All mouth and no trousers (an English expression) just about sums up Phytomer Hydracontinue Instant Moisture Cream ($56.50).

Phytomer claims that this moisturizer is enriched with something called Pheohydrane. This was something new to me and, so my curiosity piqued, I went about trying to find out what it is. The makers of Pheohydrane have conducted clinical trials, with before and after shots of skin cells in extreme close-up, that are pretty impressive. Pheohydrane is the combination of amino acids from microalgae, minerals in seawater and polysaccaride from a brown alga called laminaria digitata. The polysaccaride is extracted from the outer layer of the alga which protects it from getting parched when washed up on a beach. Pheohydrane is supposed to be such a good moisturizer for the skin that it is supposed to last for seven days after application.

After all of that, I was eager to get to know Phytomer Hydracontinue better. Unfortunately, I didn't get beyond the box with its mediocre list of ingredients. The fabulous Pheohydrane appears as a humble hydrolized algin (brown seaweed to you and me), sea water and chorella vulgaris (a microalga that is used to treat waste water). They are so humble, in fact, they don't appear until the 27th place. Of the higher billing 26 ingredients there are only two that even vaguely resemble something that might be doing you any good, macadamia seed and milk protein. The rest include several irritants and two ingredients that are toxic.

Ingredients in Phytomer Hydracontinue

Water, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Cocoglycerides, Propylene Glycol, Disopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Palmitic Acid, Dimethicone, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Silica, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Chlorphenesin, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Butylparaben, Perfluorodecalin, Triclosan, Xanthan Gum, Hydrolyzed Algin, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Maris Aqua (sea water), Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Lactoglubulin, Citric Acid, Propyl Gallate, Tocopherol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, CI 19140 (FD&C Yellow 5), CI 42090 (FD&C Blue 1), CI 17200 (D&C Red 33).