Given that the plant-sourced ingredients are few and far between, the only thing really botanical about this product is its name. Although the claims aren’t over the top, labeling this hypoallergenic and antioxidant-rich is a bit like calling a typewriter a good way to quickly communicate. The preservative base alone puts that claim in question, as does the milk thistle, which even though it has antioxidant properties can cause an allergic or sensitizing reaction for those prone to hay fever (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). At least in a cleanser, these ingredients aren’t left on the skin for very long, but why are they in here at all?
Given the size of this cleanser, it veers toward being overpriced for what you get, especially when you consider it’s merely an emollient, cold cream–style cleanser with a blend of mostly water, Vaseline, and emollients. That’s not bad for skin, just greasy, and requires a lot of wiping and pulling to get it off.
If you have very dry skin, this will work just fine, but think twice about spending this kind of money for what ends up being just an ordinary cleanser with a couple of questionable aspects of the formulation that aren’t the best for sensitive skin.
This facial cleanser helps restore skin’s natural balance and leaves skin feeling smooth, hydrated and nourished. Contains a special antioxidant-rich botanical complex, is hypoallergenic, and formulated without synthetic dyes or added fragrance. Suitable for sensitive skin.
Water, Petrolatum, Glycerin, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, SilybumMarianum Fruit Extract, LinumUsitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, MomordicaGrosvenorii Fruit Extract, Betaine, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, PentaerythritylTetraisostearate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Ceteth-10, Sodium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Algin, Laureth-4, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, BHT
Mary Kay At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging that keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; a handful of well-formulated moisturizers; very good eye-makeup remover; effective wrinkle filler; excellent cream blush and several other impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: The overall collection is a mixed bag of exciting and disappointing products; several outdated moisturizers and cleansers; no AHA or acceptable BHA products; the CC Cream doesn't provide good enough UVA protection; some lackluster makeup products.
The last few years haven't been glamorous for one of the world's largest direct sellers of cosmetics. Mary Kay lost a lawsuit filed by TriStrata, the company whose founders hold over 100 patents on the use of AHAs in skin-care products. It was revealed that Mary Kay's former AHA products infringed on three of these patents, and, after some back-and-forths in court, Mary Kay ended up paying royalties of over $40 million (interest included) to TriStrata. Perhaps because they're still licking their wounds after this defeat, the company has not launched any new AHA products, and no longer sells the ones that were in question during the legal battle (Source: www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2006/04/03/daily26.html).
However, the company's spin on the issue of AHAs is that they no longer use them because skin-care technology has advanced. That's an interesting twist, but the fact of the matter is that AHA products, when well-formulated, are still considered advanced and capable of doing far more for skin than the alternatives Mary Kay has devised (including an at-home microdermabrasion scrub and products with vitamin C derivatives).
Although they're not a company for you if you are looking for exfoliants (though you should be looking for a good exfoliant), Mary Kay has recently developed a surprising number of excellent products. With over 1.6 million Mary Kay consultants selling products in 30 countries, this family-owned company (founder Mary Kay Ash passed away in 2001) has slowly been proving that they intend to remain competitive with the best of the best. A refreshing change of pace is the omission of fragrance from almost all of the products. Now that is what we call progress!
Despite its size and capital (wholesale figures were $3 billion in 2012), Mary Kay still has a lot to learn. For instance, although their guiding philosophy of empowering women is admirable, the assortment of products still leaves much to be desired. Yes, things are looking up, but there are several weak spots that keep Mary Kay from being in the same league as
If improvements like those in Mary Kay's latest products were translated to the entire line, it would be standing much taller, at least as far as what current, substantiated skin-care research indicates is optimum for creating and maintaining healthy skin. As is, this is a line to approach with a keen understanding of what to focus on and what to avoid. One last bit of good news: Mary Kay offers well-packaged samples of selected products, either directly or from your consultant.
Unless mentioned otherwise, all Mary Kay products are fragrance-free.
Note: Mary Kay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
For more information about Mary Kay, call (800) 627-9529 or visit www.marykay.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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