Beauty,  Beauty and Fashion

(I)Alex Steinherr’s new budget skincare line in Primark – ingredient analysis and review | Everything you need to know

A fragrance free, non-animal tested, vegan friendly skincare line for £5?! Are the ingredients good quality? Do they suit different skin types? How do they feel on the skin? Would I use them again? 

 

Maximum Moisture Line

Moisture-Locking Everyday Moisturiser

Buildable 

Suits normal skin  

Softens dry patches  

Plumps dehydrated lines  

Suits very dry skin  ×

Deeply nourishing  ×

 

Comes into a white squeezable tube that looks elegant. It also comes in a box. Doesn’t look like a budget product at all. Contains 75 ml for £5, which means £6.6 per 100 ml. Amazing.

 

It’s a thick cream that gets absorbed into the skin really quickly, leaving a velvety feeling. I usually apply two or three layers on and it all gets absorbed into the skin, leaving the skin smooth and soft to the touch. However, I do not feel that my skin is hydrated enough.

Can it be used on oily skin types?

I very much think so, as it is not greasy at all and absorbs really fast. It does not leave a sticky feeling to the touch.

Can it be used under makeup?

Yes, it wears beautifully under makeup, smoothing the skin, and does not leave stickiness on the skin at all.

Aqua (Water), Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Squalane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Amaranthus Caudatus (Amarant) Seed Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fructose, Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Trideceth-6, Butylene Glycol, Maltose, Sodium PCA, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucose, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7.

AquaWater
Cetyl AlcoholKnown as a fatty alcohol, presumably non-irritant for the skin, gives a pleasing texture to the product. To not be confused with volatile types of alcohols, which are pro-aging and dry out the skin.
CyclopentasiloxaneThird ingredient is a silicone that is skin conditioning.
Glyceryl StearateAllows oil and water to mix, also assists moisture retention for the skin.
Caprylic/Capric TriglycerideOne of the best ingredients in skincare appears here as the fifth ingredient. Helps avoiding moisture loss, moisturises and replenish skin.
Ceteareth-20Another fatty alcohol that acts as an emulsifier.
Cetearyl AlcoholAnother fatty alcohol that supposedly does not pose irritating effects on the skin. It is used as an emulsifier and texture enhancer.
PhenoxyethanolPreservative
Sodium PolyacrylateCannot penetrate the skin’s barrier, forming a film on the skin, making it feel smoother.
Squalane

Highly effective emollient and natural antioxidant. It gained popularity recently, as many believe in its hydrating properties. Squalane is a derivate of squalene, which is naturally produced by the body and of which production reduces in time with aging.

Attention: Squalane can be obtained from shark liver or from olives, however, manufacturers usually do not disclose the ingredient’s provenance, so if you are looking for a vegan product, keep this in mind.

Since this product is said to be ‘vegan friendly’ this means that the squalane is not obtained from animals.

Hydrogenated Polydecene

Non-sticky emollient, creates a smooth and soft feeling to the skin.

Pentylene Glycol

A synthetic skin replenishing solvent.

Xanthan Gum

Used to stabilise emulsions (oil and water), thickening agent and texture enhancer.

Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil

Has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, helping with psoriasis and acne vulgaris (long term chronic acne).

Here is a dermatological research of this ingredient and its potential in dermatological usage.

Amaranthus Caudatus (Amarant) Seed Oil

Could not find much about this ingredient when used in skincare. It is believed to be a good skin cleanser and prevent signs of aging; however, I could not find online scientifically studies to back this up.

Ethylhexylglycerin

A synthetic skin softening agent.

Fructose

Has water-binding and skin-replenishing properties.

Urea

Really good for hydration, beneficial water binding properties to the skin as well as exfoliating properties.

Citric Acid

Used to adjust the pH of products, is an AHA (antioxidant) and so can exfoliate skin if used in the right amount within a product. It can also whiten the skin, so it could help with uneven skin tones.

Sodium Hydroxide

In high doses, it can make skin sensitive, however, in this product it is the second half in the list of ingredients, so it shouldn’t cause harm. It is the first ‘average’ product so far. It maintains the pH of a product.

Trideceth-6

Emulsifier

Butylene Glycol

Texture enhancer

Maltose

Moisturizing, skin conditioner

Sodium PCA

Very good skincare ingredient, as it is a component of the human skin. Has highly hydrating properties. Skin-replenishing.

Sodium Chloride

This is what is commonly known as table salt. Used as binding agent in skincare. Also, a thickening agent.

Sodium Lactate

Preservative and buffering agent.

Trehalose

Has hydrating properties to the skin.

Allantoin

Catalogues as a very good ingredient in skincare, has skin soothing properties. It occurs naturally in the body.

Tocopheryl Acetate

It’s a form of vitamin E and an antioxidant.

Sodium Hyaluronate

Another skincare ingredient perceived as excellent that is considered to be a more efficient form of hyaluronic acid with skin restoring and replenishing properties, as well as being an antioxidant.

Glucose

Has water binding properties to the skin.

Carbomer

Texture enhancer

Polysorbate 20

A cleansing agent

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1

Another very good skincare ingredient, as it is known for its skin-restoring properties. It has the potential to help with rough texture and damaged-skin.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

Really good skincare ingredient, also known for its skin-restoring properties. However, these two good ingredients are the last two of the entire list.

When looking at the ingredients I almost felt like the balance weighted more towards preservatives and emulsifiers, rather than towards active ingredients. However, the organic and inorganic acids, as well as the oils in this cannot have a homogeneous stability in the form of a cream without preservatives and additives. Basically, these ingredients cannot be mixed together without all the emulsifiers and texture enhancers. There will be skin types that tolerates them, and skin types that will not. I did not use it long enough to see how my skin reacts to it long-term, as it does not hydrate the skin enough for me.

       That being said, this cream does have hydrating properties due to ingredients with molecules that swell and retain water, which are the transporters to the epidermis. Just washing the face does not hydrate, but if we embed these water molecules in creams that are being absorbed into the skin we actually retain water in the epithelial cells.  Unfortunately, its hydrating properties are not efficient enough for my extremely dehydrated skin from Isotretinoin, an oral treatment that dries out the skin.

I am really impressed by it for the price, but this will not replace my usual skincare. My skin is extremely dry at the moment and this cream alone is not enough. However, I would recommend it to others. For the price is definitely worth a try, especially since it does not contain perfume or irritants, and I will surely use it again from time to time.

Pore Balance Line

Super Detox Clay Mousse Face Mask

Unclogs Pores  

Latches onto dirt  

Targets imperfections  

Helps prevent future breakouts  

Removes Excess Oil  

Gentle yet Potent  

Nice and sturdy, reminds me of high end skincare products. Does not come in a box. The bottle and cap smell of a pharmacy (so it smells sterile, if anyone knows what I mean). You cannot beat value for money here, as 100 ml cost £5.

I found it very fun to use and it was easy to apply, without much mess. It does not dry as much as generic clay masks, but let’s keep in mind this is a clay mousse mask, so it glides and dries differently from a standard mask made of clay powder and water. Very easily to remove, has a subtle sweet scent.

 

Can it be used on drier skin types?

It didn’t leave my skin very dry, even if my skin is currently very dehydrated. It tingled a bit but once removed my skin didn’t feel tight. After it, I applied a heavily nourishing facemask, which brought back the hydration (Excess oil production and hydration are not the same!).

Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Glycerin, Bentonite, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Citric Acid, Charcoal Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Sodium Benzoate, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

AquaWater
KaolinNatural occurring soft clay with absorbing properties, often used in cosmetics for targeting enlarged pores, oily skin and inflammation of the skin.
GlycerinNaturally found in the skin, it is skin-replenishing and skin-restoring, helping to maintain moisture levels, and would explain why this clay mask is not as drying as other masks I have tried, since it is the third ingredient!
BentoniteAnother type of clay with absorbent properties thus having the capacity of absorbing excessive oil production.
Niacinamide

One of the best ingredients to be found in skincare, it is vitamin B3 and has multiple benefits to the skin.

It has skin-soothing, skin-restoring and antioxidant properties. You can find a lot of information about this ingredient online – it is very often used especially in acne-fighting products, as it can help with enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, dullness and signs of aging.

Sounds like a magic ingredient doesn’t it? It is interesting to have it paired with clay in a detoxifying mask, I like that.

Cetearyl AlcoholFatty alcohol that supposedly does not pose irritating effects on the skin. It is used as an emulsifier and texture enhancer.
Glyceryl StearateOne of the best ingredients in skincare, acts as a lubricant on the skin and prevents the loss of water from the skin. It can easily penetrate the skin and has skin-replenishing and skin-restoring properties.
Shea Butter Ethyl Esters

Another quality ingredient in skincare, it has powerful antioxidant properties and can make the skin smoother.

It is meant to help with dry skin, and I love that it appears in this clay mask, as it counteracts the drying effects of the clay.

Citric AcidUsed to adjust the pH of products, is an AHA (antioxidant) and so can exfoliate skin if used in the right amount within a product. It can also whiten the skin, so it could help with uneven skin tones.
Charcoal PowderAnother popular ingredient in acne-fighting products. It has absorbent properties and it gently exfoliates due to its texture and absorbs excess oil.
PhenoxyethanolPreservative
Disodium EDTAPreservative, chelator and stabilizer
EthylhexylglycerinA synthetic skin softening agent
Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf ExtractHas antioxidant and hydrating properties and it’s thought to have anti-aging effects. You can read more details about this ingredient in this study.
Sodium BenzoatePreservative
CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)Colouring and thickening agent. It also protects skin from UVB and UVA radiations but since this is a facemask that you wash off these properties are not valid here.

This is my favourite product out of the ones I purchased. Even though at the moment my skin is very dry, I still deal with acne and clogged pores. The explanation of me being able to try this while having dry skin and not feeling irritated afterwards is the inclusion of hydrating ingredients within the mask, such as glycerin, shea butter, raspberry leaf extract etc.

       It is gentle yet potent because it combines hydrating properties with absorbing ones, while also having acne-fighting, anti-aging and unclogging pores properties (Niacinamide). Because of its capacity to absorb excess oil production and its inclusion of Niacinamide, I believe with regular use this mask could prevent future breakouts. 

         Very good quality ingredients and excellent value for money – £5 for 100 ml?! Fantastic.

Certainly, I really like it. Since I have dry skin at the moment I will limit myself to using it maybe once every two weeks or so, following with a deeply nourishing mask.

Plump & Glow Line

Facial in a Stick

 

Plumps & hydrates  

Regenerating mask-balm when left on  

Instant Face Fixer  ×

Cleanses  ×

Effortlessly Removes Makeup  ×

Like the rest of the products in this range it has a beautiful and elegant packaging, not giving away the fact that it is a budget skincare line. It comes in a tube with a velvety feeling that feels heavier due to the solid form of the product. It comes in 6.4 g which is not a lot. Costs £5, and it’s £78/100 ml.

I tried to remove my makeup with it, but it is awkward to do that since it comes in a solid stick – you have to rub it all over the face which takes a while and is also tugging the skin. I applied it all-over the face and emulsified with water three times and I still had a lot of makeup left on. I do not like it as a cleanser either, as it is difficult to remove off the face. I think it does not do enough for me.

      When used on clean skin, it leaves a slightly sticky feeling to it, immediately hydrates fine lines or dry patches and leaves a glow. However, it is too balmy and waxy to use anywhere else than the eye area and maybe the forehead, at least in my opinion.

    I love using my cleansing balm which is really expensive (£47/100 ml) but Alex Steinherr’s one is £78/100 ml, so technically it is more expensive than my high-end one! I think if used for removing makeup or cleansing the skin then you would finish those 6.4g really fast.

Can it be used on drier skin types?

Yes, I think it immediately adds plumpness and shininess on dry skin, however, I did not see a difference once removed.

Can it be used over makeup?

No, not at all. Because of its makeup-removing properties it immediately moves makeup around on the face. It is one of those product that you use on a clean face, however, I do not understand why you would need temporary plumpness and glow before bed, once you’ve removed the makeup.

 

Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelillla Wax), Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera (Carnauba Wax), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Plymethyl Methacrylate, Aqua (Water), Cereus Grandifloras (Cactus) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hylocereus Undatus (Dragon) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Pentylene Glycol, Fructose, Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Maltose, Sodium PCA, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, Allantoin, Glucose, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyglycerin.

Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed OilIt is an emollient to the skin, really good for drier skin types.
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) OilAnother really good emollient to the skin, that contains fatty acids beneficial to the skin, as well as triglycerides.
Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelillla Wax)It is a skin emollient and texture enhancer.
Glyceryl StearateIt is an emulsifier and emollient, also having cleansing properties.
Peg-7 Glyceryl CocoateIt is an emollient and cleansing-agent.
Copernicia Cerifera Cera (Carnauba Wax)Thickening and texture-enhancer
Caprylic/Capric TriglycerideGenerally considered as an excellent skin-replenishing and emollient ingredient, present here in the first half of the ingredient list. It also helps avoiding moisture loss, moisturises and replenish skin.
Polymethyl MethacrylateIt is a plastic filler that has the capacity to fill in fine lines and make the product to apply smoother on the skin.
AquaWater
Cereus Grandifloras (Cactus) Flower ExtractHas antioxidant properties and is a skin conditioning. Prevents moisture loss from the skin surface.
Sodium HyaluronateAnother skincare ingredient perceived as excellent that is considered to be a more efficient form of hyaluronic acid with skin restoring and replenishing properties, as well as being an antioxidant.
Hylocereus Undatus (Dragon) Fruit ExtractAnother ingredient about which not much popped up online. It is said to have anti-aging properties and to protect the skin from pollution, but I could not find studies about it.
GlycerinNaturally found in the skin, it is skin-replenishing and skin-restoring,
Potassium SorbatePreservative
Pentylene GlycolSkin-replenishing agent and also a texture enhancer.
FructoseHas water-binding and skin-replenishing properties.
UreaReally good for hydration, has beneficial water binding properties to the skin as well as exfoliating properties.
Citric AcidUsed to adjust the pH of products, is an AHA (antioxidant) and so can exfoliate skin if used in the right amount within a product. It can also whiten the skin, so it could help with uneven skin tones.
Sodium HydroxideIn high doses, in can make skin sensitive, however, in this product it is towards the end of the list of ingredients, so it shouldn’t cause harm. It is the first ‘average’ product so far. It maintains the pH of a product.
MaltoseMoisturising, skin conditioner
Sodium PCAVery good skincare ingredients as it is a component of the human skin. Has highly hydrating properties. Skin-replenishing.
Sodium ChlorideUsed as binding agent in skincare. Also, a thickening agent.
Sodium LactateHydrating and buffering agent
TrehaloseHas hydrating properties to the skin
AllantoinCatalogues as a very good ingredient in skincare, has skin soothing properties. It occurs naturally in the body.
GlucoseHas water binding properties to the skin.
PhenoxyethanolPreservative
EthylhexylglycerinA synthetic skin softening agent.

About halfway through the list of ingredients I noticed similarities with the Everyday Moisturiser. From Fructose onwards, every ingredient repeats itself, such as Fructose, Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, etc. In conclusion, it has all the hydrating package of the Everyday Moisturiser besides the oils, which further hydrate and give a shine to the skin.

      The main difference between the two is that the Daily Moisturiser is oil in water, while the Facial in a Stick is water in oil. What this means is that the Daily Moisturiser is a cream, while the Stick is an ointment. The Stick has the reversed effect of the Moisturiser, it is not necessarily for dry skin but rather for skin of which the epithelial film has been damaged. The waxy, rich in oils consistency has the capacity to soften skin, being targeted more to scaly skin in order to soften it. However, if you are looking to lock in hydration into the skin, then you should be looking at the Moisturiser.

I will try use it in the future, so I do not waste it, but I have troubles with finding it an actual use due to its solid stick form.  My usual cleansing balm removes the makeup a lot faster and feels better on my skin, so I will not use this for removing makeup again. Similarly, I would not use it on a clean face when outside as it is balmy and waxy. Applying it on the entire face is difficult as it comes in a solid stick form. This is my least favourite product from the lines.

There you have it, a nice moisturiser, my favourite product, the detoxifying mousse mask, and my least favourite product, the Facial in a Stick. I think the idea behind it is unique, but the stick form does not really suit me. Some other people may enjoy it though.

      The quality of the ingredients for the price is amazing, I love that the products are fragrance-free, they do not contain volatile alcohol, and do not have irritants or red flag ingredients. On top of that, the products are vegan friendly and cruelty-free!

      If you want to check the ingredient analysis and the review for the makeup related products, such as the makeup primer and the plumping lip gloss, please check part II of this review.

 


 

 

 

This blogpost is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. This article is for informational purposes only.

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