First Aid Beauty is seriously underplaying the benefits of its Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel. Ironically, it is not mattifying in the classic sense (more on that in a moment), but rather this is an excellent gel-based moisturizer that supplies just enough hydration for oily to combination skin types. As it's fragrance-free, those with sensitive skin can use it too.
Packaged in a plastic squeeze tube, the gel texture dries quickly to the extent that it nearly vanishes, leaving skin smoother afterwards. Those with oily to combination skin will appreciate its lack of tacky or greasy residue, and the fact it layers well over or under other products.
First Aid Beauty added a formidable range of ingredients that have a range of redness reducing, skin improving and anti-aging benefit—licorice root extract, niacinamide, ceramides and green tea. It also contains an ingredient called salicornia herbacea extract, which has limited research demonstrating its potential as an antioxidant and skin-lightening agent (Bioscience, Biotechnology & Biochemistry, 2009). There are also other skin reparatives and anti-irritants, too!
The inclusion of shea butter is a curious one given the skin type and purpose that is best suited to Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel. However, the amount present is very tiny given the way this feels on skin and its placement on the ingredient list. As we mentioned above, don't expect this to absorb or "control" excess oil, but rather the mattifying claim is more appropriate to the fact it dries to a shine-free finish.
We were incredibly surprised that First Aid Beauty seems to peg this as an oil-absorber given its impressive formula, but that's why you have us—to reveal gems like this in disguise. To repeat, we wouldn't say to look to this to help keep your complexion shine free, but we would absolutely say Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel is a very good anti-aging moisturizer for those with oily to combination, and even acne-prone skin. For the surprising amount of benefits included, this earns our highest rating.
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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