Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Product Review: Lubriderm Advanced Moisture Therapy Body Lotion with AHA

I know I've mentioned this before, but my skin leaves me no choice: it demands attention on a daily basis. Not only am I an absolutely undeniable self tanner addict, but my skin also hyper-reproduces itself, so I start to get a new layer within days. If only, if only that was as great as it sounds, but the process of getting the new layer is troublesome to say the least. My skin sticks to itself very well too, which was the impetus for a lifelong addiction to exfoliation on top of self tanner, hair products, mascara.....you get the point. On the portions which rub together while I exist, such as inner elbow and knees, cleavage, armpits and inner thighs, the skin simply sloughs itself off and shows nice new skin every few days. The rest, if God forbid a nuclear holocaust occured and I neglected to exfoliate, would feel like dry-patchy-are-you-1/4lizard skin (and during my acne prone days, all that unexfoliated and exfoliated skin would be breaking out. head. to. toe.). 

Needless to say, my skin is demanding finicky and picky (did I mention how sensitive it was too? Quite!). Raise your hands, how many people can say they've been using AHA's since the age of 12?...I thought so. Early on I learned that you can get great AHA products from the drugstore if you know how to a) troll makeup alley for hours upon hours looking for reviews or b) read ingredient lists.

So even though I have a never ending obsession with body scrubs and loofahs (one of the only ways to get instant results in skin care, and for the impatient, a miracle), I've also gona through my fair share of AHA body lotions. Which brings me to the subject of this particular post. My all time favorite (so far) cheapie AHA body lotion. There are things I tend to adore in body lotions: Pump packaging, bulk sizes available, high glycerin content, a light film left on the skin, fragrance free or low fragrance.....this Lubriderm one has all of those plus an effective Alpha Hydroxy content and pH.

1. Water (eau): Well this is one chemical we're all familiar with, so I'm sure I don't need to explain why it's in the product (you try formulating a non-aqeuous body lotion and prepare for a lot of frustration).
2. Glycerin: This fantastic ingredient is the original humectant powerhouse, for very little added cost, the consumer could enjoy a product which draws water from the environment into the skin and helps it stay there. Skin absolutely drinks this stuff in, and it's one of the few moisturizing ingredients which is very very unlikely to ever cause a breakout.
3. Glycolic Acid: This is what sets this lotion apart from many of its drugstore counterparts; I wouldn't venture to say this is a full 10% (if only they put it on the label....) concentration, but its definitely close because if my reptile skin notices a difference, it has to be at the very least a 5%. For those not in the know about AHA's, not only do they help unglue dead skin cells from happy live ones, but they also act similar to glycerin as humectants which draw water to the skin and help plump it out. On top of that, they help produce new collagen (with repeated use over years, so don't get too excited) and help fade pigmentation. Basically a miracle. On a personal note, this is one of the only drugstore products I have seen control the KP (keratosis pilaris) on my arms.
4. Cetyl Alcohol: A great fatty alcohol (the non-drying and gentle kind) which helps enhance the moisturizing effect of a product a leaves a beautiful velvety finish on skin.
5. Dimethicone: The ingredient that revolutionized moisturizers when it first moved from the haircare arena to skincare. Basically Dimethicone leaves a semi-waterproof film on skin, which helps prevent water loss from the skin (the fancy term being TEWL). Anyone who is depriving their skin of this miracle soothing and moisture retaining ingredient because of unfounded internet rumours should really really reconsider.
6. Stearyl Alcohol: Very similar to cetyl alcohol, is also used in tons of different skin care products because of the light moisture and great skin feel it provides.
7. Isopropyl Palmitate: This is a thicker, waxier emollient which adds great lubricity but also helps thicken a product to enhance its cosmetic feel. It has binding and adhesive properties in high concentrations so if you worry about clogged pores and this is one of the top 5 ingredients on the list....I wouldn't.
8. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Oily liquid made from coconut oil itself, often used as an emollient in oil free lotions because it feels absorbent, but there is a chance of breaking out if you're acne prone (those of us who aren't need not worry).
9. Potassium Hydroxide: pH adjuster. One thing a lot of people don't know about AHA's (and BHA's for that matter) is that they need to be at a particular pH to function optimally on the skin. Alas, the pH of a product is rarely labeled, so it's hard to tell whether a Hydroxy Acid product would really be all that effective unless you know to look for this ingredient (or sodium hydroxide).
10. Octyl Palmitate: Another emollient; this one is actually used as a silicone substitute in skincare because of the similar slippery but dry feel it gives to skin.
11. Glyceryl Stearate: An emulsifier with additional emollient properties.
12. PEG-100 Stearate: Another emulsifying emollient.
13. Cetearyl alcohol:  Another of the moisturizing fatty alcohols.
14. Petrolatum: Ah, the silicone of the presilicone era. Back before the "All-natural" people decided to gang up on silicones, they were ganging up on petroleum and mineral oil. The facts and the studies remain, and have never wavered: petroleum derivatives are the most powerful and least irritating possible moisturizers. Even at this low of a concentration, their powerful effects on preventing Trans-Epidermal-Water-Loss (the infamous TEWL) can be measured.
15. Cyclopentasiloxane: A silicone which evaporates from the skin, rather than remaining. It is unusual to see it this low on an ingredient list but it was most likely a small percentage of a pre-mixed moisturizing mix bought from a supplier.
16. Ceteareth 20: Another emollient and emulsifier.
17. Urea: This is another ingredient I love seeing in high concentrations in skin care products. It has amazing water binding properties and helps to mildly exfoliate the skin (like Glycolic acid, but less irritating). At this concentration, unfortunately it won't do much.
18. DMDM Hydantoin: A formaldehyde releasing preservative, potential sensitizing reactions.
19. Methylparaben: One of my blessed beloved parabens. I am 100% pro-paraben, and if you ask me why I may be tempted to write an 80 page blog post extolling their virtues......
20. Disodium EDTA: Preservative and chelating agent (to chelate something is to remove trace metals from the surface).
21. Xanthan Gum: Thickener.
22. Panthenol: Skin conditioning ingredient. Despite the many myths, it's actually not that effective at conditioning hair or skin, but because of the Vitamin B association, it has great label appeal.
23. Tocopheryl Acetate: Chemical name for Vitamin E, another bit of label appeal, although it really is only fairy dust at this concentration.
24. Retinyl Palmitate: Vitamin A. Similar situation as above.
25. Parfum: If only I saw this more often, fragrance at the bottom instead of near the top of an ingredient list.....

In Conclusion:  This is a fantastic, no frills, cheapie alternative to expensive anti-aging body lotions with AHA's. It's incredibly effective at retaining moisture, makes skin feel (and I'm really not kidding) VELVETY soft and works well even for sensitive skin types. I do have to mention that sensitive skin like mine will generally sting quite a bit with concentrated AHA products, but this is one of the rare cases where the initial irritation has a great payoff. Over time, skin's sensitivity to hydroxy acids lessens and then you just continue to see the skin smoothing benefits, so I say it's worth it. For those who suffer from acne on any parts of the body (I used to know the words backne, boobne, buttne and INGROWNS like I know my mother, so I absolutely relate), I would say there's a slight risk to using this product, although it's negligible. Only those that are extremely prone to breakouts would likely have a problem. I say still give it a chance, because it's likely it would actually help clear up and prevent breakouts due to its exfoliating action.

Last but not least, I would like to request that anyone using this (or any other AHA products) please be extra dilligent with sunscreen application because it does increase sun sensitivity.

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