Today's advice was requested by a woman from the U.K. who we'll refer to henceforth as C. C asks:
"I'm often in a boat where I need a cosmetic to live up to its advertising but find they rarely do. In example I have sensitive skin and find lotions and cleansers meant to combat redness don't necessarily do that. Lip balms meant to moisturize my lips usually make them drier. Am I just doing something wrong or are adverts misleading? Do any brands actually do what they are said to?"
This is actually a fabulous question, C. I too have sensitive skin and have searched far and wide over the years trying to find products that actually perform as advertised. Not just for sensative skin but a number of various things. Foundation that won't clog pores, setting powder that actually improves skin quality, moisturizers that don't feel oily on the skin, lip balms that actually function as a balm, eyeliner that won't smudge everywhere, and so on and so forth.
The only brand I always go back to is Neutrogena. Every Neutrogena product I have tried, from their skin care lines to their make-up has done exactly what it was supposed to do. I didn't need to do anything special to make it work. I use their skin care products as well as their cosmetics almost exclusively these days. I've found they not only out perform all other drug store brands, but all high end brands that cost upwards of $40 per bottle/tube/etc.
The quest for the perfect lip balm is ever ongoing but the closest I've come so far is Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer. The runner up is Neutrogena's Revitalizing Lip Balm, which is tinted and considerably pigmented for a balm but does what it's meant to.
A side note about lips and lip balms though is that they can only do so much correction. When you are dehydrated (even just a little bit) the first thing to show that is your lips because they do not possess the protective layer the rest of your skin has; they begin to dry out and flake very quickly. So remember to drink enough water before judging a balm too harshly.
Neutrogena gets some ill press due to its parent company Johnson & Johnson testing on animals. J&J's personal care products are not ever tested on animals though. This means no lotions, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, or make-up is ever tested on animals. The thing people forget is that J&J is also the parent company of things such as Tucks and Tylenol which are classified as drugs and are required by law to be tested on animals before human use. So yes, Johnson & Johnson tests on animals, but only on their medicinal products which they have no choice about.
When emailed about their cruelty-free status they respond:
"In 2009 we updated our Policy on the Humane Care & Use of Laboratory Research Animals
to include additional requirements and guidance regarding animal
welfare. It is the policy of the Johnson & Johnson Family of
Companies to minimize use of animals in laboratory research that
assesses the safety and efficacy of our products. Animal use has
decreased by 65 percent relative to R&D investment since 2000, and
we remain committed to the three “R” principles—replacement, reduction
and refinement—as they apply to animal testing.
We do not conduct animal testing for our personal care
products. We don’t ask others to test on our behalf, except when
required by law or government authorities, and we comply globally with
the requirements of the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics. We also
engage internal and external experts to review the ethical aspects of
all animal tests."
Except when required by law or government agencies would apply to products that contain drug class ingredients (i.e. Tucks) or products that are classified as drugs themselves (i.e. Tylenol). So you can feel free to wash your face guilt free.