Judie: I was recently offered the chance to review Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion, and figuring that I probably wasn’t the only female on the Gear Diary staff who was going through weather-related skin issues, I requested extra samples so that Carly, Jessica and Amy could also give it a try. Since we all have different skin types, and we all have different issues, I thought that it would be good to gather notes from all of us based on our experience with the product.
For those of you with absolutely no concern for softer skin without smelling like a perfume factory or breaking out like a pre-pubescent teen, feel free to skip this review.
So let’s start with a little bit of background. According to the Skin MD Natural site:
Daily use of most soaps and cleansers can greatly reduce your skin’s natural ability to repel the thousands of irritants and toxins that are commonly found in the home and work place. Once these irritants penetrate your outer layer of skin they can cause dry skin conditions, eczema, psoriasis, skin allergies and many other less desirable skin and health problems.
And they claim:
Skin MD Natural™ utilizes the latest developments in skin care technology as well as the most effective natural ingredients to restore your outer layer of skin’s natural ability to protect against dangerous toxins and irritants as well as to reduce the loss of natural oils and moisture. A shielding lotion replaces the barrier that’s stripped away with the daily use of most soaps and cleansers.
They further go on to say that:
We have developed a formula that can duplicate the natural action of the skin and help to heal the dry, damaged skin. The formula for this shielding lotion is a result of natural ingredients along with cutting edge chemistry and new cosmetic products only recently available on the market.
While we were researching and testing the formulation one of the most exciting new ingredients to come out in years was released to the cosmetic industry. Glycerin has been the standard against which all humectants are measured. This new substance has a moisturizing factor 6 times higher than glycerin.
Apart from searching for the perfect ingredients to form a shield we included natural ingredients that could help heal damaged skin. Nature provides us with some very effective healing agents, one of these is Aloe Vera, used for centuries to soothe dry skin. Our blend of five natural plant extracts with moisturizing elements makes Skin MD Natural extremely effective.
I’m the first to admit to having spent way too much money in the past buying, trying and ultimately discarding facial lotions in hopes of finding one good brand which would moisturize my skin without being so heavy that it would make me break out. To date, probably the best I’ve tried was an Emu concoction which worked well enough, but it cost ~$40 for an ounce. As pricey as that one was (and I haven’t purchased it again in years), there are other brands which cost substantially more — Le Mer and Revale (which both cost ~$100 an ounce) being the first that come to mind; I’ve never been able to bring myself to purchase either to see if they were worth it.
So with that in mind, the first thing that I found agreeable was Skin MD’s price — $18 for a 4 ounce bottle. As I mentioned before, Carly, Jessica, Amy and I were each sent a 4 ounce bottle, and we’ve now had a few weeks to give it a try; here are our thoughts …
Judie: Maybe we should start by talking about what type of skin we have. I generally consider mine to be dry. When the weather changes, one of the first places that I feel it is in the transformations that my face goes through: when it’s hot and humid, my skin is dewy; when it is hot and dry, my skin is dry and tight; and when it is cold and dry, my skin gets dry and flaky. Adding to the confusion are the changes my hands go through – when it is hot my hands are dry, but when it is cold and dry, the very tips of my fingers get painful cracks that look like awful crevices. I also notice that my arms and lower legs can look “ashy” in both the summer and winter if I don’t lotion up. I don’t necessarily mind buying a separate body and face lotions, but I would much rather have one that could take care of both.
Jessica: I have very pale, dry skin that is prone to sensitivity and redness.
Carly: I guess dry? I don’t pay nearly enough attention to that sort of thing, but I do notice when my hands start to get dry and nasty in the winter.
Amy: I have the dreaded combination skin— oily in the T-zone and dry everywhere else..at least on my face. The rest of me is normal to dry. Its kind of odd considering I live in a humid climate.
Judie: One of my biggest skin concerns is that if a lotion is heavy enough that it feels really good on my arms or legs, it doesn’t matter how great it feels on my face — I will break out within a few days. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to still get breakouts at 42!
Amy: I am close to 40 and I still break out like a teenager. I don’t like any product that will make that condition worse. I also need something that will stop the dryness from getting so bad that it can start to flake off at inopportune moments. It’s never good when someone asks if you are peeling. At least because I live in Florida, it’s not so uncommon.
Judie: I seem to get little flakes just under the tip of my nose; that seems to be the worst spot for me, probably from blowing my nose so much during allergy season.
Carly: I mostly care about occasional pimple breakouts on my face, and the dry hands thing; if I don’t use lotions in the winter, being near paper gives me tiny cuts.
Jessica: I am always worried about products irritating me or breaking me out, as well as having scents that give me migraines. I also need something that really helps dry skin improve versus just making it better for a short period of time. I also like products that are non-greasy, since I am constantly typing or using a gadget and I don’t want them all slimy!
Judie: So what are some of the products you have tried in the past? I learned a long time ago that most of the flavored ones I get at Christmas from Bath and Body Works will be “okay” on my arms and legs, but they can’t come anywhere near my face – they also can’t go on my hands if I am going to be on my keyboard anytime soon, because they are too thick and greasy. I’ve had decent luck with Vaseline Intensive Care lotion on my arms, legs and hands, but once again — it can’t go on my face. I’ve tried Cetaphil facial lotion, but it doesn’t seem to offer much after the initial soothing application — I still get those awful little dry bits of skin that shed off the bottom of my nose — and that make me look like a lizard. Oh, I also tried Aveeno on my face for a while … and then I started breaking out.
Carly: I used “Udderly Smooth” a lot when I worked for Borders; it sort of helped the dry hands thing, though it didn’t do a whole lot to specifically improve my skin. Throughout the years I’ve tried a few things (face washes, lotions) though I’ve never really spent a lot of money on it, and most of the face washes were either at my fiancee’s or my mother’s bidding.
Jessica: The question should be what HAVEN’T I tried?! I have probably used every popular store brand (Curel, Neutrogena, Vaseline, Cetaphil, etc.) as well as more high-end things from Bath & Body Works, LUSH, Origins and The Body Shop.
Amy: Geez, where do I start? I have gone through all the grocery store brands— Curel, Johnson and Johnson, Vaseline, etc.; I have also done the expensive Oil of Olay, Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins and Body Shop.
Judie: Okay, so obviously we are all lotion veterans. We know what we do and don’t like, and we know what has and hasn’t worked for us. So here is Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion. We’ve all had a chance to try it … what did you like about it? I was impressed with the fact that it didn’t take a lot to cover both of my hands and arms up to my elbows — maybe a dollop the size of two peas. About a pea size dollop was all that was needed to cover each of my calves, and I figured out very quickly that there was no need to over-apply. The best part was that the Skin MD soaked in very quickly, and I was almost immediately able to begin typing again. On my face it didn’t feel too heavy at all, and I haven’t noticed breakouts being any worse than they can sometimes be. My nose tip definitely seems a bit more smooth, so I call that a success.
Amy: It was easy to apply. It soaked into my skin VERY quickly and didn’t leave a residue on my face or hands. I really didn’t notice any smell one way or another, which is always good. I don’t like it when my skin care scent combines with my perfume. It did take several applications to start working, but it did work very well once I started.
Jessica: The smell is very soft and clean, not overpowering at all. The texture is light, not too goopy, and it doesn’t take much of the Skin MD Natural to get a good coating of lotion on your hands. I could feel the difference in softness right away, and the lotion soaked into my skin quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind.
Carly: I liked that it absorbed quickly. I didn’t feel slimy, and there was no weird scrubby texture or anything else that would turn me off to using it long-term. The smell is light, which is also really nice. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my skin, though I wasn’t great at remembering to reapply it every few hours.
Judie: Okay, and what didn’t you like — there has to be something, right? I was a little bit surprised by how often you were supposed to reapply – the instructions on the back say “initially every 2 – 8 hours until moisture level improves, then just once every 12 – 24 hours.” But then, when I thought about it, I realized that I probably have to reapply at least every 4 – 8 hours with any lotion … my skin can get that dry.
Jessica: I understand the process behind needing to reapply every few hours the first time you use it, but I found it annoying to have to constantly reapply. The difference in softness disappeared pretty quickly, but I might not have reapplied soon enough to get the desired affects. I have really dry cuticles and fingers, so it might just be that I need a cream that is a bit richer or that I just need to be more religious about reapplying at first.
Judie: Right. I suffer from really dry cuticles as well, but other than SolarOil, I haven’t found anything that really keeps them soft.
Carly: I didn’t like that it required so much time…I tend to prefer lotions that I can just keep at my desk and grab when my skin feels dry.
Amy: I didn’t like having to reapply is SO many times during the day. After a while, it felt like it wasn’t working anymore because my skin had adapted to it.
Judie: So we all got these initial 4 ounce bottles for free, and if we use them as labeled, they should last fr one to two months. Can you see yourself purchasing a refill? I have to admit that if it were sold in stores I might have passed it by; the label is not engaging and the packaging is very plain. I guess it is a good thing that they sent me a sample, because I will reorder when my bottle is empty.
Carly: Not if I just saw it in a store. But having tried it, absolutely.
Jessica: Yes, I would buy this again.
Amy: Sure, its better than most of what is out in the market right now.
Judie: So since we all agree that it is something that we would buy again, the big question is … Is this a product you would recommend to your family and friends? I would definitely recommend it to my mom, daughter or girlfriends, but getting Kevin to try it himself might be a harder sell. I will say that when I have used it, he didn’t immediately ask what I am wearing because it doesn’t have a very strong perfumy smell. I have actually quit wearing most of the Bath & Body Works lotions because they are too aromatic, and he doesn’t really like that; this seems like a great compromise. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is at a keyboard much of the day, because the quick soak-in and lack of greasy residue is a huge plus for me.
Update: Kev watched me put some on tonight, and allowed me to try it on his freshly shaved head (while admitting that his head does get a bit dry sometimes … heh). He said the Skin MD Natural feels good, and it smells just fine!
Amy: I have already recommended it to a few friends of mine with the same kinds of problems as I do.
Jessica: Yes, I would recommend this—in fact, I have recommended it to someone I know who works in the medical industry and has bad, dry skin from constant washing and glove-wearing.
Carly: Definitely, especially to someone who was sensitive to overly fruity lotions, since the SkinMD scent is much more pleasant.
Judie: So any final thoughts? I know that Skin MD makes an SPF 15 version. If they cranked it up to an SPF 30, I would probably have to try that, too. As it is, I’ll continue to use Skin MD and a separate sunscreen.
Jessica: I think that Skin MD is one of the more unique lotions I have used, and I look forward to them coming out with more products.
Amy: Its a good product. I’d like to see what they come up with next, and if they create other formulas that will target even more specific areas.
Carly: This was an interesting product. Like I said, I’m not as in tune with lotions and things as I probably should be, but I enjoyed being able to test this.
If you want to give Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion a try, you can get a free sample directly from the site. If you are ready to buy a bottle, you can order here; 4 ounce bottles are $18, 4 ounce bottles with SPF 15 are $25, and they have all sorts of bulk ordering discounts.