Friday 19 March 2010

Aveeno Skincare Range with Colloidal Oatmeal

Aveeno is one of those brands that I've often seen on the shelves but have never really tried. There's no particular reason for it, the products have just never really leapt out at me when I've been selecting skincare products, possibly because they have such neutral colours and discreet packaging. I did know that Aveeno is an offshoot of Johnson & Johnson's, which is reassuring because they're such a well-known and reliable brand, but I didn't know that they have been around since 1945, which is equally impressive.

The name Aveeno always annoys me because I imagine a totally sloshed and sunburnt Brit in Tenerife staggering over to a bar slurring "a vino, barman" (!) but, in the name of research, I just went and looked on Wikipedia and it apparently comes from the scientific name for the common oat, Avena sativa. Ahhh oats - oats seem to be big business lately. You would not believe the number of different brands of porridge I've been asked to test and review lately - everybody seems to want to "get their oats" ! But using oats in skincare does make sense. As they explain on the Aveeno website, "Oats have a long history in skin care dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used oat baths to heal skin ailments. We believe finely-milled naturally active Colloidal Oatmeal is a true beauty secret and can be considered to have an unrivalled power for soothing, hydrating and protecting all forms of dry skin." I'm not sure how accurate the Wikipedia entry is but, according to them, "Aveeno is known for its use of "active natural" ingredients and offers products to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, pruritus ani, chicken pox, hives and sunburn." Sophie is still suffering with her shingles so the name chicken pox leaps out at me there - I'll have to do some research and see if I can use Aveeno to hopefully offer her some relief.

But on to the testing ! I've signed up to become an Aveeno Discoverer so, in return for giving you all my honest opinion on the products, they kindly send out some free products for me to test.

The first product I tried was the Moisturising Creamy Oil with Sweet Almond Oil. It comes in a handy pump dispenser which I always find more convenient and less messy than a tube or pot. The name sounds a bit confusing - is it a cream or an oil ? - but the description below the name explains that it "moisturises like an oil and absorbs like a cream". I squirted some out on to my hand and to me, it was neither a cream nor an oil but rather a lotion ! Well, whatever it is, it's a fairly runny cream/lotion that smells absolutely divinely of marzipan - that'll be the sweet almond oil then. That's supposed to be a good thing for preparing your boobs if you're planning on breastfeeding too, so pregnant women might like to smother themselves in it ! (I seem to remember something about being careful there are no nut allergies in your family though.) But even if you're not pregnant, it smells so gorgeous, you'll want to rub it all over every inch of your skin ! I tried it on my legs just after having a shower and shaving them and the tight, tingly sensation instantly disappeared and the skin felt soothed and cool - I'll definitely use this on any minor sunburn in the summer. The skin was left with a slight sheen but no unpleasant greasiness and a little goes a long way.

Next up is the Hand Cream. The website promises that it will "moisturise dry skin for 24 hours", "form a “protective glove” which lasts through hand washing" and "absorb quickly and leave dry hands looking soft, smooth and healthy". OK, time to see if it lives up to the claims. Well, I initially thought it was going to fail the "can I continue typing this review without feeling the need to run off and wash my hands first?" test - but after a couple of minutes of massaging and rubbing, I have to admit it was totally absorbed and left no greasiness or stickiness at all. It instantly soothed the feelings of tightness on the dry skin on the back of my hands but didn't leave the skin feeling all plump and moisturised, as I was expecting. I think this is one of those products that will work over time, building up a protective layer and improving the feel of your skin after repeated use. I have to admit, I wasn't overly keen on the smell but I think I'd just been spoilt by the gorgeous marzipan smell of the sweet almond oil in the Moisturising Creamy Oil ! The smell does also totally disappear once you've made the cream sink into your skin.

The final product I tried was the Daily Moisturising Lotion. The website says, "AVEENO Lotion with Colloidal Oatmeal moisturises dry and easily irritated skin for 24 hours, while providing a prolonged soothing action. Leaves skin softer and more supple. With regular use, it helps prevent skin irritations caused by dehydration." Funnily enough, that's exactly what I just wrote about the hand cream so the claims seem believable to me. Again, I'm not overly keen on the smell - it's fragrance-free but smells vaguely medicated (I think it reminds me of one of Sophie's eczema creams) with a slight undertone of porridge ! But, exactly like the Hand Cream, once it's sunk into to skin, there is absolutely no greasiness, dampness or scent left at all - it just totally disappears leaving soothed skin.

If you've got sensitive skin, or a skin condition like eczema or very dry skin, you will love the pure unscented creams and lotions as they will minimise risks of flare-ups and effectively soothe your skin. However, if you have normal to dry skin, I would thoroughly recommend the luscious-smelling Moisturising Creamy Oil - it's guaranteed to turn heads and make you keep sniffing your skin all day long !

star rating : 4/5 for the Hand Cream and the Daily Moisturising Lotion, 5/5 for the Moisturising Creamy Oil with Sweet Almond Oil

for more information :

Disclaimer :
"I have been accepted on to the AVEENO® Discoverer Programme, helping to spread the word about AVEENO® products. I get sent free AVEENO® products and have the possibility of being rewarded with additional benefits.”
(... although this review was written before I signed up to the programme ! And as with all my reviews, regardless of whether or not the product was sent for free, I'll still give my honest opinion, good or bad, of whatever I'm testing !)

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