Most 'oil-free' products contain a form of synthetic oil

COSMETICS COUNTER

March 10, 1994|By Paula Begoun | Paula Begoun,Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service

The terms "oil-free" and "oil-control" are misleading. Almost without exception, the oil-free foundations and moisturizers contain a form of synthetic oil, such as cyclomethicone, dimethicone or silicone.

These aren't bad, but it means the products aren't really oil-free. When I did find a product that was really oil-free, more often than not it contained alcohol, which is drying and irritating to the skin and doesn't help control oil. Another problem with the term "oil-free" is that oil is not the only cosmetic ingredient that can cause the skin to look shiny, so it tends to misdirect the consumer.

The term "oil-control" is just as frustrating because the ingredients that are usually included in these products can absorb some extra oil, but they can't absorb it all, nor can they stop oil production. No cosmetic ingredients can change the amount of oil your skin produces.

Artistry by Amway

I have received a number of requests to review Amway's makeup and skin care line.

I spent some time reviewing many of their makeup and skin care products. I was just putting the finishing touches on my evaluation when I learned that the entire Amway cosmetics line was in the process of being revamped. More than 50 percent of the color line is new as of late last year, and a new skin care line designed for delicate/sensitive skin types is now available.

Nevertheless, here is a review of skin care products that remain the same (Prices are subject to change):

* Clarifying Cleansing Gel ($14.50 for 4.2 ounces) is a good water-soluble cleanser, but it can be drying for some skin types.

* Clarifying Astringent Toner ($14.95 for 8.1 ounces) is a standard alcohol-based astringent that contains water, alcohol, witch hazel (possible skin irritant) and fragrance. This can be too drying and irritating for most skin types.

* Clarifying Conditioning Lotion ($15.10 for 2.5 ounces) is TC lightweight moisturizer that contains mostly water, glycerin, several thickeners, collagen, elastin, a water binding ingredient, and preservatives. Like any moisturizer designed for oily skin, this one could make you break out; there are no guarantees.

* Gelee Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover ($7.20 for .9 ounces) contains mostly mineral oil, petrolatum, thickeners and preservatives. You can use Vaseline or mineral oil to get the same results for a lot less money.

* Moisture Rich Toning Rinse ($14.95 for 8.1 ounces) is an excellent irritant-free toner that contains mostly water, glycerin, aloe vera, allantoin, water binding agent and preservatives.

* Moisture Rich Conditioning Cream ($15.10 for 2.5 ounces) contains mostly water, thickener, glycerin, thickeners, oil, aloe vera, collagen, elastin, water binding agent and preservatives. This is a relatively lightweight moisturizer that would be good for someone with normal to dry skin.

Paula Begoun has tested 10,000 cosmetics products and publishes the Cosmetics Counter Update, a newsletter that comes out every other month. For an introductory copy of the subscription newsletter, send $1 for shipping and handling to: The Beginning Press, 5418 South Brandon, Seattle, Wash. 98118.

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