For most people, the advent of cooler climates signals dry skin.  For me, it is always summertime that triggers a battle of facial dehydration, as my complexion goes utterly haywire.  Between a constant barrage of sunscreen and scrubs, all summer long I try to navigate the route to skin equilibrium. It was on this quest that I came across Moisture Balance, a facial moisturizer by Nude, which launched an international line of "stylish skincare with a social conscience" in 2007.

I have incorporated the product into my A.M. routine over the past week, with mixed results.  Personally, I prefer any product that goes on my face to be fragrance-free.  The distinct aroma of Moisture Balance, though not overpowering, did not agree with me.  Luckily, the smell is at its strongest in concentrated gel form and weakens after it fully dissolves into skin.

With a name like "Moisture Balance" I was expecting this moisturizer to have a thick, creamy consistency.  Not so.  The first thing I noticed was that Nude's Moisture Balance = gel.  The second was its smell (see above).  The third was its skin-like hue, similar to a liquid foundation.

As I squirted the gel out of its soft lavender vessel, I was surprised by its lightness.  A little goes a long way, and I managed to coat my entire face with one squirt.  The gel's color is not noticeable when blended in.  Suddenly my face began to tingle all over, a sensation that I tend to appreciate since I assume that the active ingredients are working their magic. The slight stinging subsided, but my skin felt far from moisturized and sticky to the touch.

The gel renders a noticeable film on the skin's surface as it dries.  Unlike creamy moisturizers, which often leave behind a sheen that might require blotting or powder, Nude's matte texture seems to reduce shine. The formula is ideal for oily skin types, especially in the summertime when less is more.

The first three ingredients of Moisture Balance (water, glycerin, and a natural ester derived from macadamia kernels) simply serve as a base and lend its light, non-greasy feel.  While arginine provides antioxidant benefits, glycyrrhetinic acid (obtained from herb liquorice) soothes the skin with anti-inflammatory properties. Jojoba, sodium pca, pomegranate extract, and xanthan gum all work to moisturize and protect against dryness. The matte effect can be attributed to algae extracts and kaolin, a clay mineral that draws out impurities, thereby clearing the skin of excess oil and dirt.

Nude's product information promotes active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid for locking in water and laminaria seaweed for controlling excess oils. Though these items are somewhat disguised on Nude's ingredient list (see numbers 7 & 8), their presence is important since their benefits include increased hydration and improved skin elasticity.

One of the reasons for Moisture Balance's high price tag ($86 for 40ml) is its inclusion of argan oil, which is costly to extract.  Naturally high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, argan oil nourishes the skin and promotes a healthy complexion.

Moreover, it is clear that Nude put a great deal of resources toward formulating an eco-friendly product from natural ingredients. You will not find dubious parabens, sulphates, PEGs, phthalates, or silicones in Moisture Balance. Having developed an entire line of products devoid of harmful chemicals, Nude sends a message that it is possible to find a beauty regimen that is both good for you and good for the earth.

**We would like to hear what your favorite green product is. Send in your nomination via the Comments section of this post.  Whoever submits the item that we choose to review in our Anti-Aging Olympics will receive a Nude Age Defence Food Supplement treatment.


(aqua), glycerin (plant sources), ethyl macadamiate (macadamia), simmondsia
chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, lactobacillus/eriodictyon californicum ferment
extract (yerba santa), sclerotium gum (fermented sugar), sodium hyaluronate
(lactic acid and wheat), algae extract, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide (corn and
beet), lauroyl lysine (coconut and sugar), sodium pca (beetroot), xanthan gum
(fermented sugar), lactose (milk), punica granatum extract (pomegranate),
arginine (plant sources), milk protein (lactis proteinum), natural fragrance
(parfum), kaolin (clay), glycyrrhetinic acid (liquorice), argania spinosa leaf
extract (argan), galactaric acid (apple pectin), marsdenia condurango bark extract,
bifida ferment lysate (milk), tocopheryl acetate (soybean), phenoxyethanol,
ethylhexylglycerin, dehydroacetic acid, geraniol (essential oil), linalool
(essential oil), citral (essential oil)
*certified organic