Collective Wellbeing seems like one of those companies that makes every effort to do good for our bodies and our environment, without being too anal about going all-organic. Last month, Jimmy favorably reviewed the brand’s anti-dandruff shampoo. Knowing Collective Wellbeing’s idealistic roots and green sensibility, I wondered if my skin would take to its core face products: the Weightless Day Cream and Night Quenching Cream. Now at the end of my trial, I can whole-heartedly recommend both creams, however only for a particular skin type. I’ll get into that later, but first, here’s a rundown of how they measured up to my own standards.

The Weightless Daycream ($21 for 2 oz.) lives up to its name, offering skin a featherlight layer of moisture. I appreciate its natural scent and nearly non-existent presence on my face, and I can’t quibble (much) over the ingredients. It’s too bad that the formula doesn’t incorporate sun protection, especially since the third ingredient, octyl dodecyl neopentanoate, has SPF-boosting properties in addition to its de-greasing effect. The lotion does not leave a hint of oil or film, absorbing instantly to give skin a quick sip of hydration. Because my skin is particularly parched (especially around wintertime), this sip doesn’t go deep enough to satisfy my face for an entire day. I typically need to re-apply some cream on dry spots by lunchtime.

Most of the emollients, with the exception of a couple of silicones, are derived from nature and proven gentle for sensitive skin. Glycerin, in particular, is effective at attracting water to skin and improving smoothness, though it is regrettably diluted by water (as ingredient numero uno). On top of extracts from aloe, chamomile, comfrey, sea kelp, and sweet almond, there are botanical additions with special properties. Pomegranate seed oil is unique for its conjugated fatty acid content, which makes it a natural anti-inflammatory. Bisabolol, the main active component of the chamomile plant, accelerates the skin’s healing process and can help the other actives penetrate the skin. Honorable mentions in the ingredient department include ceramides, licorice root, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, and provitamin B5.

Matching the Daycream’s weightlessness, the Night Quenching Cream ($27 for 2 oz.) floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Thanks to a base of dimethicone and a few other silicones, it glides over the surface of skin like silk. Silicones are a mixed bag. Their unique fluidity makes them easily spreadable without adding heft, but their feel-good factor is only temporary. Dimethicone is favored for its ability to form a protective barrier, lubricate the skin, reduce redness caused by inflammation, and fill in fine lines.

When I spread the amber-hued Night Quenching Cream over my skin, it feels and looks as if there’s nothing there: not a hint of grease and only the slightest light-reflecting sheen. At the same time, it subtly seals in dry flakes and disguises wrinkles, making it an excellent emollient for around the eyes. The hydrating effects are only superficial, however, and hardly sufficient for really dry skin overnight. If its purpose were to merely moisturize, the Night Quenching Cream would be mediocre at best. But luckily there’s more to it.

Long-chain polypeptides (palmitoyl oligopeptide) stimulate the formation of new collagen, while  a combination of jojoba oil, ceramides, and plant sterols restore balance within the stratum corneum. Bringing on the big guns, the formula draws on two potent antioxidants, astaxanthin and nordihydroguaiaretic acid. Because of its exceptional power to combat singlet oxygen, which directly damages biological lipids, proteins, and DNA, astaxanthin was a chosen one for our Five Best anti-aging ingredients list last year. Studies have shown that it can eliminate free radicals 6,000 times more effectively than common vitamin C. Nordihydroguaiaretic acid, one of the key actives in Skin2Skin Care’s Anti-Wrinkle Night Recovery, has also demonstrated the ability to act as a free radical scavenger, as well as a protective agent against keratosis caused by exposure to UV rays. Collective Wellbeing claims to be the only producer of a formula that houses these two actives under one roof.

Like Jimmy’s assessment of the anti-dandruff shampoo, I found that the two face products aren’t perfect, but they do a darn good job at what they’re meant for. The Night Quenching Cream seals a modicum of moisture in the skin and packs a double dose of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Beyond the botanicals and antioxidants, the Weightless Daycream doesn’t make any pretense about radically transforming signs of aging. Both creams work wonders under makeup, providing a smooth canvas without weighty waxes or fillers. As barely-there moisturizers with impressive benefits, they make the most of their time on the skin.

What my trial has taught me is that these creams are well-suited for 20-something skin (particularly of the normal-oily variety) with shallow surface irregularities. But skin in need of deeply penetrating moisture and anti-aging magic should look elsewhere. Unfortunately, I am on the cusp of my decade’s skin needs and feel that my face might be a few fine lines too old for a couple of enhanced moisturizers.

Ingredients in Weightless Daycream:
Water, glycerin, octyl dodecyl neopentanoate, ethoxydiglycol oleate, certified organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, cyclopentasiloxane, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl olivate, glyceryl stearate, dimethicone, punica granatum (pomegranate) seed oil, certified organic helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, certified organic chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower extract, tocopheryl acetate (vit E), allantoin (from comfrey), certified organic extracts of echinacea angustifolia (coneflower) root, symphytum officinale (comfrey) root, zea mays (corn) silk, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root and macrocystis perifera (sea kelp), sodium PCA, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol (vit B5), ceramide-3, punica granatum (pomegranate) sterols, nylon 12, prunus amigdalus dulcis (sweet almond) seed extract, bisbalol (from chamomile), ceteth-20, steareth-20, stearyl alcohol, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate.

Ingredients in Night Quenching Cream:
Dimethicone, dimethicone crosspolymer, cyclopentasiloxane, astaxanthin, certified organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, punica granatum (pomegranate) seed oil, ceramide-2, palmitoyl oligopeptide, certified organic extracts of sympthytum officinale (comfrey) root, chamomilla matricaria (chamomile) flower and mycrocystis pyrifera (sea kelp), peg-10, brassica rapa (canola) sterols, certified organic helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, c12-15 alkyl fumarate/benzoate, PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, nylon-12, tribehenin, tocopheryl acetate (vit E).