No one loves an underdog like the British. Newspapers like the Guardian are beside themselves because Which? (the UK Consumer Reports) conducted a study which concluded that Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer, costing a mere three quid (about five bucks), outperformed expensive department store brands like StriVectin, the much hyped RoC Retin-Ox and even the Boots miracle cream, Protect & Perfect. I am not surprised that the so-called "expensive" creams didn't perform well. They aren't (with the possible exception of Boots) very good. However, what I take issue with is the idea that Simple Kind To Skin is good. It's not and it's a fraud.

For a start, Simple markets this as packed with "vitamin goodness". Thanks to Niall (see comments), I should mention that there is panthenol, a precursor to vitamin B. But that's it.

One of only three ingredients remotely worth putting anywhere near your skin is glycerin. The most commonly stated claim about glycerin is that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture. This assertion is made on the grounds that glycerin is a humectant. The thing is that humectants don’t work quite as simply as that. In fact, if you put humectants on your skin they will draw water from your dermis up to your epidermis. Your skin might feel moisturized, but you have just borrowed from Peter to pay Paul. Sodium lactate is also a humectant, as is pentylene glycol.

Meanwhile, there is lactic acid to exfoliate the skin. The best ingredient is right near the end, serine, a naturally occurring proteinogenic amino acid that is derived from silk proteins, and plays an important role in the body by helping to form the phospholipids (a major component of the cell membrane) that make up each cell. It also aids in DNA production, fat and fatty acid metabolism, muscle formation, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Simple Kind is basically a sunscreen. But it has some of the sun protectors that I wouldn't want near my skin. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is approved by the FDA (I don't about the UK) it for use in OTC sunscreens up to a concentration of 7.5%. However, it has been known to produce excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, and lead to cell death. Ditto butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane. 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor is, according to some studies (the research is contradictory) an endrocine disrupter, which means there are potential associations with reproductive problems and cancer. It is banned in Japan.

Animal tests have shown that sodium hydroxymethylglycinate breaks down as formaldehyde. And this product wouldn't be complete without BHT and a couple of parabens.

All in all, Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich moisturizer isn't even worth three quid.

Ingredients in Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer

Aqua, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Stearyl Alcohol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Stearic Acid, Panthenol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Methylparaben, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor, Bisabolol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Serine, Sorbitol, Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, BHT, Allantoin