Rilastil is a mid-range Italian brand that has been given a big push in the US by drugstore Duane Reade, which has it as one of the flagships in its Look Boutique, an upscale beauty department. Although I rather liked Rilastil’s toner and Rachel, our reader reviewer was happy with the cleanser, neither of us really loved the brand and so I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by Rilastil’s Optimale Cream for Hypersensitive Skin. Even so, I wasn’t expecting to be shocked by how bad it is.

Optimale Cream is beyond mediocre. If Rilastil had priced it for Duane Reade’s main cosmetic aisles at, say, $12 the formula might not be that unreasonable. I might even be willing to stretch to $20, although that frankly would be a stretch. But $80? I should repeat that – eighty dollars. Yes, it stretches credulity that Rilastil added the zero.

There is almost nothing to commend Optimale Cream other than the hydrator sodium hyaluronate. Rilastil claims that it is of the highest quality. It would have to be since it comes near the end of the ingredients list, and the only remotely helpful inclusions are relatively very inexpensive, sunflower oil and glycerin.

I did attempt to test it for a few days, but each time I picked up the tube I felt too annoyed by the whole idea of paying $80 for something that is mostly water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (a thickener and solvent), silicones and pegs (peg-100 stearate should not be used on broken skin). All in all, not a good start to the day.

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower oil), Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic acid), Disodium EDTA, Arginine