This lightweight, outdated serum formulation is supposed to reduce redness, but contains a disappointing mix of soothing and irritating ingredients. Sulfur and ginger are irritating for all skin types. Please see More Info below for a discussion of the caffeine-related claims made for this serum.
First Aid Beauty claims the caffeine in this product (present in such a tiny amount that your skin will barely notice it) shrinks blood vessels and "improves unsightly redness in the dermis." While caffeine can have constricting properties on skin and superficial blood vessels, this small amount won't be noticed by your skin. In terms of treating redness from irritated or sensitive skin, the best ingredients are anti-irritants and skin-repairing ingredients; caffeine does not have anti-irritant or skin-repairing properties. If anything, caffeine can be a skin irritant. If you are curious to see if all these exaggerated claims about caffeine are true, you only need to turn to your coffee pot as a source. (We don't want you to really do that, but hopefully you get our point.)
Even if caffeine were an anti-redness or skin-soothing superstar, it doesn't change the fact that this serum contains other irritants, including sulfur. These irritants hurt skin's healing process and likely impair its barrier function, which is not what anyone with sensitive skin needs.
Packed with caffeine, a natural vasoconstrictor that can help with visible skin redness. By shrinking blood vessels, FAB Anti-Redness Serum improves unsightly redness in the dermis. Colloidal sulfur in the formula works to combat the root cause of facial redness. Aloe soothes while ginger works as a natural, powerful anti-inflammatory.
Water, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carbomer, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Polysorbate 20, Benzophenone-4, Caffeine, Colloidal Sulfur, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, 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.
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