Despite seemingly good intentions, Josie Maran's Nirvana Hydrating Treatment Mist is a misfire for all skin types, largely due to the high amount of fragrance it contains. (You may wonder, as we did, if this is what it feels like to mist your face with perfume!) If only fragrance was great for skin, but research is clear that's not the case, as we explain in the More Info section below.
Housed in a clear bottle affixed with a sprayer, this alcohol-free toner feels nice on skin and does contain a smattering of antioxidants and hydrating plant extracts—just not enough to make it worth exposing skin to this much fragrance.
So, is there any reason to consider this toner? It contains several natural ingredients, but some of them (such as geranium and the citrus ingredients) are potentially problematic due to their tendency to trigger irritation. And for certain there's no research proving that this product's "multi-fruit complex" stimulates collagen production.
We're usually quite impressed with Josie Maran's products, but this one left us stressed, not in a state of bliss! Instead of the overly fragrant Nirvana Hydrating Treatment Mist, consider any of the other options on our list of Best Toners.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Josie Maran At-A-Glance
Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin; uniquely effective gel blush.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some products are potently fragranced.
The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokesperson Josie Maran. Almost every Josie Maran product is centered on the ingredient argan oil, which the brand attributes many beneficial qualities—some of which are true, and some claims made stretch the facts a bit. According to the brand, this non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin.
Argan oil does contain beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants—but we should note that it isn't the only oil with such properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.
Fortunately, the Josie Maran brand does include many beneficial ingredient’s in some of its best products, and does have some unique offerings to consider. It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, it’s less beneficial to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara. It does add a unique quality to some makeup, however, especially in a few of the brands lip formulas.
We should note that while the brand relies heavily on the natural theme in its marketing—and there isn’t anything wrong with that—it doesn’t talk about the beneficial ingredients used that aren’t so natural. There isn’t anything wrong with using naturally-derived ingredients, but it strikes us as disingenuous to not tout the benefits of synthetic ingredients such as silicones, preservatives, coloring agents and film formers that also appear in many of Josie Maran products.
As is the case with many brands that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils to be wary of, as these can be problematic for any skin type (but especially so for those with sensitivity concerns). However, there are a few products here that are absolutely worth considering and unique—see our individual reviews on the brand for more details.
For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!