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The cat litter facial mask is probably an urban myth, but (unkindly) it was the first thing that came to mind when I heard about Christie Brinkley’s new product line, aptly named Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare.
The 60 year-old supermodel makes much of Authentic Skincare being vegan. While I care about products not being tested on animals, I am personally less concerned about animal by-products in my cosmetics. And so when I honed in Ms. Brinkley’s line, it was to see if it passed muster as being anti-aging. I decided to take a closer look at Recapture 360 + IR Defense ($89.95).
Now, when someone goes all-out vegan, I kind of expect them to be particular to the point of squeaky clean about chemicals and synthetics and opt entirely for ingredients that are pure and natural. To be sure, Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare has plenty of botanical extracts, but Recapture 360 + IR Defense has some unexpected additions that, to a skin care purist, would be like waving a chicken at a vegan.
Firstly, Recapture 360 + IR Defense is a day cream that offers sun protection with three SPF actives. They are all chemical sunscreens with some controversy behind them. Avobenzone may behave like an estrogen and should be avoided by pregnant women, as should octinoxate. This actually degrades in sunlight — especially when coupled with avobenzone — so perhaps that’s why the formula also has the ominous sounding Diethylhexyl Syringylidene Malonate, which is a light stabilizer. The third sunscreen ingredient is octocrylene, a skin penetrator that increases the production of free radicals.
Synthetic fragrance makes an appearance, along with silicone, a preservative (Sodium Dehydroacetate) that is classified in Europe as harmful or toxic if used near the mouth, and the pH adjuster (aminomethyl propanol) than can be an irritant, as can pentylene glycol. There are few other nasties, as well, but let’s focus on the good stuff now.
With more than a nod at anti-aging, Recapture 360 + IR Defense has copper lysinate/prolinate. As far as I can understand, this is copper salt from two amino acids. I believe that the bigger copper guns have three to five amino acids, but what’s here is better than nothing.
Christie Brinkley’s cream does have some good botanicals. I particularly like bakuchiol, which I had to look up and found that it is a natural compound that functions like a retinol. There’s also a good antioxidant, ergothioneine, and plenty of plant extracts — apple, apricot, rose, coffee and Arabidopsis Thaliana (a member of the mustard family) to name a few.
My take is that overall, Recapture 360 + IR Defense isn’t too bad. But being vegan doesn’t make up for some badly chosen synthetics.