My latest article for Beauty By The Geeks reviews Nivea Post Shave Balm
Ingredients: Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Panthenol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Inflata, Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Cyclodextrin, Glycine Soja, PEG-40 Stearate, Dimethiconol, Sodium Carbomer, BHT, Sodium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Limonene, Parfum, CI 42090
Whether you’re male or female, Nivea Post Shave Balm is something you should be adding to your wishlist. It’s being used by both girls and guys alike, albeit for very different purposes. Whereas men are soothing their freshly cut baby faces, it’s being touted by female bloggers as an excellent makeup base primer.
The Claims: Formulated with Chamomile and vitamin E, the gentle post shave balm helps to calm and sooth skin, with Bisabolol to prevent irritation and soothing panthenol to alleviate dryness after shaving.
The Science Behind The Bottle
This is a component of fat found naturally on the skin, as a humectant it draws water from lower layers of the skin up onto the surface. In strong concentrations this can be very drying as more water is lost to the environment. However, so long as concentrations are kept below 10% and it is mixed with other moisturising ingredients, glycerin will encourage barrier-protection and prevent drying and flakiness.
Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sodium Carbomer
As emollients, these ingredients can strengthen the skins barrier against water loss to lock in moisture and keep our skin feeling healthy and hydrated. They can also help other ingredients to better penetrate the skin and give a velvety coverage without being too greasy or sticky.
The hair care brand Pantene based their name on this compound, known as the ‘anti-stress vitamin’. A form of Vitamin B5, it is readily absorbed into the skin instead of just sitting on the surface and is converted into Pantothenic Acid, which has hydrating properties. This extends the moisturising benefits into deeper layers of the face.
More commonly known as Vitamin E, in most skin creams this is not oxidized so it can penetrate through to living cells where a proportion is converted into free tocopherol, providing an antioxidant benefit and slight UV protection (but not enough to replace SPF!)
Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract
You might be more used to having Chamomile in your tea than in your skincare, but there’s a first time for everything! These essential oils and extracts are often colourless but with a sweet floral smell and are traditionally perceived to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties due to phenolic derivatives and flavonoids. In one small study Bisabolol was also shown to be effective for treating hyperpigmentation, so could help with uneven skin tone.
This is produced from the beans of the wild soya bean plant and unlike the milk variety its consistency is viscous making it an excellent natural thickening agent. It is also rich in vitamin E, which as mentioned above, has antioxidant benefits and offers some protection from free radicals.
Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy-acid (AHA), which means it can act as a natural exfoliant, increasing skin cell turnover. It also increases the shelf life of the product by keeping the pH stable. The use of citric acid to treat our cosmetic concerns goes way back, as unfiltered apple cider vinegar has been a popular home remedy for clear skin for years, as it naturally contains citric acid.
An undisclosed mixture of various scents for fragrance. This could be irritating to people with very sensitive skin and is a leading cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics. Its sole use is to make the final product smell good, but for the super sensitive among you, we’d recommend a patch test first!
We really rate this as a post-shave balm or primer. We love the addition of Vitamin E, B5 and hydrating compounds, which will keep your skin feeling soft post-shave or pre-makeup (depending on what you’re using it for!). Although the addition of parfum could mean this would not completely hold up to being anti-irritant for some people, it does deliver on its claims of being sufficiently moisturising and hydrating, and for only £5 for 100ml, we’d definitely give it a go!
Moisturisers for acne: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025519/
Glycerin and Urea on dry eczematous skin: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12013198
Emollients on structure and function of skin barrier: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27097823
Skin moisturising effects of panthenol based preparations: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21982351
Hydrolysis of Vitamin E acetate: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/1011134495902511
Bisabolol ameliorates skin inflammation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24894548
Whitening effects of alpha-bisabolol: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20642768
Comparative analysis of chamomilla and corticosteroids on wound healing: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18803230
Anti-inflammatory effects of green soya bean extract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3994445/
Over the counter acne treatments: a review http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366450/
Preservatives and parabens FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm128042.htm#Does_FDA_regulate