Saturday, February 8, 2014

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream

Benefit_Total_Moisture_Facial_Cream_moisturizer_reviewWhile I’m familiar with Benefit’s cosmetics, I’ve never used any of the company’s skincare products until last month, when a jar of Total Moisture Facial Cream arrived in my January 2014 Topbox. I started using it almost immediately and now, over three weeks later, I think I have a pretty good sense of how this product works.

According to Benefit, “this facial cream provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion. “ It does this by using mango butter, “a natural plant-based emollient known to provide moisture” and an “exclusive tri-radiance complex (that) helps develop the skin's reserves of water & reinforce skin's moisture barrier.” All of this is so effective that, “In consumer testing, 100% of people tested felt that their skin was immediately and intensely quenched.” Contain me in among that number. Well, most of the time.

Here’s the thing I noticed about this cream, which is aimed at people with “normal to dry skin.” It does a great job at keeping my skin healthy and moisturized as long as it isn’t challenged too much. For example, this cream did an excellent initial job of dealing with a dry patch that resulted from my use of an anti-acne solution. However, while the cream made the initial patch disappear, it was less effective when a new, worse patch appeared. It was like this cream worked wonderfully but only up until a point.

But even then, while this cream wasn’t visually helping my skin, it was still leaving it feeling great. I like my face creams to be thick and rich-feeling and this one possesses those two qualities without going overboard. But while it does have a thicker texture, this cream absorbs quickly and completely, and doesn’t behind any kind of shine. Within a minute of applying this product, it feels like it’s been completely sucked up by my face and that my skin is indeed, “quenched.”

I also quite like how this cream smells. It’s a pleasant, slightly sweet scent that’s not overly strong.

But while this cream has a lot going for it, it also has two-and-a-half major issues. The first in the container, which, I’ll admit, is aesthetically pleasing. It’s a pretty glass jar that features beading and is topped with a durable, screw-top lid. But while they looks nice, open-top jars are bad for the products inside of them as they allow oxygen and microbes (from your fingers) easy access. Of course these problems can be minimized by screwing the lid back on ASAP and never put un-sanitized fingers into the jar but come on, who’s going to do that every time?

Then there’s the fact that this is an all-purpose cream, meaning it can be used both day and night, that doesn’t contain any SPF. I’ve ranted about this before and I’ll keep doing it until all and any cream marketed intended for day-use product contains sufficient sun protection. Oh sure, you could first apply an SPF cream and then this over top of it but again, are you really going to do that every time?

Finally, and this is the half issue, there’s the price. At, this product retails for $42. That's far from cheap but yes, it's typical for a Benefit product. And for some, this could be $42 well-spent. I can see how, for the right person, this moisturizer could be a terrific night cream. But that of course means that a day cream needs to be purchased (or an SPF-containing product combined with this cream) and that means money being spent and if you're on a budget... Well, if you're on a budget, just don't even bother looking at Benefit products.

Would I buy this product: No. While this product does deliver moisture, it doesn't deliver everything I need in either a night cream or a day cream.

Should you buy this product: I think that for a good chunk of people out there, this product is a pass. However, if you’re got extra cash, are religious about washing your fingers before applying a cream and have skin that falls in the normal-to-slightly-dry range, this could be a great night cream for you. And if you have an allergy to SPF products, or rarely go outside during daylight then yep, it could also do double-duty as your day cream. (So yes, it’s ideal for well-off, clean-freak vampires.)

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