There is an exception to every rule. The makers of our most beloved cosmetics might manufacture some products that do far less than impress. In the case of AminoGenesis, I developed a soft spot for the Cocoon Total Body Emollient, conferring it a permanent place on my nightstand and even designating it one of my favorite products of 2008. After trying the AminoGenesis Therapeutic Facial Repair, I was left scratching my head, or rather, wiping my face.

It seems that AminoGenesis didn't stray far from its core formula in refashioning its body emollient into a face cream. I cringed a little at the cloying, artificial fragrance, which mimics Cocoon exactly. The same aromatic notes that are delightful when massaged into the body lose all subtlety when smeared so close to the nose. Even the textures of the two emollients are essentially the same. Whereas the rich, velvety consistency of Cocoon cured the skin on my body of all dryness, it felt too heavy on my face after applying the Therapeutic Facial Repair. Lacking an SPF, the thick face cream seems most apt for nighttime use, especially around the eyes.

Though I poked fun at Cocoon's retro plastic bottle design, at least its contents are protected from contagions. Therapeutic Facial Repair, on the other hand, seems to invite contamination with its wide-open pot design and pure white color. Perhaps this is why the formula's foundation rests on multiple parabens, phenoxyethanol and diazolidinyl urea for preservative prowess. Besides these undesirable additives, there is the unfortunate triethanolamine (TEA), a neutralizing and emulsifying agent, which is both an irritant and potential carcinogen.

At the core of AminoGenesis are seventeen amino acids, nine of which are "essential" for the body to obtain from outside sources. As the most concentrated formula in the AminoGenesis line, Therapeutic Facial Repair is touted as a mega-moisturizer, combining a water-based delivery system with skin conditioners like isopropyl palmitate (a derivative of palm oil) and humectants such as glycerin and glyceryl stearate. By allowing the protein-building, antioxidant-rich amino acids to penetrate deep, this system is intended to improve the skin's firmness and elasticity.

Nonetheless, I didn't notice any improvements on my face after a couple of weeks of nightly use. Despite a slight clogging sensation, my skin felt well-hydrated and nourished but certainly no more plump or youthful. Sometimes a formula that works so well on one part of the body is simply not suited to another area. Although amino acids make for a welcome addition to any emollient, they can't stand alone as an anti-aging panacea.


Deionized Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Amino Acids: (L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, L-Histidine Monohydrochloride Monohydrate, L-Argine Monohydrochloride, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Threonine, L-Serine, L-Glutamine, L-Proline, L-Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Valine, L-Methionine, L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine, L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Acetyl Tyrosine), Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Sesquiolate, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Proplyparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance.