Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Search of......The Perfect Moisturizer

Sephora snookered me.

Normally after I rack up enough points to earn a sample-sized prize, I half-heartedly select some product I don't really want and toss it into the drawer where I keep travel-friendly products on the off chance I might go somewhere. Snicker. I didn't have particularly high hopes for the teeny bottle of Dior HydrAction gel moisturizer. After all, what does Dior know about skincare?

Well, lo and behold, I used that clear not-too-thick and not-too-thin gel and loved it. Loved it. And, the stuff lasted nearly three months, impressive for such an eensy-weensy sample size. When I went to hunt it down at Sephora, though, Dior had reformulated. The gel moisturizer morphed into Hydra Life Pro-Youth Protective Fluid SPF 15, at a higher price, too — $56. But, the salesgirl raved, said her mom loved it. I decided to give it a try since Sephora has such a great return policy.

The moisturizer is super-fragranced. It's not an unpleasant smell, it's just weird for a moisturizer to smell like perfume. The scent wears off quickly, though.

No longer a gel, this "fluid" is a very light cream. It contains plant extracts that would be good 21st century kid names — Jisten, Centella and Black Rose. The Sephora website says the stuff also "offers the powerful benefits of Cellular Bio-Exaltation." I have no idea what this means. I'm guessing it's better than Cellular Bio-Crapination.

While I don't like the new formulation as much as the previous incarnation, this isn't a bad choice for someone with normal to oily skin who just needs a little light moisturizer. And isn't afraid of the price. I like to save money as much as the next girl, but I won't skimp on good face products since down the line I'm not planning on Botox injections or face lifts.

Though the moisturizer touts itself as SPF 15, I doubt most people would use enough of it to provide true protection against the sun. Also, the active sunscreen is avobenzone, which my dermatologist says isn't strong enough protection in extremely sunny places. The best blockers are physical ones like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

So, I'm glad I tried it. This isn't THE ONE for me. But, I have a little something from Komeunka Bijin, a Japanese line that uses rice bran (supposed to be, as Rachel Zoe would say, ah-MAZE-ing for the skin), waiting on deck in the medicine cabinet. Maybe that?

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