100% Pure is one of those brands that I want to like, but have always felt that it was a little bit too gentle – well, if I’m honest, namby pamby. Nice botanicals, nothing nasty, but not much of an antiaging oomph. Although I recently started using and like the Cranberry Cleanser and Kim raves about their fruit pigment-based makeup, I had mentally tagged them as a nice range for 30-somethings. The only way I was going to put my prejudice to the test would be try out the self-proclaimed heavy hitter, 100% Pure’s 100% Potent Mushroom & Peptide Antioxidant Concentrate ($39).

For the first couple of weeks, I was patting my prejudice on the back for yet another prescient insight. 100% Potent Mushroom was nice, but there was no indication that much was happening. Thankfully, I stuck with it and I must say that this is a lovely skin conditioner. It moisturizers, firms the skin and plays very nicely with other products.

I have to admit that I still have some reservations when I look at the ingredients. Sure, they are all botanical and the first two are acai and pomegranate oils, rich in fatty acids. But I have a few problems with “red wine resveratrol”. Is there red wine in this product? Or a resveratrol extract from grape? I’m not picking on 100% Pure for being sloppy, I am interested (and concerned) because resveratrol is hard to do. Tests have shown that you would have to drink hundreds of bottles of wine a day (literally!) for resveratrol to have an effect. Topically, it is much more efficient, but I’d still like to understand what form 100% Pure’s is in.

I also find that I have to take a leap of faith with reishi mushroom powder and shiitake mushroom powder. Mushroom powders are commonly used orally. “Powder” doesn’t sound like something that has been processed to optimally penetrate the skin barrier, but who knows?

Happily, 100% Pure has been much sharper about the botanical peptides. Instead of just saying “black rice extract”, we seem to be being told that peptides have specifically been isolated. And its also good to know that black rice comes with a research pedigree, as do peas and hibiscus.

Ingredients:

Acai berry Oil, Pomegranate Oil, Red Wine Resveratrol, Reishi Mushroom Powder, Shiitake Mushroom Powder, Snow Pea Peptide, Black Rice Peptide, Hibiscus Peptide, Rose Hydrosol, Goji Berry Extract, Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Blueberry Skin Pigments, Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Extracts of Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Goldenseal, Lavender, Grapefruit Seed, Green Tea and Japanese Honeysuckle.