Jessica Simpson may be aglow these days with the light of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t getting a little help from the moisturizer bottles as well. For her new beauty line, Beauty Mint , Ms. Simpson teamed up with Hollywood facialist Nerida Joy to design an online-based consultation system. The free consultation will assign you a “Beauty Sign” of three numbers based upon your answers to 17 specific skin-related questions. As Ms. Joy discussed with New Beauty, “We want to determine what type of skin you have, where it is now and where it can go from here…the hope is to eliminate the confusion, guesswork and wasted money and direct women to a more simplified routine with products that will work for them.” The questions are as follows:
1. What is your natural skin tone?
2. What is your age?
3. Is your skin oily, combination, or dry?
4. Does your skin tend to tan or burn?
5. How often do you breakout?
6. Do you suffer from allergy, itchiness, or rosacea?
7. Is firmness a concern for you?
8. Are fine lines and wrinkles a concern for you?
9. Is pore size a concern for you?
10. Is brightening a wish from your skin line?
11. Is discoloration an issue for you?
12. Is even tone a wish from your skin line?
13. Are puffiness and dark circles under the eyes a concern?
14. Are fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes a concern?
15. What is the amount of time you spend on your skin care routine?
16. How much stress do you experience?
17. Where do you usually buy your skin care?
How to “Hack” the System
Following the consultation, you are offered two sets of products: one “standard set” with four products for $39.95, and a second “deluxe set” (“Jessica’s choice”) with five products for $49.95, as shown above.
When answering the questions, I feel it is in everyone’s best interest to say that firming, brightening, discoloration, and even skin tone are a “major” concern, as doing so will only grant you higher concentrations of peptides (for firming) and cucumber extract/mulberry/acai berry (for brightening/discoloration/even skin tone). Even if your skin is already firm and even-toned, having additional peptides and antioxidants can only firm and preserve skin, not do any damage.
Further, claiming “pore size” is a major concern will grant you more marine collagen, as Ms. Joy reports she is “most impressed” with the ingredient’s ability to reduces pore size and helps women to look five to eight years younger. However, collagens in skin care products are large, 15000-50000 Dalton molecules that are too large to fit through the stratum corneum [uppermost layer of the skin], as molecules only 5000 Daltons or less can penetrate the skin (Cosmetic Dermatology ). The only scientifically-proven effect of topically-applied collagen thus far is hydration (Cosmetic Dermatology ). Still, given the low allergic and irritant potential of collagens, there is little to no chance of negative reactions. So you might as well say pore size is a “major” concern as well.
Product Ingredient Analysis
The products feature the following ingredients in varying concentrations, depending on your “Beauty Sign”:
Of these ingredients, I am most excited about green tea and peptides, and least excited about marine collagen and elastin. The reason I’m not so excited about marine collagen and elastin was alluded to above: these ingredients are too large to penetrate the skin, so they rest on top of the skin, where they have been proven only to act as hydrators thus far. At any rate, I do love green tea and peptides:
Ingredient to Love #1: Green Tea
While EGCG comprises only 50% of “green tea extract” found in skin care and cosmeceuticals ( Mukhtar ), there is still enough EGCG to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties in most skin care and cosmeceuticals, and in Beauty Mint as well.
Bottom Line: Best for Skin Preservation, Not Revolution
Overall, I like the idea behind Beauty Mint . Even though there is no substitute for an in-house consultation with a dermatologist or aesthetician, I support the idea of customized online skin care line generators like Beauty Mint or SkinID for a quick inexpensive personalized fix. However, for maximal results, I would say that firmness, brightening, discoloration, even skin tone, and pore size are “major” concerns whether it is true or not, no matter if you are 18 or 80! The ingredients used to treat these conditions (antioxidants and peptides) are simply non-harmful and can only benefit the skin in higher concentrations.
So overall, yes, I like the line and its concept, though with its paucity of strong anti-agers like retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids, I wouldn’t expect dramatic results. Instead, I would look at this more as a preventative line for the 18-to-40 crowd, which is who I believe it is aimed at anyway. Product Line Rating: 8.5/10 (High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 2.5/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. Value: 2/3. Sunscreen: 1/1).