Review: Femme Science

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I recently was sent several things to try from a company called Femme Science. Here is what I was told about the products: "This February, FemmeScience skin care will not only help women look younger and fresher, but could also get them in the mood with certain ingredients that may exhibit aphrodisiac properties."

Wow. These products could make me look fresh, young and feel horny? That's quite a feat!

I'm going to share with you what I was sent for review and share my thoughts on each product.


Revitalizing Body Polish--This product is billed as a scrub and body wash in one. That it is. The main ingredient in this product is water, and the consistency is very, very light and liquidy. The polishing beads are quite gentle and there is both salicylic and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin. 

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this product. Why? In order for glycolic and salicylic acids to be effective exfoliants, there needs to be an effective concentration of them. For example, 1-2% is considered safe and effective for salicylic acid and you'd want 8% to 10% of the glycolic acid. When you look at the ingredients label you'll see Phenoxyethanol.  This is a preservative. The maximum allowable concentration of Phenoxyethanol in product formulation in 1%.  On the Femme Science product label, there are six ingredients between Phenoxyethanol and Salicylic Acid.

In other words, either there is much more than the allowable amount of Phenoxyethanol in this product (deeming it unsafe for use) or there is not nearly enough Salicylic Acid to be effective as an exfoliant.

This feels very watery on the skin. It is a very light fluid with buffing beads. The skin looks smooth after use, but there is nothing special about this and there are far better scrubs on the market.

Did I mention the price? This is $32 for 6 ounces. Looking for far better options at a much better price? Here's what I recommend: Mad City Soap Moisturizing Scrub, Crater Lake Company Zambian Coffee Body Scrub, and Burt's Bees Cranberry Pomegranate Scrub.

My Grade: C-

Body Cream--If you read the handful of reviews on the Femme Science website, you'd think this cream was the be all and end all of body creams. 

This is a very ordinary cream. It rivals any basic, drugstore cream and is chock full of less than stellar ingredients. Let's look at them:

WATER, CAPRYLIC/ CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIMETHICONE, SORBITAN STEARATE, STEARIC ACID, POLYSORBATE 60, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, CETEARETH-20, CETYL PALMITATE, GLYCERIN, ISOCETYL STEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, GLYCOLIC ACID, MALIC ACID, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER), EUTERPE OLERACEA (ACAI), ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA), PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO), CAMELIIA OLEIFERA (TEA), VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPESEED), PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE), SQUALANE (OLIVE-OIL DERIVED), SODIUM HYALURONATE, ALLANTOIN, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), RETINYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN A), ASCORBYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN C), PHOSPHOLIPIDS, CARBOMER, TETRASODIUM EDTA, TRIETHANOLAMINE, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE, HEXYLENE GLYCOL. 

Do you see how high up on the ingredients list Propylene Glycol is? That is the first strike against this product. PG is used in conjunction with other chemical ingredients as a preservative. It is also found in products to make it easier for other added ingredients to penetrate the skin. This ingredient has been shown in studies to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema. This derivative of mineral oil is considered a petrochemical. There are many different grades of PG: industrial grade is found in anti-freeze. 

Some will tell you that skin care products with propylene glycol just like anti-freeze. This isn't true--the kind in cosmetics is cosmetics grade. That being said, this can cause contact dermatitis, especially in such a very high concentration. Because of this, I cannot recommend it since the product will not be rinsed thoroughly from the skin after application.

There is also one of the worst skin care ingredients you can find in here: Triethanolamine.

What is Triethanolamine? It is both an emulsifier and pH adjuster. Studies have shown that a large number of cosmetics with TEA (short for Triethanolamine) are contaminated with Nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Also avoid labels which say TEA Lauryl Sulfate, as it's the same thing. This is restricted/banned, again, in many countries. It's considered to be an endocrine disruptor, too. I do not like seeing this in skin care products.

This cream sells for $34 for a 6 ounce jar. Not only is this overpriced, but it contains ingredients I do not like using on the skin. Did I try this one? Yes. Did I like it? No. Even if it were missing the bad ingredients, it's no better than $6 drugstore creams.

Your skin will fare better using natural butters and oils, as well as affordably priced natural body creams. 

My Grade: D 

 Night Cream-I think what bothers me most about Femme Science is that the website makes one feel as though they are getting safe and natural products with science behind them. That's the vibe I get, at least. For the untrained eye, people coming to the website will also think the ingredients are stellar.

For example, when you look at the listing for this product, the site says "Ingredients: Acai, Avocado, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Green Tea, Squalene, Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, C, E." 

Doesn't this sound like a WONDERFUL product? Unfortunately, when you look at the complete ingredients list, the real story is told:

DEIONIZED WATER, JOJOBA ESTERS (JOJOBA), GLYCERIN, DIMETHICONE, POLYACRYLAMIDE, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, LAURETH-7, SQUALANE (OLIVE DERIVED), OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE), PRUNUS AMYGDALUS (SWEET ALMOND), PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO), CETYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, EMULSIFYING WAX, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), EUTERPE OLERACEA (ACAI), VACCINIUM MYRTILLUS (BLUEBERRY), SACCHARUM OFFICINARUM (SUGAR CANE), ACER SACCHARUM (SUGAR MAPLE), CITRUS AURANTUM DULCIS (ORANGE), CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON), CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA), GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN), CERAMIDE-2, ALLANTOIN, STEARETH-21, HYALURONIC ACID, HEXAPEPTIDE-11, ASCORBYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN C), DISODIUM EDTA, RETINYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN A), TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), FRAGRANCE, DMDM HYDANTOIN, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE  


Right near the beginning is isoparaffin. This is derived from crude oil and I don't know about you, but I don't like putting crude oil on my body.

There are also PEG and -eth ingredients. I try to avoid both if possible. Why? When you see PEG and -eth, know that both have been shown to be contaminated with 1,4 Dioxane, quite possibly the most harmful ingredient out there.

There is also DMDM Hydantoin in here. This is a proven carcinogen; contains formaldehyde; banned in cosmetics in the EU and Japan. Given one of the worst possible safety scores by the EWG. This is a very harmful preservative. To give you an idea, if I were forced to choose a lotion with parabens or DMDM Hydantoin, I would easily choose the one with parabens.

Iodopropynyl  Butylcarbamate is also in here. Considered "acutely toxic by inhalation" by the Cosmetics Database, this is one of the last ingredients I would put on my face. While it is considered relatively safe by the FDA, it is restricted and/or banned in many other parts of the world. Just because it's legal here does NOT make it safe. 

This comes in a 1.7 ounce jar for $44. 

My Grade: F 




Age Control--Another poor product.Once again, this company's website is misleading. When you look at the ingredients by the product picture, here is what it says: "CoQ10, Niacinamide, Beta Glucan, Oligopeptides, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea, Vitamins A, C, E."

Doesn't it sound lovely? It sure does! Vitamins, antioxidants and peptides are all lovely. Unfortunately, this is a very vague picture of what is actually in this product. Here is the actual ingredients listing:


ACQUA PURIFICATA (PURIFIED WATER), CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDES, STEARIC ACID, ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE, PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE, CURCUMA LONGA ROOT (TURMERIC) EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, UBIQUINONE (COQ-10), NIACINAMIDE, SOYA STEROL, BETA GLUCAN, MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE (VITAMIN C), RETINOL (VITAMIN A), POLYACRYLAMIDE, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, HYALURONIC ACID, CARBOMER, POLYSORBATE 20, POLYSORBATE 60, LECITHIN, CARNITINE, LAURETH-7, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, THIOCTIC (ALPHA LIPOIC) ACID, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), DMDM HYDANTOIN, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE.

 
Price: $54 for 1.7 ounces
My Grade--D


The C & G Bottom Line

Femme Science skin care is rather underwhelming. While I admire the fact that they use peptides and natural extracts, the line falls very short by including harmful chemicals into their formulation.

I would skip the line. Nothing I tried left me wanting more, unfortunately. With the price of the products and questionable ingredients found in them, there are far better products out there.

As an aside, nothing in these products lived up to the suggestion that these may have "aphrodisiac" properties. After trying them, I looked no younger and felt no "friskier" than normal.

Disclosure: I received these products at no cost. This in no way has influenced the outcome of the review. All opinions are my own. 
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