When January Olds reached out to me about her eponymous skincare line, January Labs, I liked what I heard. January had worked for mainstream brands such as Epicuren and Clairins before realizing that the perfect product for her skin’s health was missing and she was struggling with pigmentation and premature aging. January Labs was created to make safe, sustainable and effective products with “a values-driven business that people can trust.” With all this as context, I couldn’t wait to try January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream ($68 in the shop).
It isn’t really a cream, more of a serum consistency with a light texture that is instantly absorbed. Revitalizing is, however, an apposite moniker as this product gives my skin a nice pick-me-up. It gives my skin a refreshed vibrancy as well plumping out fine lines and it seems to work well alone or layered over a serum. I guess that it seems to be both a serum and a moisturizer, or at least something in between. All of which is to day that it is well-behaved and adaptable as well as contributing to one’s glow.
The most dominant key ingredient is an inspired choice, beantree oil. Although this African tree doesn’t show up much in cosmetics, it is deserving of wider deployment as it comprises more than 40% protein, with 20 amino acids, fatty acids, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus and calcium. This oil has little scent, or so I have read, and so this cannot be responsible for the robust scent (leaves in Fall is my best shot at describing it) of January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream.
Another good choice and still somewhat uncommon is beta-glucan. This is a kind of cellulose from plants and it has been proven to deeply penetrate the skin where it acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound healer and collagen stimulator. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B, and hyaluronic acid are also very welcome.
The long roster of botanical extracts has several that are worth a call-out. Maritime pine has an antioxidant power that is on par with vitamin C and E and its pycnogenols are multi-taskers that actually recycle vitamin C, regenerate vitamin E, activate antioxidant enzymes and protect against UV radiation. Milk thistle is one of my favorites for its antioxidant properties as well as calming irritated skin. Then there’s most of the super berries including goju, mangosteen and chokeberry.
Although this formula is mostly well-intentioned, there are a couple of controversial ingredients including propanediol, alcohol and phenoxyethanol. Still, in the great scheme of things, is a formula that overwhelmingly does good and the result is a highly recommended day cream.