I have oily skin and live in a very humid, warm climate. My skin is prone to clogs and the rare, occasional breakout. For these reasons, the word "moisturizer" is not part of my vocabulary, and furthermore, why would I waste money and space in my stash on a product I don't need?
Well, it turns out, I do need one. Not daily, mind you, but a need exists because, like many ladies on a quest for glowing, clear, even-toned, plump skin, I have a tendency to go overboard. And when I do, my skin becomes angry, resulting in itching, redness, bumps, flakes - it's hideous.
Elta MD Intense to the rescue. This stuff, with its bare-bones, four-ingredient formula, has saved me time and time again. You think I'd learn my lesson and simply stop piling on the actives, the exfoliators, the masks, and maybe one day I will. But I adore the experimentation process because, every so often, you hit the nail on the head and find a product that rocks your world . . . . and brightens your skin. For that reason, I will always keep this on hand. The relief is instantaneous - the itching and burning are stopped within minutes of application. Not only does it soothe irritation, it also dramatically diminshes post-breakout redness overnight. Amazing. Truly, absolutely, tell-all-your-friends amazing.
I am a tough critic. I'm also usually in the minority when it comes to products that get "OMG! Best stuff ever!" reviews. So take that into consideration, folks, and order yourself a tube of this simple but hard-working moisturizer. (Did I mention it's only about $10 and will last you forever? Really - you only need the tiniest dab.) Brilliant.
After all the rave reviews of this product on the skincare board, I had to try it for my sensitive, clog-prone, combination skin. But alas, it is not the answer to my finicky skin. I hate the way it remains greasy feeling on my skin, even though I apply a tiny amount to damp skin. But despite the greasiness, I still have dry flaky skin. And on top of that, it clogged my skin and irritated it, making it a bit redder than usual.
After deciding to ban any face products containing acne-causing ingredients (esp. sodium laurel/th sulfate and cetyl alcohol) in frustration over constant hormonal/adult acne, I was desperate to find a moisturizer that didn't have that stuff in it for my sensitive/acne-prone skin. I did some searching on the MUA skincare board and kept seeing this recommended over and over and figured it was worth a shot. I was afraid it would be pricey given that it was a derm line and I'm usually a ds girl, but I got the 3.8 oz jar for $12. (There is also a 2.8 oz tube version for those who have a bacteria contamination fear - rightly so - with jars.)
This moisturizer boasts just two ingredients, which is unheard of, neither of which cause skin or acne irritation. It's non-comodegenic and all that other good stuff too. It's fairly basic, without sun protection, anti-aging or other such properties but that's not a problem for those of us who just want something to moisturize our face without making it break out. As far as that goes, this is a godsend.
It does "melt" practically on contact with your fingers and a little goes a long way, so just a small amount can easily be used over your whole face. I only apply only at night, as the jar says it only needs to be applied once daily for "24 hour moisture." After I put this on, (after washing with Cetaphil antibacterial cleansing bar and applying Acnevir to my chin) I wait a few minutes and then use a tissue to wipe off excess. This does have a slick (I hate to use the term greasy because that conjures bad ideas, but it could apply too) feeling and finish and will make your face shine. I wouldn't recommend using this before you're going to put on makeup. It's not terrible - it gave my powder foundation a dewy finish - but it may impair it's coverage and lasting power to some extent. So, that's why I use it only before bed. In the morning when I wash my face again, my skin does not feel tight without it.
Although I don't feel that this is "deeply moisturizing" I do feel that it works well to keep my skin hydrated. I do not have any dry patches or flakes, and my skin feels tight very rarely (occasionally just for a minute or two between washing and putting on my PhysForm Mineral Wear Talc-Free powder foundation, without a layer this, primer or anything else in between). I don't know that this really penetrates the skin as much as it just locks in skin's own natural moisture.
I apologize for the long review but when looking for a moisturizer that won't cause blemishes, I figure the more info you can get, the better. And yes, this is the best part: since I've changed my skincare routine and starting using this moisturizer three weeks ago, I have not had a SINGLE new blemish. This was completely unheard of for me, and I am floored. I don't expect that I will never have another blemish again, but the reduction has been incredible. I've gone from having anywhere from 1-6 at a time on a regular basis to 0.
I highly recommend this and will definitely be buying again when the jar finally runs out.
UPDATE, July 2014: Still using, still loving and only now getting to the bottom of the jar - still probably have three weeks left of use in it though!
Giving this a neutral review because while this doesn't work for my skin, my mother loves it. EltaMD Intense is like a much more cosmetically elegant Vaseline. It's not as greasy, heavy, or sticky and the way it smooths on to skin is pretty impressive. However my skin doesn't like the PVP Eicosene Copolymer because I find it oddly drying. Works really well for my mom tho and she's a fan of the lighter texture, ease of application, and the way it seems to sink in but provide lasting moisture at the same time. If you're ok with the ingredients this is a nice alternative to Vaseline or Aquaphor.
I will never ever be without this moisturizer. I've tried hundreds over the years. Literally hundreds. All of them clogged, broke me out or flared my SD.
This is hands down the best thing I've ever used on my dry, acne and clog prone skin. It's a "melting" moisturizer that must, I repeat MUST be used on damp skin. Take a tiny bit, let it "melt" a bit on fingers, and smooth on. It sinks into skin instantly and makes my skin look and feel deeply hydrated. NO fragrance at all. You can adjust the amount your skin needs and probably have to play with it a bit to get the right balance. It's easy to use to much, if you do you can just blot off the excess.
I use a spray bottle of water to dampen my skin if I'm using it with other actives and it works fine with RX meds (excellent for skin beat up and flaking from acne meds)
Nice to use as a "mask" also, just slather on a ton of the stuff (it's cheap enough) and leave it sit until it all soaks into skin.
I always order two at a time, I get mine from Lovelyskin.com at around $14.00 per tub, but use frequesnt discount codes so it's around $10.00 per. I use a small spatula to remove it, but it also comes in a squeeze container that is a smaller size.
Those with dry acne prone skin owe it to themselves to try this!!
This is a fantastic "moisturizer" without any irritants/acids/etc. This really needs to be used on damp skin, to lock in the moisture. I purchased this on Amazon for about $10 (cheapest I've seen online). I normally switch out my nighttime treatment routine every other day and needed some extra oomph for the dry winter time. I apply a tiny pearl size drop all over my face after using a treatment, and leave some of the Intense on my lips as well.
BAM! The next morning, my skin was nice and dewy, no tightness, and my lips were super hydrated compared to the dry, rough lips I typically have despite numerous lip balm trials.
This is a great way to protect your skin from drying out and I've found it to be quite mild on my temperamental skin. Don't forget to buy it on Amazon for the cheapest price!
I wish I could use this on my face. I really do. When I first got it, I put it on my entire face just to see what it felt like. It felt heavenly. Then I patch tested for a couple weeks and found it clogging for me. Such a shame.
This is not like Vaseline. This is way better. It is much lighter and truly melts into your skin. Just use a tiny amount, warm it in your hands for a second, then pat it on damp skin.
Since it clogs me, I can only use it around my eyes and it is fabulous for that delicate area.
I think this would be perfect for those with sensitive skin. It only has 3 ingredients. I would recommend this to others, although patch test if you are clog prone.
My skin is prone to hormonal acne, really clog prone (no coconut derivatives for me), and has a lot of surface dryness, particularly around the forehead and nose. The texture has a waxy melty quality that is much more cosmetically elegant than Vaseline. I actually use much more than the "pearl" amount that is called for on the package and liberally smear it all over damp, out of the shower skin. It does provide a good amount of suppleness and provide a decent sense of barrier resistance for about 5-6 hours. It is extremely neutral and bland and would probably work for a large varieties of skin types.
The reason, however, that I give this three stars is that I bought this hoping it would be a good solution as a moisturizer for my very finicky, grumpy skin, but I wouldn't call this moisturizing -- it doesn't add water or oil to the skin, nor is it reparative -- but more occlusive, better at holding water in. In short, there's basically no improvement in moisture levels or hydration with this, and given the ingredients, I don't see how one could expect there would be. In addition, I actually do not find this sufficient as an undereye moisturizer -- I use raw unrefined shea butter for that, which is much better. So the search continues for a hydrating moisturizer!
Me: Oily, easily dehydrated, super sensitive, extremely clog-prone, and, for the past few months, struggling to zap flaky, crusty, beet red patches of eczema. (What fun!) My usual stand-by, Egyptian Magic, just wasn't doing the trick, so in desperation I turned to the blandest and most emollient product I could find: EltaMD Intense Moisturizer. I'm not going to say it's a miracle worker: after a couple of months there's a trace of eczema remaining, but it's virtually non-existent. My skin is finally starting to look like skin again :-) I doubt you could find a better treatment for seriously disturbed skin unless it comes from a pharmaceutical co.
So if you've got something crusty, flaky, red and/or blistery where skin should be, give it a try. Rub in a drop of sweet almond oil beforehand to amp up the healing and moisturizing power
Ingredients: Petrolatum, Paraffin, PVP Eicosene Copolymer.
This a very simple and effective moisturizer that I think would work well for most skin types and issues depending on amount used and method of application (it has to be applied on damp skin, folks). Upon looking at the ingredients you might think that this is overpriced Vaseline, however I don't find any similarities between them. I can't stand the smell of Vaseline or the fact that it takes seemingly forever to sink in and stays ridiculously shiny, even when applied on damp skin. I cannot use most moisturizers on the market as I am very easily clogged/irritated and the ingredients that cause those problems are in just about EVERYTHING (there is a list of things I avoid on my notepad).
My skin type is rather complicated. I am in my mid-20's but already seeing early signs of Rosacea. I have had mild, but persistent facial redness since 12 years old. My skin is fragile and it is very easy for me to accidentally compromise my skin barrier which leads to dehydration/acne/irritation bumps. Otherwise my skin is classic combination - oily forehead/nose/chin and dry cheeks. I am highly prone to clogged pores and small pustules, but no cystic/inflamed acne.
All that said, this moisturizer has changed my skin for the better. If applied on damp skin and only using the tiniest bit needed, it sinks in very quickly and leaves my skin feeling super soft and comfortable. Also gives a nice glow and has no smell at all. For me it takes maybe 2 minutes for the shine factor to go away. It has given me 0 acne issues and, if anything, has helped to clear my skin due to the fact that I am not having to use cloggy moisturizers anymore. It has had no effect on my oil production good or bad, but I do produce less oil with this than I would if I didn't use a moisturizer at all. This does a great job of keeping moisture in which is exactly what I need due to the fact that my skin is chronically dehydrated. Before I apply this moisturizer, I use PC CLEAR Regular Strength toner and allow it to do its work for 30 mins. I then re-dampen my face with Thayer's Cucumber Witch Hazel toner and apply this moisturizer immediately while the toner is still damp on my skin. Works perfectly and my skin has cleared up and calmed down immensely. In the summer I think this will be too much, so I plan on using Passion Fruit Seed Oil in its place which also works awesome for me. Big thanks to all of the people on the skin care board who rec'd this. I will definitely repurchase.