Jeffree Star Skin is a new company introduced under the Jeffree Star brand and focuses on skincare. This review will objectively analyse all the ingredients in the Jeffree Star Skin Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer and give an overall view of its benefits or potential harmful effects. Is it heavily fragranced? Does it contain potential skincare allergens? Does it actually do what it claims? How well is it priced when compared to other moisturizers on the market?
Water (which is the base of this product).
Naturally found in the skin, it is skin-replenishing and skin-restoring, helping to maintain moisture levels. It can also improve the spreading qualities of creams.
It can be comedogenic and irritating to some individuals if used in concentrated solutions.
Helps avoid moisture loss, moisturises and replenishes skin. It also promotes penetration and does not leave visible traces of oiliness on the skin.
It is vitamin B3 and it is believed to have multiple benefits to the skin.
It can have skin-soothing, skin-restoring and antioxidant properties. It is very often used in acne-fighting products, as it can help with enlarged pores due to its sebum regulating and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is also believed to have some anti-ageing and wrinkle smoothing properties.
Niacinamide can also help with hyperpigmentation, helping to fade dark spots.
It is also believed that niacinamide can help prevent moisture loss from the skin.
Highly effective emollient and natural antioxidant. It gained popularity recently, as many believe in its hydrating properties. Squalane is a derivative of squalene, which is naturally produced by the body and of which production reduces in time with ageing.
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Emollient, non-fragrant oil that helps with hydration. It is also an antioxidant and can have anti-ageing benefits.
Increases the absorbency of ingredients, and has hydrating properties to the skin, leaving it smooth and dewy.
Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract
A plant extract, humectant and antioxidant. It can protect skin from free radicals, resulting in potential anti-ageing benefits.
It is also believed to have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Silicone that creates a permeable film on the skin to prevent moisture loss. Also gives the impression of smooth skin.
In addition, it improves the flow and spreadability of a product.
Dimethicone can become a good waterproofing material for sunscreen emulsions. It can also reduce the greasy feeling often seen in sunscreens.
A polymer used as a film forming agent, thickener, absorbent and emollient in cosmetics.
Preservative. Can cause contact allergies and contact dermatitis. It is limited to 1% of the finished product if used as a preservative. However, if used according to the regulations it should not cause any harmful effects.
Fatty alcohol used as a texture enhancer, emulsifier and cleansing agent. Not to be confused with the drying, irritating types of alcohol.
Allows oil and water to mix, also assists moisture retention for the skin.
It is mild with low risk of irritation. However, it could be irritating if it is of poor quality.
Naturally occuring, cholesterol-like molecules that can be found in plant foods. It can provide hydration and has soothing and anti-ageing benefits to the skin.
A natural mineral used as a thickening, whitening and sunscreen ingredient. It protects from both UVB and UVA radiation. It is considered to be gentle and poses no threat of irritation.
Sugar derived ingredient used as a cleansing agent.
Skin softening agent, also used as a preservative.
Emollient with water binding properties. Also believed to have skin restoring properties.
Can function as a skin softening emulsifier but it can also be a cleansing agent.
Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract
A humectant derived from marine bacteria. According to manufacturers, it could have skin-protecting and anti-ageing qualities.
The manufacturers also claim that it could promote skin regeneration. There are also claims that it could regulate sebum production helping oily skin types.
However, this ingredient is still under research and the only information found about it came from the manufacturers that sell it.
Mica (CI 77019)
Colouring agent (sparkly white). Used to give sparkle and various degrees of opacity to products.
Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract
Antioxidant with potential anti-ageing benefits. Also known as chinaberry, it is a popular plant in India and it is used in Ayurvedic medicine. Not much research was found about its use in skincare though.
Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract
Used to stabilise emulsions (oil and water), thickening agent and texture enhancer.
Corallina Officinalis Extract
Type of red algae that can provide hydration.
Increasing in popularity in skincare, algae can have antioxidant properties and it is believed to have soothing qualities.
Believed to improve the appearance of ageing skin. Algae have the property of water absorption. Thus, this ingredient could help plump the skin.
Seaweed extracts also seem to be effective in treating acne due to its antiseptic properties. It is believed it has anti-inflammatory and disinfectant abilities.
Seaweed is believed to be stimulating, revitalising and nourishing to the skin. It can also protect skin from irritation.
Marine Algae are believed to be natural photoprotective agents, absorbing UV light. Their richness in photoprotective substances is believed to protect the skin from UVB and UVA damage. However, the studies regarding this are not yet conclusive.
A humectant that can help with hydration.
A mild cleansing agent
Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract
Strawberry fruit extract which is rich in antioxidants. It is believed to have anti-ageing properties. It contains ellagic acid which it is believed that can soothe skin. It is also believed it could help prevent dark spots.
Used to adjust the pH of products, is an AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) 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.
AHA does make the skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
Hydrolyzed Rhodophyceae Extract
Red algae extract. Like other types of algae used in skincare, this type is also believed to increase hydration to the skin and have soothing properties. To read more about the general properties of algae please see Corallina Officinalis Extract above.
Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract
A plant extract (ivy ground) that has antioxidant properties and it is believed to improve hydration. However, not a lot of research is available on this ingredients yet.
Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract
A plant extract (red raspberry) that is rich in antioxidants and it is believed to have anti-ageing properties.
It is also believed to help exfoliate the excess dead cells from the surface of the skin.
Cystoseira Compressa Extract
Type of brown algae. For more general properties of algae in skincare please see the other mentions of algae above.
This one is what seems to be more currently known as rainbow algae. There are some mentions of it being able to brighten uneven skin tone. However, outside various brand claims online, the only studies found on this particular type of algae proved its antioxidant benefits and anti-microbial properties. Not much research was found on its brightening capabilities though.
Considered to be a more efficient form of hyaluronic acid with skin restoring and replenishing properties.
It moisturises the skin, giving elasticity and suppleness. Its ability to retain water gives an immediate effect of suppleness to the skin, improving rough skin surfaces.
An amino acid that can improve hydration and it is believed to have anti-ageing properties.
In skincare amino acids have water-binding properties. It is believed that they work best in cosmetics when several types of amino acids are combined – this would increase their skin restorative and anti-aging benefits. In the Jeffree Star Skin Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer there is a combination of amino acids consisting of proline, serine and alanine.
Vitamin E which is an antioxidant.
Vitamin E can improve the appearance of dry, rough and damaged skin due to its water binding properties.
It is also believed that it is effective in preventing irritation from sun exposure. It is therefore useful to be used in UV protective products.
Adjusts the pH of a product.
Controls the viscosity and is an opacifying agent.
Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract
Contains antioxidants and has some skin soothing properties. It contains the enzyme bromelain. This has mild exfoliant properties, fruit sugars and amino acids.
Also known as lye. It maintains the pH of a product. It potentially poses a high risk of irritation to the skin. Its concentration is highly controlled by the European Commission.
However, it is a base that interacts with an acid and thus becomes a sodium salt, which is more soluble and easier to use. If the quantity of Sodium Hydroxide is not left in excess after these reactions, it should not be an irritant – it is all based on quantity.
Can it really reduce fine lines & wrinkles while also plumping the skin?
One of the most recurrent claims the Jeffree Star Skin makes about this moisturizer is that it reduces fine lines and wrinkles while also plumping the skin. But is it really true? According to the analysis of the ingredients above, the Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer does not actually contain any of the main ‘anti-ageing’ ingredients in skincare. There are very few actually verified and proven ingredients that can prevent signs of ageing. There would be Vitamin A derivatives, such as retinoids and sunscreen, which stops photoageing.
On the other hand, the Magic Star moisturizer does have some ingredients that could help with signs of ageing to some degree. For example, the antioxidants in it, such as niacinamide, strawberry, raspberry, apple and pineapple extracts could help. It is believed that by helping with the oxidative damage to the skin caused by the environmental factors these can be anti-ageing. Think of stress and pollution to name a few.
Another argument is that the Jeffree Star Skin moisturizer offers hydration and moisturization. The trick is that through hydration, skin becomes plumper and fine lines are becoming less visible. These would be fine lines caused by dehydration and not deep wrinkles.
The Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer contains a variety of hydrators, such as glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, squalane and jojoba oil. These are all high up on the ingredient list meaning there are larger quantities of them found in the product. Lower on the ingredients list the Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer also contains hydrating algae extracts, sodium hyaluronate and amino acids. These are all excellent hydrating ingredients.
Overall, this moisturizer is filled with hydrating and water binding ingredients so one could assume that once the skin is well hydrated it would look more plump and would have the benefit of a temporary decrease in the appearance of fine lines.
Is it really non-irritating like the official website claims to be?
The Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer is free of fragrance. This is excellent news, as under the word ‘fragrance’ there could be a long list of chemicals that can irritate and aggravate skin. There is no benefit to fragrance in skincare, in fact, it can make your skin more sensitive over time and cause irritation. By having no added fragrance you skip those risks with this moisturizer.
Furthermore, the Jeffree Star Skin moisturizer is also free of the potential allergens flagged up by the European Union. These potential allergens are usually present in most skincare and cosmetics so again, it is excellent news that the Magic Star Moisturizer skipped them.
It also seems that it does not contain irritating fruit enzymes.
It does contain lye, which can be highly irritating to the skin and is strictly regulated in skincare. However, it is the last ingredient on the list and it is used to regulate the pH of the product. As explained in the table above, once it interacts with an acid it becomes a sodium salt, so as long as the quantity is perfectly balanced according to these reactions, it should minimise the risk of irritation. If there were one ingredient I would have preferred to be left out is lye.
There is, of course, still the risk of irritation from any ingredient in a cosmetic cream, which is why it is recommended to always patch test it before usage.
Do the algae extracts in this product really brighten skin tone and help to sculpt and reshape?
In terms of the sculpting and reshaping claim, this is similar to the anti-ageing explanation above. The sculpting and reshaping the brand refers to could be linked to the improved plumpness and hydration of the skin. This could make your face appear ‘reshaped’ but it would by no means actually cosmetically change the shape of your face.
In terms of the brightening of skin tone because of the rainbow algae extract, things are a bit blurry. The Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer could indeed brighten your complexion and even your skin tone, but it will most likely do this through its niacinamide. There are some claims online by the brands that rainbow algae can achieve this but not many studies have been done regarding this claim yet.
However, algae in general do seem to have excellent benefits to the skin. Claimed to have 2% of red algae extracts and 1% of rainbow algae extract, the Jeffree Star Skin Moisturizer sums up a total of 3% of a generally great ingredient in plumping the skin and keeping it hydrated.
Is it overpriced?
The Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer costs 28 USD for 50ml. This means that 1ml costs 0.56 USD. To better understand where it stands on the market, here are some comparisons. 1ml of JLo Beauty’s That Blockbuster in a Non Stop Wonder Cream costs 1.16 USD. 1ml of Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Moisturiser costs 0.66 USD. 1ml of Comfort Zone’s Sublime Skin Rich Cream costs 1.86 USD. 1ml of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream costs 2.28 USD. 1ml of L’oreal Paris’ Triple Active Night Hydrating Night Moisturiser costs 0.21 USD. 1ml of The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors costs 0.22 USD. Please be advised that the ingredients of these products are not the same.
These comparisons reveal that the Jeffree Star Moisturizer is priced moderately on the market, in between affordable or high-end. There are certainly cheaper alternatives on the market but also much more expensive ones. When it comes to this specific moisturizer one is definitely also paying for the packaging which is more exquisite and customized. The aesthetic of a product is also important to some customers so this should also be taken into consideration when discussing the price.
Is it worth it?
The Jeffree Star Skin Magic Star Hydrating Moisturizer is a breath of fresh air due to its fragrance free and allergen free composition.
It has many excellent and proven ingredients that hydrate the skin. The main claim of the product is thus accomplished. It contains the standard glycerin, squalane, jojoba oil, caprylic/capric triglycerides which have very well known properties and are well researched. They are also high up on the ingredient list.
After phenoxyethanol we can assume everything is 1% or less, as this particular preservative is restricted to a maximum of 1% in cosmetics. However, algae adds up to 3% if you put together all the different types. This is another desirable ingredient with proven claims of hydration and anti-microbial properties.
The Magic Star Moisturizer is also rich in antioxidants, which are believed to reduce the oxidative reactions in the skin from environmental factors and have some anti-ageing benefits because of this.
At the moment of writing this article it is not clearly specified on the Jeffree Star Skin website if the moisturizer is vegan and cruelty free. If I were to take a guess based on the ingredients listed above, all ingredients seem to have a vegetal source and therefore it appears to be vegan.
Also, an important aspect to mention is that from the formulation it looks like this moisturizer is aimed more towards oilier skin types, even those that suffer from breakouts. Niacinamide can help in minimising breakouts and regulate the production of sebum, while most of the hydrators in the product are lightweight and easily absorb into the skin. One can notice the absence of many oils or shea butter for example, which are more commonly used in thicker and heavier moisturizers. Similarly, by adding the silicone dimethicone one can minimise the greasy feeling of creams. This does not mean that it is not suitable for all skin types, but it does seem to target oilier, acne prone skins more.
Overall, based on the list of ingredients, its price and general aesthetic of this product, it looks like a great one to try out if the budget allows.
Other analyses of Jeffree Star skincare items will be published soon. To make sure you are notified, please subscribe to the blog’s newsletter or follow Lipstick Café on social media.
Antczak, S. and Antczak, G., 2001. Cosmetics Unmasked. London: Thorsons.
Burke, I., 2016. The Nature Of Beauty. London: Ebury Press.
Cosmetics Info, Various Pages, Available here. [Accessed 28 February 2022]
Couto, J., Figueirinha, A., Batista, M., et. al. February 2020. ‘Fragaria vesca L. Extract: A promising cosmetic ingredient with antioxidant properties’ in Antioxidants. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Epstein, S. and Fitzgerald, R., 2009, Healthy Beauty. Dallas: Benbella Books.
Güner, A., Köksal, Ç., Erel, Ş.B. et al. 2015. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities with acute toxicity, cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of Cystoseira compressa (Esper) Gerloff & Nizamuddin from the coast of Urla (Izmir, Turkey). Cytotechnology 67, 135–143. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Hentati, F., Delatte, C., Ursu, A., Desbrieres, J., 2018, ‘Structural characterization and antioxidant activity of water-soluble polysaccharides from the Tunisian brown seaweed Cystoseira Compressa’ in Carbohydrate Polymers 198. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
INCI Decoder, Decode Ingredients – Various Pages, Available here. [Accessed 28 February 2022]
Jeffree Star Skin Website, Various Pages, Available here. [Accessed 26 February 2022]
Mhadhebi, L., Robert, J., et al, 2014, ‘Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory and Antiproliferative Effects of Aqueous Extracts of Three Mediterranean Brown Seaweeds of the Genus Cystoseira’ in Iran J Pharm Res. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Michalun, M. and Dinardo, J., 2020, Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Mexico: Cengage Learning.
Pangestuti, R., Siahaan, E. A., & Kim, S. K. 2018, Photoprotective Substances Derived from Marine Algae. Marine drugs, 16(11), 399. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Pangestuti, R., Siahaan, E. A., & Kim, S. K. 2018, Photoprotective Substances Derived from Marine Algae. Marine drugs, 16(11), 399. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Paula’s Choice, Ingredient Dictionary, Available here. [Accessed 28 February 2022]
Paula’s Choice, Top 5 Reasons To Add Antioxidants To Your Skin Care Routine | Paula’s Choice. Available here. [Accessed 28 February 2022].
The European Parliament and the Council of European Union, 2009. REGULATION (EC) No 1223/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products. Official Journal of the European Union, L 342/59. Available here [Accessed 27 February 2022].
Unifect, Alteromonas Ferment Extract. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
Yang, Y., Liu, D., Wu, J., Chen, Y., Wang, S., 1 December 2011. ‘In vitro antioxidant activities of sulfated polysaccharide fractions extracted from Coralline officinalis’ in International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 49, Issue 5, p. 1031-1037. Available here. [Accessed 27 February 2022]
This article is not sponsored and does not contain any affiliate links.
The author of this article is not a chemist. This article is for informational purposes only. The description and analysis of ingredients is by no means exhaustive, and it serves more of a basic outline. Always do your own research regarding ingredients in skincare and patch test the product before using. To read full Disclaimers click here.
Featured Image source.
This article was last updated on 2 March 2022.