Over the years, many of us in the Truth In Aging community have tried and appreciated Arcona’s natural, yet highly effective skin care products, such as Magic White Ice and the Wine Hydrating Mask. When I reached out to Arcona to see if we could make these products available in the TIA shop, they insisted that I test what they call their Basic Five first. The Basic Five is a personalized regimen that is designed to “help speed up, strengthen and enhance the skin’s own renewal process.” I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my experience with my Arcona regimen and will be publishing reviews over the coming days of all five products, starting here with the moisturizer Desert Mist.

Arcona is an unusual formulator. So when I say moisturizer, don’t expect your usual creamy lotion. In fact, Arcona goes out of its way to say that Desert Mist ($32) doesn’t have conventional emollients but actives that boost the skin’s hydrating abilities. Desert Mist is an incredibly light textured cosmetic, something between water and a gel, erring on the watery side.

Witch hazel is a dominant ingredient and gives Desert Mist its distinctive scent – which I happen to like. Witch hazel is often regarded as little more than an astringent, but there’s way more to it than that. It constricts blood vessels, making it helpful in reducing broken veins. It is a soother of all manner of skin ailments and has been found to have a strong action against reactive oxygen in skin tissue.

The simple ingredients list includes something that I had to look up. Mucins are proteins that can form gels. On the skin, they sit on the surface and provide protection from environmental onslaught (as my skin has to deal with New York, this is probably a good thing). In cosmetics, they help the product retain moisture.

Another that had me heading to Google search is Na-PCA. This is the sodium salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural moisturizing factor found in human skin. In cosmetics it functions as a humectant. These work by attracting water from the dermis below and helping to keep that water bound in the stratum corneum (source).

Desert Mist also has glutathione, which works in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, and amino acid transport. Interestingly, here it is paired with acetyl cysteine, an amino acid that is responsible for boosting the body’s levels of glutathione. This seems like an intelligently synergistic use of ingredients.

Desert Mist is a very pleasant alternative to a typical day cream. It provides a protective barrier for the skin, is feather light and comfortable and with only a handful natural ingredients it provides a well-balanced assortment of anti-agers.

Ingredients in Desert Mist: Agua (Distilled Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Glycerine, Mucin, NaPCA, Tocotrienols (Vitamin E), Volcanic Minerals, Glutathione, L-Ascorbic Acid, Selenium, Acetyl Cysteine, Wild Marjoram (Origanum Vulgare) Extract