that protects them from routine exposure to light and air.
The pore-tightening claims for the mixed fruit acids in this product are dubious at best. While ingredients such as sugarcane, apple, orange and lemon extracts do contain naturally occurring fruit acids, these are neither stable enough nor concentrated enough to exfoliate skin. In fact, there are no ingredients in here that will have much, if any, impact on pore size. BHA (beta hydroxy acid) or AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are well-researched alternatives and the most effective way to improve skin texture and pore size.
Another issue is the inclusion of several potential skin irritants, including orange and lemon extract plus jasmine and rose oils. It's good that the amounts are low, but they still have the potential to harm skin.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
Beautycounter is the brainchild of self-described “serial entrepreneur” Gregg Renfrew, a woman who is perhaps best known for serving on the board of Martha Stewart Living after selling her bridal registry company, The Wedding List, to Stewart’s media empire. Renfrew has worked as a consultant on cosmetics lines from celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.
Renfrew says she decided to start her own cosmetics line after learning that not all the ingredients used in cosmetics were safe, so Beautycounter was launched in 2013. The brand’s primary focus is provide what it calls “safe” skincare to consumers, with its website stating that a rigorous ingredient selection process is used to ensure nothing “harmful” is used.
For all the interest Beautycounter has stirred up, the line is by and large lackluster, and in many cases overpriced for what you get. Many of the formulas start out with potential, but are ultimately derailed by either the inclusion of potential skin irritants or the jar packaging, which will render many of their beneficial ingredients ineffective over time.
Beautycounter products can be purchased through its website or through product consultants who do home sales parties. For more information, visit www.beautycounter.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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