Alastin Skincare Moisturizer is basically a vanilla ice cream cone for me: It’s good. It’s basic. In some instances, it hits the spot. But there’s nothing really revolutionary here.
First, let’s talk about why it works. Niacinamide, shea butter, and ceramide are incredible. A published study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that 2% niacinamide was more effective than petrolatum (Vaseline, or a purified mixture of hydrocarbons from petroleum/crude oil) in reducing water loss from skin and increasing its moisture levels. This is extremely telling, as Dr. Leslie Baumann, director of Cosmetic Dermatology at the University of Miami, states in her textbook Cosmetic Dermatology that “petrolatum is one of the most occlusive moisturizing ingredients known…it is often the gold standard to which other occlusive ingredients are compared.” Due to the non-comedogenic nature of petrolatum, it has been popular in skincare formulations since 1872. Yet niacinamide is also non-comedogenic, and it does not have the greasy texture of petrolatum.
Dryness is also sometimes associated with rosacea, and niacinamide holds promise there as well: According to a 2005 study by Draelos et. al., niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin).
Shea butter has actually been shown to have some anti-aging properties as well. In two studies it was determined to help regenerate thinning skin, lessen wrinkles from sun damage, improve complexion, and promote healing (Pobeda and Sousselier). The anti-aging, potentially collagen-boosting effects were attributed to the presences of unsaponifiables, lipids found in fatty fruits like avocado. In a study with rats, these were shown to boost collagen production (British Journal of Dermatology). Unsaponifiables in avocado and soybeans have been shown, not simply to reduce wrinkles through hydrating effect, but to actually increase collagen production (Phytotherapy Research).
On the other hand, the ingredients Alastin tries to say are novel and helpful, like pea protein and sugar alcohols, really aren’t. Pea protein has never been shown in any peer-reviewed studies to improve skin tone or texture, and neither have sugar alcohols. I’m not really impressed with either.
Bottom line: If you have normal/dry to dry skin, Alastin Moisturizer may very well help your skin, with niacinamide, ceramide, shea butter, olive oil, and silicones. It may also have mild anti-aging properties. But if you’re looking for this product to revolutionize your skin care regimen like, say, retinoids, peptides, or alpha hydroxy acids, well, think again.
Ingredients in Alastin Moisturizer
Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Squalane, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Propanediol, Ceramide-3, Phytosterols, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Glycerin, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.