Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer

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Desert Essence Daily Essential Moisturizer
Daily Essential MoisturizerDaily Essential Moisturizer


19 reviews

68% 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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Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

Acne-prone skin BEWARE! I read all the positive reviews thinking "wow everyone is saying how natural this is and how it doesn't break them out, must be okay for me!". Nope. The first two days, my skin was fine. The third day, a couple zits that were drying out seemed to come alive the following morning. I was confused, usually moisturizer helped heal pimples. I kept at it because I really wanted a natural moisturizer and I was super excited about it. The fourth day, I woke up and had whiteheads on my chin and nose, and parts of my cheeks (a place I rarely break out!). I narrowed it down to this moisturizer, as it has jojoba in it. Jojoba is slightly comodogenic and my skin does not like it. It also has vegetable stearates which is waxy and can clog pores. Don't spend the money. I now reserve this moisturizer solely for my hands and elbows, as those places do not break out.

on 11/24/2014 2:40:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

A little bit drying I think…tried it a few times, no go. sad because it is organic! my skin is in between dry and oily. i like giovannis one, did wonders on my skin but the fragrance is a little irritating -___-

on 9/23/2013 9:41:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I wish I read all reviews before by it.
This made my face burn and turn it red for few minutes.
I did try it 3 times...same reaction, not any more!

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This is my favourite moisturizer. I have tried so many that are either too light and don't do anything or too heavy and break out and irritate my sensitive skin. This is the perfect moisturizer to have in a basic skincare routine for every day use. It doesn't do anything special or miraculous but it's simple, it works, and it's a staple in my routine. Plus, for the price you get a ton of product as a little bit goes a long way. Mine will probably last me a year. Love this!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 10/9/2012 7:41:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

This smells horrendous at first, but you get used to it. At least I have gotten used to it. I think it is partly because of the jojoba oil, but maybe some other oils are adding to the yucky "moldy sweater" smell it has. Okay so it really doesn't smell like a moldy sweater, but I saw someone use that analogy and thought it sounded pretty good.

If you can get over the smell, which is bad, but okay really not horrendous, you might find yourself liking this moisturizer.

I was on an antibiotic for acne and just don't like the idea of staying on it forever so right now I'm trying new products out that are more natural and acne fighting....or not acne irritates. Usually I use Olay Beauty Fluid and I like it, but I know it has a bunch of yucky chemicals. I went to my local health food store and looked at what they had for skincare. Lots of stuff was too expensive for me and this moisturizer was more in my price range. You get a lot for the price. I got mine for about $6. I think that is a great price and you get quite a bit of product.

In regards to how it works it is a pretty "dry" moisturizer. What I mean by this is I don't get that silky smooth silicone feel from it. My skin does feel hydrated from it. I think I like moisturizers like this. Olay Beauty Fluid is sort of like this too, except it has that silicone feel.

So far this hasn't bothered my acne prone skin, which makes me happy. I still have acne, but I think I will always have acne...unfortunately. If you are considering this I would say give it a try. Maybe you can mix some essential oils into this moisturizer. I considered putting some rose oil in mine, but got lazy. Perhaps towards the end of the moisturizer I will try that and report back.

on 10/20/2011 10:34:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

Consider me part of the fanclub. I use this as a night moisturizer after my retinoid pads. Doesn't break me out and keeps me skin soft till morning. Love the price and the ingredients. Keeps my skin more moisturized than many other much more expensive brands. HG product. I wish it wasn't in tub form, but that is only a minor complaint compared with the benefits.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

Although I would not buy this again, I am still rating it a 3 because I think it would be a great facial moisturizer for the right person. It would definitely be suitable if you have normal or dry skin with few breakouts. However, although I had heard that it is suitable for any skin type, it was not right for me. My skin is quite acne-prone and on the oily side. This moisturizer left my skin soft at first, but I got oily very quickly. I also starting experiencing more blemishes, and my skin had been starting to clear up prior to using it.
I ended up returning this after about 5 days, but if you do not have difficult skin like me, I think this would be a really nice face cream. It smells lovely, contains natural ingredients and is affordable for the size of the jar. Unfortunately, it just wasn't right for me.

UPDATE: I recently gave this moisturizer a second chance and I'm glad I did. My tea tree night lotion from The Body Shop was not providing my skin with enough moisture, so I bought a new jar of Desert Essence daily essential moisturizer and I use a little bit of this combined with my other lotion to give it an extra boost of moisture. The look of the jar has changed over the past year, and the ingredients have been improved a bit too (e.g. it is now paraben-free). I LOVE this lotion now, it moisturizes very well, but does not make me shiny or break me out. Paired with my tea tree night lotion it's just perfect. It's so affordable too, it costs between $10-$15 and the jar will probably last me close to a year since you don't need to use much at a time. My very picky sensitive skin loves this simple lotion. I highly recommend.

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.
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8 of 8 people found this helpful.

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.

on 12/6/2007 2:41:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Loving this so far. Wish it came in a pump or squeeze tube, but not a big deal...especially given that I found this for less than $5 at It's tough to find in stores- I have gotten other Desert Essence Products at the health food store and Trader Joe's, but this one never seems to be around. Anyway, it's been a great moisturizer for me as it's gotten colder in NYC. I have somewhat sensitive, combination skin with a tendency toward hormonal blemishes. I use this in the morning alone, and at night with a bit of Desert Essence Jojoba Oil. I've seen fantastic results. Clear, soft and somewhat "glowy" skin. I can use it around my eyes and there's no irritation, which is unheard of for me. I can't believe how much I love this. I'll definitely continue to use this (it's been about a week) and will edit if anything changes.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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