Overheard: Ssh...You Didn't Hear it From Me. Beauty News You Need to Know

I was hanging out in a shop the other day, looking for something fantastic to discover. I overheard the derm I trust the most, Dr. Noelle Sherber, discussing one of my favorite products, Quench by Kate Somerville.

I love Quench. In fact, it was one of the first products I reviewed when I started this blog. It's like a drink of awesome for parched skin. Since then, Ms. Somerville has blown up, gotten famous and practically become a household name. Except there is one small problem. Based on what my larger than average ears overheard, now that Quench has diversified and gone to major shelves everywhere, it's not quite the same. The big thing in Quench that made it amazing was the hyaluronic acid. Here is the original ingredient list.

Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexy Stearate, Phenyl
Trimethicone, *Sodium Hyaluronate*, Lecithin, Glycolipids,
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl, Cocoate, Sodium Ascorbate,
Water (Aqua), Tocopherol, Retinol, Caprylyl Glycol.

 Guess what is now all but missing in the new formulation of Quench? You guessed it. Hyaluronic Acid. Technically, it's still there, but barely. Here is the new list of ingredients.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexyl Sterate, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol,Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Water (Aqua), Retinol, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Glycolipids, *Sodium Hyaluronate*, Caprylyl Glycol.

I'm guessing this was not Kate's decision and is probably the call of some fat cat who has no idea what made Quench great from the start. But still. The lesson here is to read your labels. I should also say that it's not a bad product now. It has a lot of silicones that can help seal in your harder-working products and leave your face even and silky. But it's not the same. Sigh. Kate still continues to make products that deliver red carpet results, and the oil-free version has a decent amount of hylaluronic acid. Just read your labels...

Everywhere I lurk, internationally speaking, everyone is raving about the Japanese Jelly Aquarysta, by the brand, Astalift. Developed by the people behind Fuji Film, it's getting rave reviews and being touted as the next big thing. It's allegedly amazing for dry skin, boosting radiance and making your fine lines and pores seem to disappear over time, thanks in part to the ingredient Astaxanthin. People swear by it. If my conversions to US dollars are correct (and we all know I'm shite at math), it would retail for $32.00. Yet, with the magic of Ebay and it's unavailability in the US, it seems to be selling for between $100-200 for the same item. Needless to say, if any of my amigas find themselves in the UK (or Singapore), can you pick me up a Jelly Aquarysta? I'm drooling slightly that I can't seem to get my hands on this product (for a reasonable price).

Speaking of products you can't get in the US, check out what happened to me last week. After reading one of my favorite blogs, I rushed to purchase a BB Cream that several people recommended. Peach Girl, by Holicka Holicka, seemed like a great idea. I loved how it looked on my skin and suggested it to several girlfriends. It's available on Ebay for a song, with free shipping, straight from South Korea. Except after a few days of wearing it, I started to have a burning sensation around my eyes. Then it spread on to my cheekbones. It was PAINFUL.

(I suppose I know what my eyes will look like when I'm 70.)

It was hot, itchy, dry, swollen and elephant-like. Anything I put on burned like the dickens (I don't actually know what a "dickens" is. Do you? My Dad used to say that all of the time). This continued all weekend. I couldn't even wear SPF without my skin feeling like it was on fire. Luckily, my two favorite pros answered my weekend pleas for help and we were able to figure out what it was. My new, beloved BB Cream contained something called methyl methacrylate. Apparently, it's a known allergen and is usually left out of most products available in the US. After several days of Benadryl and hydrocortisone, my face was finally back to normal. Be careful and on the lookout for anything with methyl methacrylate. I hadn't heard of it before, but now I won't touch it. Unless you like having elephant skin and savor the feeling of putting fire on your face. Then by all means, have at it.

I've bought many a bottle of Quench and purchased the BB Cream.

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  1. ... re my last comment this price may have been for a big jar. I think it comes in two sizes and the store had very little stock (not a complete selection)

  2. thanks for the price check - CRAZY!!! It can't possibly be worth the markup!

  3. Ouch--this happened to me when I tried a prescription retinoid--so harsh, but I think I was allergic to something in the base as well. I did see the Astalift Jelly in a store in Paris, but the price was around 83 euros, or close to $100! I thought it would be in the $30 price range as well so I passed. Anyway, thought you'd be as interested as I was to see the price difference here!

  4. Gouldy, methyl methacrylate is used as a modifier for PVC. It is used to make plastics, and also as the 'glue' for knee/hip replacements to make sure that the metal stays in the bone. I am a chemist. I know about this. You poor girl. I hope you're all better by now with the benadryl and the hydrocortisone. And I hopef you returned that stuff (if it was worth the shipping). Take care. At least now you know what NOT to use. ;)

  5. Yikes - glad you found out what it was!  I got some peach girl, and like Lulubelle:  glad to know about it).

  6. Wow, you poor girl--it LOOKS painful and paired with your description--yikes!! My skin and I sympathize with you.

  7. I'm the only person I'm aware of to have a reaction, which is great. Apparently, it's a known allergen so it's left out of many products. It only took a few days for it to go away, but those days HURT! I'm glad it works for you - I loved the product. Until my skin felt like it was on fire. :-)

  8. Yikes at your allergic reaction to methyl methacrylate!  I recently bought a Skin Food Peach Sake Pore BB cream from South Korea, and given that the ingredient list is in Korean, have no idea what's in it!  I googled, finally found an ingredient list in English, and it contains polymethyl methacrylate, which is a polymer of methyl methacrylate.

    Haven't had any problems yet, but good to know about.  I did a quick search and see that the FDA has deemed both forms safe for cosmetic use within stated parameters in a 2011 safety assessment.  You can pull up the abstract by typing the number 21772027 in PubMed, if interested.  Also, if I'm reading the report right, polymethyl methacrylate is used in a wide variety of cosmetic and body care products sold in the US, with methyl methacrylate less so.

  9. It's alright. When I test stuff constantly, it's bound to happen!

  10. This makes me so sad. Your skin looked so angry. :-(


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