I didn’t really know how to name this post – but basically, I’ve been using two new nighttime face creams recently. The first one, I started using and reacted badly to, and the second was to the rescue.
Can you guess which was which?
If you’d guessed The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream as the one I reacted to, you’d be correct!
And if you had asked me to guess which would be the “bad” cream at the beginning, I personally would have guessed MAC. I mean, The Body Shop (TBS) is known for good skincare, right? They’re soothing and full of good ingredients… right? MAC is a makeup brand, not a skincare brand! 😕
The first thing that struck me about TBS Vitamin E Night Cream is the scent. It is so overwhelming – the best I can describe it is synthetic floral bathroom fragrance spray – and lingers for quite a while after application.
Texture-wise, it has a slightly whipped, airy consistency which makes for easy blending and absorption.
It leaves the skin feeling hydrated but not looking overly greasy. I wanted to like this! So why did this not work me?
After about a week of using this I noticed that I was getting clogged pores on my cheeks which is unusual since I am the driest there (I have combination, dehydrated, sensitive skin). After another week, I suspected the culprit was this cream and I finally examined the ingredients – I noticed that “Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil” is the third ingredient. I wasn’t familiar with that oil and it turns out it’s Wheat Germ Oil. I looked it up and learned that wheat germ oil is one of the most comedogenic oils around! 😳
Very few people can tolerate the use of wheat germ oil as it is an almost guaranteed breakout when applied topically. It’s sad because it has some of the best scar reducing and healing properties of any oil due to its very high Vitamin E content. However, such high levels are what give it its comedogenic rating. Use this oil at your own risk!
I stopped using this on my face and voila, no more clogged pores. I have not noticed wheat germ oil in my skincare before and now I have it etched in my brain to avoid it. Why would TBS use such a high concentration of such a comedogenic oil for a face cream?! I checked the ingredient list on my beloved TBS Vitamin E Toner and it does also list wheat germ oil, but much lower on the ingredient list – perhaps that’s why I did not have an adverse reaction to it. I should note that TBS Vitamin E Night Cream has decent reviews in general (3.8 out of 5 on MakeupAlley, with 69% who would repurchase, 152 reviews), so it might work for those with very dry skin. Here’s the full ingredient list:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil/Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Dimethicone, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Stearyl Alcohol, Isododecane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Tetradecenyl/Methylpentadecene, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxycitronellal, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, CI 14700/Red 4, CI 19140/Yellow 5.
Another thing to note: the cream is tinted slightly pink, and contains CI 14700/Red 4 and CI 19140/Yellow 5 colourants, which I feel is unnecessary for a face cream. TBS Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream retails for C$22 for a 50ml jar. It is made in the UK. I purchased it back in July, and started using it in mid-October and stopped in early November.
• Light texture for easy absorption
• Provides good hydration
• Strong, overpowering fragrance
• Wheat germ oil high on ingredient list – very comedogenic
• Caused clogged pores
• Contains colourants
Stash worthiness: 4/10
I attempted to use this up on my hands / feet at nighttime and my SO would have none of it – the scent offended him so much – I have not heard such a strong objection from him before! 😮 So, it’s into the bin with this cream.
After the letdown with TBS Vitamin E cream, I was a little hesitant to try the MAC Studio Moisture Cream. I mean, MAC isn’t well-known for their skincare, but I suppose I was curious enough to buy this back in August, so I might as well just give it a go.
And to my surprise, I really like this cream.
The cream is lightweight and feels silky smooth on the skin. Its texture remind me a bit of mayonnaise – but in a good way! 😛
Compared to TBS Vitamin E Night Cream, this one did leave a slightly shiny finish to the skin. The smell of this cream is subtle (the best I can describe it is clean, like toner) and not at all offensive.
The only slightly annoying thing is the packaging: the lid has a rubberized finish so it’s a magnet for every little thing.
The key ingredients are glycol (humectant), silicone, and Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil (kukui nut / candlenut oil). Then there are a bunch of extracts that are antioxidants, hyalouronic acid, and even caffeine – I was surprised to see these ingredients in a MAC cream – this is anything but a basic cream.
Water Purified, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Triglyceride, Myristyl Myristate, Cetyl Esters, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Passiflora Alata Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Wheat Germ Extract, Spinach Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Coconut Extract, Hypnea Musciformis Extract, Gellidiela Acerosa Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Sodium Carbomer, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Acrylamides Copolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, Behenyl Alcohol, Fragrance, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
The MAC Studio Moisture Cream sells for C$40 for 50ml which I think is still quite reasonable for a face cream. It is made in the USA. On MakeupAlley, users rate this 4.2 out of 5, with 78% who would repurchase out of 57 reviews.
This cream was the ideal one for the Autumn to Winter transition – we had a very mild December so I was able to use this all the way from November until the beginning of January, at which point I went back to my trusty Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream for more intense hydration. This cream is marketed as suitable for either day or night and I would agree – I will be using the MAC cream for daytime once I finish my Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream.
• Light silky texture for easy absorption
• Provides good hydration
• No offensive smell
• No reaction
• Reasonably priced
• May not be hydrating enough for very dry skin
• Rubberized lid
Stash worthiness: 8/10
Another great thing about this cream? Once I empty it, I will save the jar for Back to MAC! It got me thinking… I should use more MAC skincare products. It’s so much easier to finish up skincare than makeup – and then I can trade them in for a free lipstick or eye shadow! 😉
Here’s a quick side by side comparison and swatches between the 2 creams:
So here’s a case where my expectations and outcomes got switched around – it just goes to show, I can’t assume anything. Have you ever tried a product expecting to love it but didn’t, or vice versa?