Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Deep Radiance Gel Oil
When I saw this gel oil on the shelves earlier this week I just had to get some to try for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s always great to find new ways to moisturise when you are a chronic eczema suffered – my skin gets VERY dry – and secondly I am always being asked for ways of making oils thicker.
So, on the first point this is a very convenient oil for those living in a hot climate, beach lovers or people who like to use oils to moisturise but don’t want to risk the lining of their handbag (that is a real problem BTW). It is great for those people because unlike straight oils that tend to get runny and leak in hot weather this one holds its form while providing super long-lasting moisture locking power to boot.
Looking at the formula this absolutely isn’t something for natural product lovers. There’s nothing wrong with it in my opinion but it is held together by a chemical ingredient that is best described as liquid plastic. The ingredient I’m referring to is Hydrogenated Styrene/ Butadiene Copolymer which, according to my literature search is a great film former, oil thickener and scalp and hair protectant. Before you get worried about slathering plastic on your skin this ingredient is an approved cosmetic additive and as its job is to sit on top of the skin where it can lock in moisture it should be quite safe. Oh and lastly it is such a big chemical that it wouldn’t fit through the usual channels.
Another interesting ingredient in this product is also a mouthful to say – Ethylene/Propylene/ Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene Styrene Copolymer. This equally technically great synthetic polymer is the key thickening and structurising agent and the thing that turns what was once oil into gel!
Other than that there is mineral oil (the main ingredient), cocoa extract (this is Palmers Cocoa butter skin care!), Isopropyl Myristate (a dry feeling emollient), Isopropyl Palmitate (another emollient this time with a bit more slip), Cocoa Butter (another great moisturising active and emollient and of course, essential for the brand), Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Acetate, Corn Oil, Beta Carotene (natural colourant to give the product its brownish appearance), PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (an emulsifier to help bind water based ingredients into the mix), Fragrance, Red 17.
So what does it feel like?
Well it is summer here and it’s hot and as such I’ve been swimming every day in a bid to keep my cool. While swimming is great as far as physical fitness is concerned it doesn’t do much for the skin leaving it dry, flaky and itchier than ever! Last night I slathered this stuff all over me, popped on the PJ’s and headed off to bed to see if this moisturiser had staying power. Within minutes I realised that my pyjamas were going to end up coming off second best in this test (maximus greasiness) but decided to ignore that for now and soldier on anyway.
Ten hours later and my skin is silky smooth and feeling freshly moisturised. I can actually feel the oil still on me and rather than feeling sticky and heavy it feels soft and protected which is not something that I’m accustomed to. I have to say that I’m impressed.
In short this goes way beyond a traditional moisturiser or straight vegetable oil in terms of lasting and covering power and as such would find its niche in the speciality market – extreme skin care. I’m thinking for people like me whose skin is prone to extreme dryness, people who swim frequently, do a lot of sport or who are unable to re-apply oils frequently – I’m guessing that this has a good couple of days of staying power in it.
The fact that this is anything but natural does make it less attractive both to me and (I’m sure) my audience but the way I look at it is like this. With resources natural or otherwise being precious doesn’t it pay to make products that have staying power? That are super efficient? That deliver big results from a small application? I for one think that is worth something.
My verdict – This stuff is very, very good.
If you don’t mind that classic cocoa butter smell.
PS: Even though I do get eczema and am finding this to be good I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is suitable for eczema sufferers. The product is fragranced and coloured, both of which do give some people problems. However, on the plus side being all oil it doesn’t need preserving.