Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: CVS Cold Cream Deep Cleanser

When it comes to beauty reviews, controversy abounds over the issue of comedogenicity (ingredients that cause clogged pores) and acnegenicity (ingredients that exacerbate existing acne).

Mineral oil and other petrolatum-based products have a notorious reputation for clogging pores. I've read reviews that sounded so terrible that I've long put mineral oil and petrolatum on my no-no list.

However, a 2005 lit review article in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology titled "Is mineral oil comedogenic?" concluded that cosmetic grade mineral oil even at high doses was not comedogenic. 

Despite widespread hatred of mineral oil, it ends up in much of our beauty products: moisturizers (face and body), cream cleansers, cleansing oils, foundation, eyeshadow, blush etc. 

Being a skincare snob, I had actively avoided products. With this revelation, I wanted to see for myself the effects of mineral oil on my face.

I wanted to start with cold cream, which is chockful of mineral oil.  I had always been intrigued by those chubby jars of thick white cream with a rosy scent. I've read rave after rave about how cold cream was an amazing makeup remover that was not stripping to the skin.

Why the CVS brand? According to this post, Pond's had reformulated and I wanted to try the original formula. The knowledgeable gals of MakeupAlley say drugstores' generic brand uses the original formula. 
With this looong preface, so begins my review!

Finally using these babies a year after my haul!

Ingredients: mineral oil, water, beeswax, ceresin, sodium borate, fragrance, carbomer

Experience: I wanted this testing to showcase the effects of cold cream/mineral oil on the skin. I knew that it would be hard to prove that cold cream saved/destroyed my skin if I was still using the bazillion products (only a slight exaggeration) that I usually applied at the same time I tested the cold cream.

So I set some ground rules for myself: 
1) My cold cream is my only cleanser, toner, moisturizer, makeup remover, and mask. No substitutes!
2) No scrubs/peeling gels (the surfactants in those might affect the cold cream)! *sobs*
3) Keep this up long enough that I use it when I have my monthly breakouts so I can see if it clears up acne or makes it worse.  I tested this for about three weeks.

Some factors that might affect testing: 
1) I still use sunblock. I refuse to go without. Skin safety first!
2) I still use eye cream, cold cream doesn't go near my eyes. 
3) I still use various lip products. Cold cream is no good on lips anyway!
4) In the shower, the shampoo might drip on my face and its surfactants might strip off the cold cream.

Even with those confounds, I went on with testing.

When I first tried cold cream, I had no idea how to properly use it. And what I ended up with was greasy goop (no, not Paltrow's newsletter) on my face. Here's how you do it right: 
1) Take a quarter-sized dollop of cold cream. Spread by dotting it on parts of your face (forehead, nose, chin, cheeks). 
2) Warm the remaining between your fingers. 
3) Start spreading the dots on your face until it's evenly spread. 
4) Start massaging your face until the cream warms, turning from opaque to clear. 
5) Wet a washcloth with warm water. Wring dry and use washcloth to physically remove cream.from face. All done! 
For a moisture mask, spread a thick layer on face. Leave on for as long as you like and remove with a warm washcloth.

At first I was not used to this routine. I hated the filmy feeling that the cold cream left on my face. However, the cream eventually does sink in and doesn't feel as greasy. But it took an hour on my combo-skin! When I used cold cream to remove my makeup, I found that it took a bit of massaging, but the cold cream took off my waterproof mascara, impressive! The moisture masks felt comforting to my skin.

As for the deal-breaking comedogenicity, I did not get more breakouts than usual. However, it didn't clear up acne either, which wasn't what I expected anyway. But I found that I was able to extract my pimples more easily because my skin was so moisturized.

Cold cream is awesome as an all-in-one product. It's super convenient to tuck this into my bag and bring to and fro. Certainly a lot easier than lugging around my many skincare staples. And if I lose it, oh well! Only $6-7 a pop.

As for my dislikes, I hated that the product didn't emulsify. That's why you have to physically wipe it off with a washcloth. The residue also gets stuck on the sink and attracts sorts of grimey stuff. Being the lazy bum I am, any product that forces me to clean the bathroom more is a no-go. In addition,  I needed a constant rotation of washcloths.

I've moved on to something else, but I don't mind using it and will use it on trips. Give it a try!

Cost-effectiveness: You get 9.5 oz for around $7. :Plus CVS often has BOGO1/2 sales on it. That's damn good! When I used it three times a day for three weeks, I only used up a quarter of the jar. It keeps going like the Energizer Bunny!

Availability: CVS. Also, I think all the drugstores' generic products are made by the same manufacturer, so you might find it in other stores under the store brand.

Have you tried cold cream? Your thoughts!


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