I’ve been looking for an anti-redness treatment for awhile since my skin is sensitive and tends to be a little red, especially in the winter. EmerginC d-red nighttime strengthening balm seemed like a good option. The description specifically states that it’s designed to soothe, repair, and strengthen sensitive skin. That’s exactly what I need! Barrier repair is key if you are prone to sensitivity. The ingredients list consists of primarily natural ingredients, with several plant oils and squalane listed in the top half of the list. Plus some vitamins (E, B, and K), and azulene (which is what makes this cream blue) near the end of the list.
Azulene is a very calming ingredient that is supposedly great at counteracting redness and irritation. Some of the hottest oils in the skincare industry these days (like blue tansy, blue chamomile etc) are naturally high in azulene. Hence their ability to combat irritation and redness. This particular cream contains azulene as an added ingredient.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Squalane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Guaiazulene, Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid
I fully expected this product to be a lot thicker, since it’s called a “balm”. It’s more like a bouncy light cream, it’s not heavy at all (which is what I had expected). As you’ll see in the photo, it has a blue tint to it. That’s from the azulene. Or it better be, since none of the other ingredients are blue and there are no dyes listed in the ingredients.
Overall, I actually found this to be pretty disappointing. Primarily because it made me break out. It started slow the first night, with just a couple small red spots in the morning. I brushed it off and kept using it for a few more days. But now I have a whole cheek full of breakouts. I was a bit perplexed as to the cause of the rapid spread of breakouts, since none of the ingredients immediately stuck out to me as the offending ingredient. I’ve used products with most of these ingredients before and not had any issues.
However, after some research it has come to my attention that ethylhexyl palmitate is highly comedogenic (aka pore clogging). Ethylhexyl palmitate is 4th on the ingredients list and is a silicone replacement, providing a smoother feel to products. It can also be used as a fragrance ingredient. That definitely raised some red flags. Research also showed that triethanolamine is also a pH adjuster and fragrance ingredient. Pretty much any fragrance ingredients cause allergic reactions on my skin. So it’s possible that these ingredients caused this acne rampage across my face.
But at the same time, ethylhexyl palmitate is the second ingredient in Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF47 (review HERE) that I happen to really like. Perhaps my reactions are related to the overall concentration? Or the source of the ingredient? I don’t know. Suffice to say, this little blue pot is going back to the store from whence it came.
Add the breakout episode to the fact that it actually isn’t hydrating at all. I had to add moisturizer on top of this since it left my skin feeling quite dry. I didn’t really see any miracles in the anti-redness department either (although that could be because it was causing more irritation that it was removing). So combine all those complaints and here we have a dud of a (very expensive) product. It also smells pretty bad. Although I really don’t care what my products smell like. I’d rather have a smelly product that works and doesn’t cause breakouts than one that smells good and doesn’t do anything and/or breaks me out.
So I can’t really recommend this product to anyone with sensitive skin. Or anyone who is acne-prone. Or anyone who has dry skin. So who does that leave? I guess you might like this if you have normal or oily skin prone to very slight amounts of redness but not acne?