I stumbled upon the Pomessence skin care line whilst researching the use of pomegranate in cosmetics (which you can read about here), and was lucky enough to get a free sample of their cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizer. They are for one of you to try out on the condition that you provide Truth in Aging with a review.  The other catch is that you have to leave a comment on this post suggesting other products that you have used and liked that include pomegranate as an ingredient.  The winner will be chosen next week, August 1.

Just so you know what you're getting yourself into, I went ahead and took a look at some of the interesting ingredients that Pomessence uses.

In addition to the wondrous, almighty antioxidant pomegranate extract, the daily cleanser includes tangerine and grapefruit oil. As with most citrus oils, grapefruit has a cleansing and toning effect on the skin, as well as helping to reduce enlarged pores and disperse pockets of fluids and toxins in the skin.  Both tangerine and grapefruit oils have, interestingly enough, been shown to have a positive effect on stretch marks and help with the appearance of cellulite. Now I'm not sure how much this is going to help when you're putting it on your face, but still good to know.

The daily moisturizer ups the ante by including aloe, sunflower oil and shea butter to its lineup. The primary ingredient in this moisturizer is the aloe (listed second after water), which has been in long use throughout the centuries for its soothing, hydrating properties. Sunflower oil, which is obtained by milling the seeds of large sunflowers, contains large amounts of the antioxidant Vitamin E and is rich in essential fatty acids.

The most interesting ingredient that I have come across in all three of the products is pycnogenol, or pine bark extract. It has the same active ingredient as grape seed extract, and is a potent free radical scavenger and preservative with antioxidant capabilities that are 50 times greater than Vitamin E and 20 times greater than Vitamin C.  What's more, and perhaps more importantly, pycnogenol has a molecular structure that is much smaller than either Vitamins E or C, and so can more easily penetrate the epidermis into the dermis.

You would think that it would be obvious that all of their products contain pomegranate extract as a main ingredient.  However, one thing I noticed was that the moisturizing exfoliant does not!  What it does contain to its benefit is sunflower oil and pycnogenol, with glycolic acid as its active ingredient. Unfortunately, there are a few ingredients here that call for pause. Some studies suggest that the  ingredient polyacrylamide can degrade under normal environmental conditions, releasing acrylamide, a known nerve toxin.  And then triethanolamine, which functions as a pH balancer, is a known irritant and possible carcinogenic according to one animal study.

When looking at the other two products two ingredients stand out as possible allergens for people with sensitive skin types. Quaternium-15, found in both the daily cleanser and moisturizer, is a widely used preservative in cosmetics that acts as a formaldehyde releaser. So if you're allergic to formaldehyde, you probably will be allergic to quaternium-15. Cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a semi-synthetic compound derived from coconut, has also been known to cause an allergic reaction in some individuals with sensitive skin types.

Ingredients: daily cleanser

Water, cocamidopropyl betaine, decyl polyglucose, glycerin, sodium olefin sulfonate, pycnogenol glucomate DOE 120, pomegranate extract, grapefruit oil, tangerine oil, quaternium 15.

Ingredients: daily moisturizer

Water, aloe, glycerine, laureth 7, jojoba esters, sunflower oil,
stearic acid, polyacrylamide, C13-14 isoparaffin, lauryl laurate,
dimethicone, guaternium 15, glyceryl monostearate, cotyl alcohol,
pycnogenol, pomegranate extract, triethanolamine, essential oil, shea


Ingredients: moisturizing exfoliant

Water, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, sunflower oil, lauryl
laurate, glycolic acid, glycerin, cetyl palmitate, polyacrylamide,
dimethicone, C13-14 isoparaffin, laureth 7, triethanolamine,
pycnogenol