Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer

Filtered by skin type : Sensitive
Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer
Daily Essential MoisturizerDaily Essential Moisturizer


14 reviews

50% would repurchase

Package Quality: 2.0

Price: $

Package Quality: 2.0

Price: $

Not tested on animals


Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate (Vegetable Derived), Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Palmitate (Plant Derived),Jojoba Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Sesame Seed Oil, Glycerin (Plant Derived), Gluconolactone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Geranium Maculatum Oil (Plant Derived)

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on 8/21/2012 7:58:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This product stinks, literally and otherwise.
Inside the unhygenic jar, it looks sickly - like spoiled whipped cream or bad yogurt. The smell is gagging. I usually like the scent of geranium essential oil and this is definitely not the same scent. Like another user wrote, this smell is similar to smell of sweaty skin or some bodily secretion. Yuck....
Applied on the face - well, that's another story. I got small red itchy bumps on the side of the face I tested this on. I think it is the sodium hydroxide ingredient (lye) a.k.a caustic soda, which as the name implies, could be caustic to skin, especially sensitive skin and is used in detergents and heavy-duty *cleaners* !!
I am so done with Desert Essence products.

4 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 3/25/2012 3:29:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Dark, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

i wouldn't recommend this product to anyone who has dry skin. the matte finish is horrifying. i want a moisturizer to have a brightening (as opposed to dulling) effect.

the consistency of the product is fine, until it gets on your skin! it has a sticky, filmy feel that is just outright unpleasant. i thought i'd like this product since i'm a huge fan of the jojoba oil, but it just isn't the case. not recommended and definitely will not repurchase.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I love this face cream, I have tried so many moisturizers that either leave my skin either shiny/greasy and seem to sit on the surface or dehydrated and without enough moisture. This cream leaves me hydrated with a matte, calm finish to my skin and it never makes my face look red or blotchy as I have found with other products in the past.
It works well without make-up almost giving me the same finish as a primer, but it is also a great base for foundation.
The ingredients haven't broken me out or irritated my skin and the huge tub lasts such a long time, even using it twice a day. Would completely recommend for skin that just needs light moisture without any shine.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 12/16/2011 12:15:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Black

Still on the quest for a cruelty-free alternative to Olay Classis Sensitive Skin. My skin is quite sensitive but otherwise 'normal', so I just need a basic moisturizer. I seem to react to many moisturizers containing sunscreen. As a result, my preference is for non-SPF products, and I apply a baby sunscreen as needed.

I picked this up after trying the tester a few times in my local New Seasons to get a feel for whether I would react. I am very glad I did. It's a light cream with a pleasant, mild scent. It sinks into my skin very quickly and leaves a matte finish. The moisturizing is just right for my skin and not at all greasy. A little dab normally does for me, though I apply a bit extra if it's particularly dry out. I'm not in love with the container as I don't care for tubs, but I can live with it. I will definitely re-purchase.

on 12/14/2011 2:46:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Just started using it. I do have sensitive skin type but no reaction to the cream. Moisturizing but not heavy. Would buy again.

Update May 2012
Starting to find that it is not moisturizing enough. The good thing is that it is still not causing a reaction against my skin; however because I am finding it not moisturizing enough means I will probably not purchase again.

on 11/12/2011 5:22:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

My skin loves aloe so I was glad to find this, and eager to give it a go. Unfortunately, I had the same problem as a few other people - this made my skin itch as I applied it, and within minutes my whole face was bright tomato red. I immediately washed this off and spent almost 10 minutes splashing cold water on my face, but the discomfort wouldn't go away. I have since smeared a huge glob of my good old trust Vanicream (I SHALL NEVER CHEAT ON YOU AGAIN!) and taken antihistamines, and my face still looks like a very bad sunburn. Horrible, I've never had such a bad reaction to a product before. I'm glad I have the rest of the weekend to try to make it go away before I have to show my face in public again.
Stay far far away if you have sensitive skin. Don't be fooled.

I wish these damn stupid companies would get it through their heads that just because something is 'natural' it cannot translate to harmless. In the hysteria to stop using parabens they turn to more 'natural' products that are highly irritant and less stable (not to mention less studied) for no reason. Ugh.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 2/17/2010 7:58:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I bought this moisturizer on sale at Bartell's for ~$3.50 USD (I believe normal retail is $6?), attracted by the price and the seemingly quite natural ingredients. I have very sensitive skin and avoid moisturizers with -cones, petrolatum, fragrance, and high alcohol contents, so this seemed like a great option.

I started using this very cautiously because of the mixed reviews on MUA: first on my hands, then neck. I never got to face trials, because after ~1 month of use, I am starting to get irritation/mild contact dermatitis. I am not sure what the culprit is, but suspect either Safflower oil or Geranium essential oil - especially the latter. Essential oils have a highly variable irritation profile.

Even without the irritation though, I was not a huge fan of this moisturizer, aside from the price. For one thing, it was not very moisturizing, and seemed to leave a sticky, waxy film on my skin. The jar-style packaging also leaves me pretty leery: while you can certainly use a spatula for infection prevention, the jar has a huge opening = large surface area exposed to air each time opened = more oxidation and faster rancidity, especially given the high oil content of this face cream.

It's a huge pity this didn't work given the attractive price and natural formulation. Even after a month, I have a ton left, so I am going to try and use this on less sensitive body parts (legs, etc), and hope for the best against continued dermatitis.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

[Review updated 06/2010.] Lovely cream at a lovely price. Joins my other long-term favourites: A-Derma Skin Cream, Avène Tolérance extrème and TriXéra Balm.

I was sniffing around for possible replacements for my regular moisturiser. Found this, partly thanks to the MUA Top Picks for my age-group. It's minimal (the sensitive Gingerrama likes minimal), cheap (ditto), and fairly easy to find (greener shops and even some standard ones).

This is a plain facial moisturising cream. Mainly safflower, jojoba, and sesame oils; plus aloe vera. Little scent from the rose geranium: a very faint whiff of pleasant creaminess, then nothing.

Application: echoing the advice of others below, apply to damp skin (using Avène water spray here). Easy to apply - sinks in nicely.

In evenings, I'm mixing in a little oil too: one drop of the current blend that doubles up as cleansing oil and in-shower body oil. Some combination and permutation of sunflower, safflower, sweet almond, and jojoba oils. Have also used rice bran and grapeseed (too light and drying). Sometimes mineral oil too, though trying to get off it for environmental reasons. I've found all these oils to be very good on fragile, irritable skin that's prone to dry bits and oily bits if unbalanced; plus good on the nose, preferring unscented oils due to sneezy tendencies.

In the mornings, one it's on and in, followed by sunscreen. Which applies just fine (a silicone-based coated micro zinc oxide one; minimal again...).

The Daily Essential is deceptively light: retains moisture well overnight, no dryness or tugging the next morning. The overall effect is most satisfying: feels comfortable a.k.a. normalised, no dry or oily patches, no irritated bits, matte-dry to the touch (as opposed to damp-greasy), but smooth, sleek, plump and well-fed ... Recommended!

Only issue (update, end 09/2009): jar suffered disaster in freak iron-related accident. Yes, plastic melts. I'm sure others don't need such warnings ... [UPDATE: 03/2010] Used again, less successful in cooler drier weather; usually fine, but sometimes irritates. Still keeping this for warmer weather, as it's a great combination of moisturising and mattifying.

Costs CAD8.00-10.00 for a 120 ml plastic jar. A couple of lippies off on the packaging, but nothing that can't be solved by decanting it into a wide-necked flip-top tube. Cruelty-free.

UPDATE (06/2010): This being reformulated, but fear not, only in a minor way (see further down). Not yet seen in the shops; thanks to candigirl72 for the information. Changes: no paraben preservatives, addition of propanediol, stearic acid, gluconolactone sodium hydroxide, sodium benzoate (preservative). NB the current Desert Essence cream is very very like Derma E's classic Vitamin E 12,000 IU Deep Moisturizing Crème (see further below for ing.), one of their original products some decades ago. The Derma E's around USD 12.50 / CAD15.00 for 113 g.

2009 INGREDIENTS (from jar - NB slightly different from the ingredients listed on Desert Essence's website and at top of this MUA product page): Purified Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Cetyl Palmitate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (from vegetable source), Methylparaben, Essential Oil of Geranium Maculatum.

2010 REVISED VERSION INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate (Vegetable Derived), Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Palmitate (Plant Derived), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Glycerin (Plant Derived), Gluconolactone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Geranium Maculatum Oil (Plant Derived)

COMPARISON: DERMA E VITAMIN E MOISTURIZING CRÈME: Water (Aqua), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Glycerin, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Panthenol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Allantoin, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Natural and Fragrant Oils.
continued >>

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

on 4/19/2009 12:26:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I REALLLYYYYY wanted this to work for me because of the great reviews; however, I find that this does not keep my face matte throughout the day. It feels and looks matte when it is first applied but I have to blot my face like two times throughout the day still. This seems to also cause breakouts. I have bunch of red spots all over my forehead especially because I was experimenting to see if this was the cause and it is! GOSHH! I'll probably use it for my hand or something but really doesn't seem that moisturizing at all. I have oily and acne prone skin. It is dirt cheap and I found it at Fortino's believe it or not. So if you're in Canada and you can't find it, go there! It was about $6-7. Well, I am glad it worked for other people but I am still on my search of a good moisturizer!

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This really irritated my skin. I applied a light layer and immediately my cheeks began burning. I had to wash it off and now my face is still pretty red. I can use sesame oil, jojoba oil, and safflower oil so it might have been the geranium that irritated me. Not sure, but it wasn't good. Too bad!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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