Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stop Wasting Your Money.... Mary Kay

Times are tough.

With that being said, I thought I would spend a little time blogging about how you can get more bang for your buck, regarding your skin care products.

Being an esthetician for almost 5 years, I have many of my customers tauting the wonders of Mary Kay products. Some of them sell the products themselves, others have friends or other representatives selling to them. Listen to me very carefully: YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY!! Even I was surprised and how bare the ingredient decks are!

Now if you want a product that looks pretty, smells nice and feels rich and creamy, by all means keep using Mary Kay and stop reading this blog now. If you want the TRUTH about the Mary Kay ingredients and their effectiveness please keep reading.

STEP 1. Ingredients.
Let me tell you, finding Mary Kay's ingredient decks online is no easy task. The company does not list the ingredients on their websites (which should be a huge red flag, especially for such a large company!). I mean, how are you supposed to know if something works if you can't see the ingredients? I understand the need to protect proprietary formulas, but at least give us a hint at what is in the product. I did manage to find a couple listings of the ingredient decks taken straight from the box on an independent site. Below are the ingredient decks with the function of each ingredient plus any known cancer, allergen or irritant risks. I highlighted any ingredient with a moderate to high risk for irritation and cancer and I did not include any cancer risks that were found in vitro. All ingredients were found at the cosmetics database.

Possible Irritant

Mary Kay® TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer

Description (as written on the box): Suitable for sensitive skin. Oil- and fragrance-free. Non-comedogenic. Timewise® Age-Fighting Moistuirizer firms, softens and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Proven to hydrate for up to 10 hours.


Ingredients: Water, glycerin (humectant), C12-15 alkyl benzoate (emolient, anti microbial) , cettearyl alcohol (surfactant, foam enhancer), isostearyl alcohol (emolient, viscocity increasing agent), triethanolamine (ph adjuster, CANCER, TOXIC) hydrogenated lecithin (surfactant, emulsifying agent), behenyl alcohol (Binder; Emulsion Stabilizer; Viscosity Increasing Agent), propylene glycol (Fragrance Ingredient; Humectant, CANCER, possible IRRITANT)
dimethicone (Occlusive; Skin Protectant), bis-diglyceryl polyacladipate-2(Emollient), ceteareth-20 (Cleansing Agent; Surfactant, Organ system toxicity especially in products used around eyes, mouth, or lips), linoleamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloridephosphate (anti-static agent), silica (Abrasive; Absorbent; Anticaking Agent; Bulking Agent; Opacifying Agent; Suspending Agent), carbomer (stabilizer), diazolidinyl urea (preservative, CANCER, HUMAN SKIN TOXICANT), lauramine oxide (fragrance, surfactant, sense organ effects at very low doses), disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent, CANCER), betaine (humectant), glyceryl polyacrylate (film former), methylparaben (preservative, CANCER, ALLERGEN, possible IRRITANT), sodium PCA (humectant), C9-15 alkyl phosphate (cleansing agent, surfactant), tocopheryl acetate (antioxidant), sorbitol (humectant, fragrence), propylparaben (preservative, ALLERGEN), serine (amino acid), threonine (amino acid), proline (amino acid), arginine (amino acid), glycine (amino acid), alanine (amino acid), lysine (amino acid), glutamic acid (humectant), thermus themophillus ferment (I am not quite sure what this ingredient is).

Green means go and red means STOP, right?

This moisturizer will give your skin some hydration, but as far as the age-fighting capabilities, I think the Cancer causing ingredients might make that difficult. Also, any of the good ingredients, located on them bottom of the deck, are so clouded by emulsifiers, bulking agents, and emollients that they will probably never reach your skin!!

Maybe the other formula will be better.


Ingredients: Water, glycerin (humectant), isododecane (solvent, emollient), dimethicone (Occlusive; Skin Protectant), propylene glycol (Fragrance Ingredient; Humectant, CANCER, IRRITANT), betaine (humectant), ethylene/acrilic acid copolymer (binder, film former), boron nitride (absorbent), ammonium acrloyl-dimethyltaurate/VP copolymer (Viscosity Increasing Agent), PEG-12 dimethicone (Skin Conditioning agent), polyacrylamide (binder, Film Former), phenoxyethanol (preservative, sense organ effects at very low doses), C13-14 isoparaffin (emollient), lauramine oxide (fragrance, surfactant, sense organ effects at very low doses), disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent, CANCER), methylparaben (preservative, CANCER, ALLERGEN, IRRITANT), triethanolamine (ph adjuster, CANCER CAUSING, TOXIC), C9-15 alkyl phosphate (cleansing agent, surfactant), DMDM hydantoin (preservative, ALLERGEN), tocopheryl acetate (antioxidant), laureth-7 (surfactant, emulsifying agent), linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium chloride phosphate (anti-static agent), sodium PCA (humectant), sorbitol (humectant, fragrence), serine (amino acid), thermus thermophillus ferment, threonine (amino acid), proline (amino acid), arginine (amino acid), glycine (amino acid), alanine (amino acid), lysine (amino acid), glutamic acid (humectant)

Again, a few different ingredients with the same results. Oh, and it also states that it is for Sensitive skin? With all those irritants and allergens I wouldn't put it on my face!! Plus, there are 2 ingredients that are stated as being film formers. Really?!!

In comparison lets look at Osmosis' Quench Moisturizer.


This product contains natural moisturizing factors and lipids found naturally in the skin to create a light feeling, intensely hydrating, moisturizer.

Quench contains high doses of hyaluronic acid which provides a wonderful moisturizing effect. It also uses Argirilene for firming and niacinamide which is proven to help restore the skin's barrier and feed the skin with its own natural moisturizing factors.

Purified Water, Shea Butter (Moisturizer, Emollient, Anti inflammatory), Niacinamide (smoothing, Circulation), Organic Jojoba oil (emollient), Cetyl Palmitate (Occlusive, emollient possible IRRITANT), Sorbitan Palmitate (Emulsifying Agent), Sorbitan Olivate (emulsifying agent), Glycerin (humectant), Hyaluronic Acid (moisturizing, humectant), Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 (Natural Argirilene)(Humectant), Cholesteryl Stearate (Liquid Crystals)(emollient), Corn Silk (skin Conditioning), Squalene (emolient), Hyaluronic Acid (humectant), L-Sodium PCA (humectant), Japanese Honeysuckle (preservative), Essential Oil Blend (preservative, natural fragrance).

Do I even need to say anything? One ingredient which may be a possible irritant. Plus the description itself states the key ingredients of the product. Impressive.


Without looking at the ingredients, you might say that Mary Kay has a better price point.

TimeWise: $22 for 3.3 oz. or $6.67 / oz

Quench: $30 for 1 oz.

However you have to remember that with all the emulsifiers, binders and other assorted fillers, the few good ingredients do not reach the skin. In fact, all the potential cancer causing and irritation inducing agents are probably going to make your skin worse. Also, you have to look at how much of the product you are using in each application. I have used Mary Kay (many moons ago, before knew better). Let me tell you that I used a lot more than I use of Osmosis. Osmosis recommends 1-2 pumps of the product which will last you about 2 months.

Osmosis also contains cutting edge ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesteryl Stearate (Liquid Crystals), Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 and Niacinamide, which are noticeably absent from the Mary Kay formula. These ingredients help not only with hydration but improvement in firmness, wrinkles and suppleness of the skin.

Now that is age fighting!


Faye Claire said...

Where are you finding your "cancer causing" sources? With the highest degree in chemistry achieved, I can safely say that most if not all the red highlighted words are NOT carcinogens!!! I'm sorry that you don't have the confidence and intelligence to CORRECTLY inform your clients!

Maya said...

I have to agree with Faye Claire. Before you start trashing others at least quote your own sources.

Unknown said...

I've never seen such a biased, willfully ignorant review by a supposed skin care professional

ChristineBrown said...

The Environmental Working Group ( has a database of over 69,000 cosmetic products and ingredients listed on their website with information about toxicity and carcinogens....and just as you say! I'm checking all of my cosmetics against this database from now on to make smart and HEALTHY choices. Thank you for the information!