Saturday, December 10, 2011

Skincare Saturday: Uncommon Scents Amber Cream Review and Pictures

Check it out, guys! I'm actually doing one of my "weekly" features! Wowza. (Confession: I definitely thought tomorrow was Saturday, so I was all ready to set this to post in the morning, only to realize that no, today is Saturday, you moron, so for those of you on the East Coast: It's Saturday here, so it still counts, darnit!) Today's special feature: moisturizer. Not just any moisturizer, though; I've mentioned this one before here, in one of my very first posts. I recently rediscovered it, and thought it would be worthwhile reviewing in depth. The moisturizer in question: Amber Cream, made by Uncommon Scents, a locally-owned bath and body shop in Eugene. It was recommended to me by my dermatologist a few years ago, when I was struggling with dry skin on top of my acne, and it served me well when I was going to school in the Northeast (Philly counts, right?). We've been having an unusually rain-free winter so far, and my skin has been somewhat dry because of it, so I decided to give this stuff a try again. I had stopped using it because I thought it was too heavy for my skin, and I found it didn't absorb fully and therefore didn't play well with my foundation. I've discovered since I started re-using it that past me was an idiot. Yeah, I said it! (Sorry, past me.)
Uncommon Scents Amber Cream Moisturizer
The first things to note about this moisturizer are in the name: Amber Cream. The former refers to the light scent, which is just divine (and I usually hate amber-based scents). It reminds me of something, though I've never been able to figure out what, but it's very comforting (must be related to my childhood). The latter describes the texture perfectly––very creamy, but also almost gel-like. It's not heavy like some lotions are, but it's very intensely moisturizing. 

And this, dear readers, is where my past idiocy comes into play. This stuff is really, really moisturizing, and it spreads divinely, which means: You don't need very much. Like, really. Less is more. I find that a finger lightly dipped into the lotion is enough for my whole face (see picture below for slightly unappetizing portion picture). 
That may actually be a little too much, honestly...
It takes more time to massage in a little bit than it does to slather on a lot, but I find it makes a huge difference. This lotion not only keeps my skin from feeling tight or having flakes, but also helps cut down on my oil production significantly. I have no idea what it is about it, because none of the ingredients are particularly oil-control-y, but my newfound combination of this, liquid foundation (MAC Matchmaster 1.0, review to come), and Kryolan finishing powder (ditto) keeps me shine-free for 6+ hours, and slick-free for 8+. Regular readers of the blog know that oily skin is the bane of my existence, and I have tried so many things, but nothing has kept me matte (well, demi-matte, very natural and normal) for nearly as long as this combination. Apparently, all I needed was to find a good moisturizer. Who knew? (Shush, sometimes it takes me awhile to figure these things out.) It works equally well under my Meow foundation, though I've found myself wearing liquid more the past couple weeks because it irritates my dry skin less.

The only drawbacks to Amber Cream that I can think of are that it's in a tub, which is less sanitary than a pump dispenser, and...that's it. Seriously, I cannot think of any other flaws. Well, I guess that you need so little, because for some of us, that's apparently a challenge, but who in their right mind would actually complain about having to use less product?!

They've apparently reformulated it recently, and while I tried spreading some on the back of my hand in the store, I haven't used the new version on my face. I've emailed them to find out what the difference in ingredients between the old and new version is, and I'll update this post once I have that information. The ingredients for the formula I have are:
Purified Water, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Wheatgerm Oil, Dimethicone, Vitamin E Acetate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methyl Paraben, Fragrance, Allantoin, Propyl Paraben, Vegetable Oil & Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D.
ETA: I heard back from the president of Uncommon Scents (I feel so special), and he said the only change in the formula was wrt the preservatives, and that they got rid of the parabens. Yay! (Though, similar to mineral oil below, parabens haven't been proven to be harmful, but for those who are wary, the absence is reassuring.)

Mineral oil has gotten a bad rap, but there have been studies that have shown it is neither comedogenic nor irritating. The same cannot be said for Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, but I haven't experienced any negative effects from those, though if you know you're sensitive to them, I would suggest staying away. 

Oh, and have I mentioned you get a huge 4 oz container for less than $15? A lot less now, especially, since they're having a 15% off sale on all Uncommon Scents brand products. Used sparingly, it should last many months, if not a year, which for $15 is just crazy (good). If you're in the Eugene area, first: tell me so we can get coffee or go to Sweet Life!, and second: you can go to their store and try it out, and stop at Café Yumm! while you're there. If you're not lucky enough to be in Track Town USA (our official motto, tyvm), you can order it online, and know you're supporting a small, locally-owned business!
$14.95 (on sale online for $12.71) for 4 oz, available from Uncommon Scents

What's your go-to moisturizer for when your skin's acting up? What do you like about it?
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