As the school year starts up again and the weather turns colder, I always find that I need to switch to a heavier moisturizer for my (normal, albeit somewhat sensitive) skin. Enter Aqualant ($36.00, SkinCareRx.com), a triple-powered moisturizer with emollients (to soothe the skin), occlusive agents (to seal water in), and skin-benefitting antioxidants and retinol. As a lipophilic moisturizer, Aqualant prevents TEWL (transepidermal water loss) from the skin, increases skin permeability, and has the potential to produce full hydration.
Aqualant has a higher concentration of silicone-based dimethicone than most moisturizers I’ve encountered – over 24%! – a concentration that is typically reserved for the treatment of diaper rashes and bedsores, according to the textbook Dermatological Formulations – Percutaneous Absorption. However, unless you have particularly oily skin, this high concentration of dimethicone should still be beneficial, acting as a low-friction barrier to protect the skin against water-soluble irritants. In fact, according to research published in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, dimethicone applied topically can be used for the prevention of irritant contact dermatitis. And from a cosmetic perspective, dimethicone temporarily fills in fine lines and wrinkles, softening their appearance.
Shea butter and olive oil round out the ingredients list next. Shea butter is an emollient, meaning that it soothes the skin. Shea butter has been found to be most effective in liquidized form, as it has a higher rate of absorption, not to mention a lighter feel to the skin, though no form of shea butter offers protection against irritant contact dermatitis. On the other hand, olive oil contains protective polyphenols, which have been shown to prevent UVB-induced tumor formation in the mouse when applied topically. Other proven effects of topical applications of olive oil include action as an antioxidant, hydrator, and the ability to promote resveratrol-induced preservation of sirtuins. Finally, a combination of antioxidants grape seed and vitamin E, and a lower concentration of retinol, give this product a dose of free-radical-fighting and wrinkle-preventing treatment.
Personal Use and Opinions
At first, I was a little surprised by the consistency of Aqualant – it comes out like a light oil mixture from a spray bottle, and my skin even looked a little shiny after using it. But when I woke up the next morning, I was pleased to find that my skin felt very soft and plump – fully hydrated!
Because of Aqualant contains occlusive agents, which trap moisture and water-based ingredients into the skin, I have decided to use Aqualant only after products that do not contain comedogenic ingredients, like cocoa butter, lanolic acid, myrstyl mystrate, or other products containing olive oil. (For the record, Aqualant can contain occlusive agnets and olive oil and still be non-comedogenic, since olive oil is in low enough concentration). I now cleanse, use a non-comedogenic retinoid, and apply Aqualant before bed at night.
While I very much like this product, consult with your dermatologist first if you have oily skin, as lipophilic moisturizers are often not recommended for patients with oily skin. Finally, although rare, it should also be noted that olive oil can induce contact dermatitis in some patients, so ask your dermatoloigst if you have concerns.
Overall, however, I am very pleased with Aqualant for my normal, sensitive skin, and I plan to keep it as my last nightly moisturizer throughout the winter months. I also think that this product would be amazing for dry or normal-dry skin types, as it packs a triple hydration punch (occlusives, emollients, humectants). Amazing! Product Rating: 8.5/10. (High concentration of proven-effective ingredients: 3/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 0/1, although I prefer this product at night anyway).
Active Ingredient: Dimethiocne 24.92%. Other Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Retinol, Tocopherol Acetate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Iodopropynyl Butyl Carbamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol.
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