What's with the jar packaging? It's been driving us crazy for years but now it's reached a level of absurdity we are just stymied over. Every cosmetic chemist and wise dermatologist knows jar packaging doesn't keep the most important beneficial ingredients in a skin-care product, especially antioxidants, stable because when the container is opened and let's air in the deterioration begins. Sigh. We won't stop reminding you but we would love to get a chance to remove these jars off the shelves and cosmetic counters once and for all (see More Info for why this should be the case)!
OK, enough ranting, back to what the Pomegranate Firming Day Cream contains. Like many of the formulas in the Pomegranate skin care range The Body Shop has, this isn't a terrible formula, just a lackluster one that is a far cry from the best in the category of moisturizers. The upside is there is a nice blend of emollients and beneficial plants oils, sadly the downside is a much longer list.
First let's start with the pomegranate hyped in this formula. Even though pomegranate is a good antioxidant it is hardly the best one. If you're hoping for younger skin pomegranate is not the total answer. Skin is the body's largest organ and requires a sophisticated blend of repairing ingredients, antioxidants, and cell-communicating ingredients to provide the best possible results.
Second, as is true with any daytime moisturizer, if it doesn't contain sunscreen it is useless for daytime as sun damage is one of the primary reasons your skin loses firmness. It's not that you can't wear a sunscreen over this product, but why do that when there are so many remarkable daytime moisturizers with sunscreen that are also loaded with anti-aging ingredients. This type of combination means you don't need to apply two moisturizers each morning!
Fragrant ingredients (both synthetic and natural) add to this product's woes as they create an unnecessary risk of irritation which is pro-aging, not anti-aging (see More Info for details on why fragrance in skin care is a problem). On top of all those disappointments, this also lacks what skin needs most to help it stay younger and firmer for as long as possible. Those precious ingredients are antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients, and the more the better! Emollients are nice, but they only smooth over skin woes; they don't protect skin from environmental damage and other aging factors. We strongly suggest moving on to the best options for your skin; in the long run, you will be doing your skin a huge favor.
Jar Packaging: 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; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Fragrance in Skin Care: 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: Dermatitis, November-December 2013, pages 283–290; 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).
The Pomegranate range addresses the signs of ageing. This daily moisturiser leaves skin feeling firmer. It also softens the appearance of wrinkles.
Aqua, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Stearate, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Creatine, Polymethylsilsesquioxane/Benzimidazole Diamond Copolymer, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caffeine, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Sorbitan Tristearate, Squalane, Polyacrylamide, Parfum, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Secale Cereale Seed Extract, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Punica Granatum Extract, Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera Fruit Water, Wheat Germ Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Glycine Soja Oil, Zinc PCA, Laureth-7, Adenosine, Sodium PCA, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linalool, Glycine Soja Sterol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Ursolic Acid, Eugenol, Citric Acid.
The Body Shop At-A-Glance
This England-based company was one of the first to offer "natural" products in freestanding stores. Founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in 1976, and the store's success spurred her husband to turn the business into a franchise opportunity, thus spawning the opening of several more stores across
A somewhat controversial business transaction occurred in 2006 when L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop. Fans of the brand and its stance on animal testing protested that this corporate marriage made for strange bedfellows given L'Oreal's dodgy history with animal testing. The acquisition had many consumer groups focused on ethical and organic business practices calling the sale a cop-out and accusing Roddick of selling out to "the enemy." Roddick commented that the sale had more to do with L'Oreal wanting to learn more about community trade, which could prove a financial windfall for the developing nations and tribes The Body Shop has conducted business with for years. (Sources: www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=66584-l-oreal-the-body-shop-takeover-ethical; and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4894854.stm). Regardless of motivation or ethical issues, what's certain is that L'Oreal's financial and developmental clout will allow the continued expansion of The Body Shop, although in terms of product improvements, you'll find more signs of that with the makeup than the skin-care products because that is L'Oreal's strength.
An attractive point of difference for this line is their ongoing commitment to environmental and social causes as well as fair trade and animal rights advocacy. For those efforts, the company (fueled by Roddick's personal passion for such issues) deserves high marks. If only the products were as sensible as the company's Mission Statement! It's not that there aren't good products to be found in The Body Shop's familiar green-trimmed stores, but far too many of them are ordinary formulations whose natural ingredients make little impact aside from looking good on the label. And many products contain irritating natural ingredients or fragrance components that place them a notch below the competition. This is not a company that has kept up with the latest research in what skin needs to look and feel its best. Instead, most of their products take a one-note approach to skin care, forcing customers to choose whether they want the benefits of vitamin C or E, seaweed, aloe, or a host of others—several of which have so-so benefit for skin, or less so in the amounts included in The Body Shop's products. Still, the line has remained affordable and is readily available, and so as long as you pay attention to the products that are worth your time and money, The Body Shop has some effective products in store for you.
Postscript: The Body Shop's founder, Anita Roddick, passed away in September 2007 at the age of 64. Although through the years we have had my issues with several of her company's products, it must be said that her business acumen and worldwide humanitarian efforts deserve accolades. She was a unique, passionate businesswoman, and we have no doubt her input will be sorely missed.
For more information about The Body Shop, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 263-9746 or visit www.thebodyshop.com.
The Body Shop Makeup
Makeup isn't the main attraction at The Body Shop, at least if you survey the store and notice the small display compared to shelf after shelf of body lotions, butters, scrubs, and shower gels. Yet if you're drawn to the makeup display you will find it is nicely organized, with product labels and prices in plain view, plenty of testers and mirrors, and even a bit of counter space for your purse. It's an inviting setup, and the sales staff is low key and willing to let you play, which is always a plus. As it turns out, L'Oreal's acquisition of The Body Shop has paid off handsomely for the makeup, which received a much-needed spiffing-up in October 2006. Several products were reformulated, new products (mostly improvements) debuted, and the packaging improved both functionally and visually. Due to the extra attention paid to the makeup you will find some outstanding options for foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner, makeup brushes, and creamy lipsticks. The prices are reasonable too, but they're no bargain if you don't shop this line carefully. Still, L'Oreal has infused some panache into a makeup collection whose core products were becoming ho-hum, and the changes are welcome!
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