I imagine that if Derma e was a car brand it would be a Honda Civic Hybrid. A good workhorse, doing little evil to the planet and bolstering the driver’s image as a modest and decent person. In the past, we’ve found that although not miracle workers, Derma e products do a good enough job at a price that won’t put too much strain on your flexible friend (exhibit A: Derma e Peptides Plus). Derma e’s new range, Tropical Solutions, seems to be cast in the same mold.

Tropical Solutions is based on organic tamanu oil. This is the new ‘it’ oil and is supposed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-blood coagulation properties. When Summar researched tamamu the other day, she found hard scientific research somewhat lacking. So we are embarking on some tests of tamanu-based products and of pure tamanu oil. My first product test is a free sample of Derma e’s Tropical Solutions Anti-aging Night Cream ($16.50).

To cut to the car chase (well, there is a theme here), it is nice, but (so far – I’m about 10 days in) not fabulous. I find it hydrating, but not much else. Although it has lots of good things as well as the above-mentioned tamanu, such as acai, pomegranate and green tea, I can’t help feeling that the dominant two ingredients (glycerin and sunflower oil), well, dominate. The cream is light, but a little greasy for my taste and the perfume – a heady, overripe pineapple – goes into overdrive to evoke the ‘tropical’.

As I said, Derma e is a hybrid, doing good with its organic botanicals, there are a few lack luster (although perfectly safe) emollients and emulsifiers (such as Glyceryl Stearate Citrate). However, I really wish the company would reconsider its preservative of choice, sodium benzoate (a DNA killer and carcinogen when it gets mixed with vitamin C).

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Organic Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Nut Oil*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Calcium Ascorbate (Ester-C®), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Gluconolatone and Sodium Benzoate, Natural and Fragrant Oils.