This lightweight moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin has a silky-smooth texture and can hydrate the skin, but that's about it. The formula contains more of the mineral mica (for shine) and fragrance than state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients, which isn't what you want for your skin. Also, this is packaged in a jar, which means the tiny amount of beneficial ingredients it does contain won't remain effective for long (see More Info for details on jar packaging and why daily use of highly fragrant products is a problem).
As for Sephora's HydroSenn+ technology, Sephora claims this ingredient is more hydrating and lasts longer than hyaluronic acid. It's important to note that the ingredient label for this product doesn't list HydroSenn+, so there is no way to know which ingredient or ingredients Sephora means, and we don't see any new or special ingredients that aren't found in dozens of other skin-care products.
Even if we were to suspend conventional wisdom and believe Sephora's claim about HydroSenn+ being better than hyaluronic acid, hyaluronic acid is hardly the best ingredient for skin hydration anyway; there are many, many others, and, in fact, a blend of state-of-the-art hydrating ingredients along with a selection of potent antioxidants would be best for your skin, and this product does not contain such a blend.
Why Jar Packaging is a Problem:
The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Why Daily Use of Fragrant Products is a Problem:
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 to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
This light, non-greasy cream provides instant, long-lasting moisture with HydroSenn+™, an exclusive plant-derived active ingredient that ensures ultimate hydration. The light-reflecting pigments give skin an instant glow, while the powerful antioxidants help prevent the first signs of aging.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isohexadecane, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Sucrose Polystearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Mica, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Shorea Stenoptera Butter, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, D-Limonene, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Linalool, Tropolone, Tocopherol, Benzyl Salicylate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid
Strengths: Inexpensive; some good cleansers and makeup removers; the Blotting Papers; good powder foundation; impressive blush and shiny eyeshadow options; great metallic finish eyeliner; awesome brow kit; bountiful selection of lipsticks and lip glosses; a couple of very good mascaras; several outstanding makeup brushes; testers are available in-store for each product, and sales pressure is practically nonexistent.
Weaknesses: Mostly average to below-average toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens; no options for those dealing with acne or skin discolorations; some SPF-rated products (including foundations) lack sufficient UVA-protecting actives; the lip plumper is too irritating; too many disappointing eye-makeup products, including several disappointing eyeliners and brow pencils; unappealing shimmer powders.
Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-care products can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.
Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may 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 nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.
Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold in their boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.
What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.
More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesn’t compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.
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!