First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum is a genuinely good offering by the brand because it has the potential to live up to most of its claims. A sheer water-based gel, this lightweight formula is fragrance-free and contains a soothing mix of anti-irritants, antioxidants, and reparative ingredients. Given its gel texture, it is suitable for any skin type, but especially for oily skin, including the acne-prone.
Packaged in a solid, plastic tube with a pump dispenser, its ingredients are kept protected from both air and light exposure. Its gel consistency is a skin pleaser that feels hydrating upon application, and layers well under (or over) your other products.
We should note that the First Aid Beauty's claims of this providing "pure moisture" to skin shouldn't be construed as it being a rich or emollient serum. It's light enough that it could replace a non-SPF moisturizer for those with oily or combination skin, but those with dry skin shouldn't expect the same. What it does particularly well, however, is supply skin with a good mix of antioxidant, reparative, cell communicating and anti-irritant ingredients.
Collagen and hyaluronic acid works to help improve skin's moisture content, reduce inflammation, and provide antioxidant defense (Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2004 and Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 2012). Antioxidants and anti-redness ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and allantoin are present, just to name a few.
Like many of its products, Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum contains feverfew—which we confirmed is purified of the naturally-occurring ingredient parthenolide, which can be sensitizing if this removal step isn't taken. Feverfew is another excellent antioxidant with potent anti-redness potential when applied to skin (Archives of Dermatological Research, 2008).
The fact that this serum doesn't contain the kitchen-skin approach of ingredients is a potential benefit in our eyes, especially given it is aimed at those with sensitive skin. While more antioxidants are helpful for free-radical defense, it is also true that the greater the number of ingredients contained in a product, the greater the potential for particularly sensitive skin to react negatively. This certainly isn't true for everyone, but for some, simpler is better.
Thus, if you are in the market for a simple antioxidant serum that is strong on anti-redness benefits, First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum is an excellent one to consider.
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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