Products That Feel Good to Apply but Are Probably Filled with Crap

Monday, July 9, 2012

Forgive the less than eloquent title, but hopefully you'll still understand what I'm talking about: those cheap beauty items that always feel incredible (which is why you keep coming back to them) but likely aren't doing much for your hair, skin, nails...etc. These products fuel the "you get what you pay for" argument and have incredible cult followings of loyal users as well as bargain hunters. Here are some of "those items" I've come across, but tell me of any more in the comments!

1. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: This used to be my favorite moisturizer, and I know so many people love this as well as the thicker lotion version. I kept coming back to it because of the gorgeous, slippy and soft feel it has and how easily it spread across my face. It certainly did the job of keeping my face moisturized, but everything I liked about it was based on how it felt. After several months of use, I finally realized that there was something very cheap and surface level about this gel--like it just spreads thinly across the face but doesn't sink into the skin. 

You know what this looks like.

2. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle: I confess: I still use this, despite it's silcone-y bad reputation. Everyone knows this famous deep conditioner is terrific for producing soft, shiny, and hydrated locks. While I can't argue with the first two, I've always wondered how much it actually does for restoring the moisture and health of my hair. This is very definitely one of those products that fake the look of nourishment, so I use it every now and then but never by itself. I always mix it with a mask that I know works wonders for my strands to get both the look of healthy hair and the actual delivery. 

3. St. Ives Naturally Indulgent Body Lotion: I still use and love this one too! I have a whole post dedicated to it here, where you can read all about my obsession with the ultra-soft and silky texture of this lotion. I'm on my fifth or sixth bottle of it now, but even though I adore this, I know that it must be chock full of fillers to give it that silicone-y, slippy texture I love. But unlike the Clinque DDMG, I do feel as though this penetrates the surface of the skin and does its job, which is why I keep using it. (There's a tub of it sitting on my desk as I write this!). I wanted to include it, though, because it's a good example of a product that feels good (has all sorts of fillers) but still performs well which (for me) kind of excuses all the additives. 

4. Carmex/Vaseline: This list could hardly be complete without them! Most people know that Vaseline acts as simply a barrier sitting on the lips or skin, and not something that's actually moisturizing, but I don't think Carmex gets the same criticism. I definitely think it's more hydrating than Vaseline (though that's not saying much) but it still feels like a thick film over my lips. My chapped lips feel a little better after I've had Carmex on them, but they don't feel nourished. Like with the Clinique moisturizer, it feels like surface-level hydration that doesn't do much for a dry pucker. 

Of course, the problem here all comes down to the ingredients and while all of these products have an endless list of chemistry words that remind of me high school, I don't know what the culprit is. They all have a few items in common, like glycerin, but I'm not sure that's the main cause of the slippy smooth feeling. It's probably something different with each one, but I'm no chemist, so please chime in!

I know these items and others like it are kind of controversial in that some people don't think they should be used, and others see nothing wrong with it. Personally, I think if a product works for you and you like it, there's no reason not to use it. However, I do recommend branching out and trying other things if you're not 100% sure if your silicone-y additive product is doing its job. In my case, it was using a more expensive moisturizer and then going back to the DDMG that made up my mind about it. 

As for the whole, "you get what you pay for," that's neither completely true nor completely wrong. Generally speaking, more expensive items tend to be better quality, but even they can contain the "feel-good" chemicals, and I can list pricey items I hate as well as cheap ones I love. Not at all an original answer, but I will add that I think the more exclusive and luxurious the line of products is, the more "you get what you pay for" seems to be true. 

Hopefully I've given you some food for thought, so leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Does it matter what a product's ingredients are if we like it and feel as though it works, or should we try an all-natural route and end up with things that aren't as pleasurable to use? Is there some compromise between the two, or is it strictly between what you like and what is good for you?

And tell me of any filler "feel-good" products you love/hate!

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