Describe the brand in three words.
Doctor. Clinical. Hi-tec.
Who is it for?
Dry, older, reddened, rosacea, sensitive, dehydrated, wrinkled, heavily lined. Agitated.
What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycerin, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, CocoCaprylate/Caprate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Behenate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chondrus Crispus, Skeletonema Costatum Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Plankton Extract, Dulse Seaweed Extract, Fucus Serratus Extract, Himanthalia Elongata Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Ulva Lactuca (sea Lettuce) Extract, Gluconolactone, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-75 Stearate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Sodium Salicylate, Citric Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide
What’s not in it?
parabens, mineral oils
Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Well technically shea butter, BUT: see below ‘What’s good about it?’ section for further info. Fragrance
Suitable for pregnancy?
Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Natural and man-made, vegan
Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?
How does it smell?
Faintly pleasant of shiso, like all Zelens products.
How do you use it?
Apply AM and/or PM as moisturiser
Can it be taken around the eyes?
Best for winter or summer?
How long did I test it for?
On and off for a few months.
How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£125.00 for 50ml
Works well with?
Zelens A, C and D Treatment Drops.
Works well to counteract the drying, flaking side-effects of retinoids.
What’s the website like?
Great. All the information and long description lists of each ingredient.
How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
Good distribution. The Zelens website, Cult Beauty, Space NK, Barneys etc..
What’s good about it?
Don’t be fooled by the outwardly plain appearance of this cream. There is no other cream on the market containing as many algaes in one formula. Twelve algae alongside a peptide that is marine bacteria and massively anti-inflammatory. It also contains gluconolactone, a polyhydroxy acid that helps retain moisture in the skin, the same acid found in the PHA Pads.
My big surprise was the shea butter. Zelens is one of the few brands that I will test inci list unseen, as I know they don’t use mineral oil. When I was testing this, I suspected it had shea butter due to the rich texture, but I was using/testing vitamin A products during that period and my skin seemed dry enough to handle it.
My skin loved it and I didn’t break out at all, so I assumed it wasn’t shea, but obvously still raised the issue with the brand. Once they confirmed that it was shea butter, but in the form of esters, it made a lot more sense. Unlike the goop moisturisers, which I loved** the textures and feel of, but which broke me out, this is friendlier towards those of us tempted to break out if we so much as look at shea butter. Obviously it would still be wise to patch test if you can, but don’t be put off by the second ingredient, it’s more like a cashmere throw than a 15.0 tog down duvet. Think of it as comparing olive oil to butter just out of the fridge. They both work, just differently.
As always with Zelens, there are individual breakdowns of all the ingredients and their benefits on the website, but this is truly at the top end of moisturisers. I always say all of your money should go in the middle of your routine, one of the exceptions is with extremely sensitised skins, who crave the security blanket of a rich moisturiser as opposed to an all-singing and all-dancing serum. This gives them the comfort of the former without compromising the latter.
If you have sensitive skin, on the dry side, I would check this out.
What’s not so good about it?
As with all Zelens products, it doesn’t come cheaply. Having said that, if these ingredients were in a bigger ‘corporate’ brand, it would be at least twice the price. There are brands still getting excited about having plankton (singularly) in their products. Plankton is one of many in this..
Would I purchase/repurchase?
Do you need it?
Only if you can afford it, and you have the specific concerns listed. This is not a ‘pick it up as an extra just in case’ moisturiser.
(It should be stressed that these are comparable only in price and textures. None of the creams listed will have the amount of algae actives etc)
Sisley Confort Extreme Night Skin Care
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
DCL Peptide Plus Cream
*Clinicals: Marine Cream results
**I still can’t bring myself to give them away, I love the textures and smells too much.