Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BzzAgent Review: Curel Intensive Healing Cream (Part I)

Disclosure: I received this product free for review from BzzAgent.
I got some little tubs of this stuff to try out recently. Let me tell you: this is some utilitarian shit. For some reason I feel like this is the kind of cream that your grandmother brings home from the hospital. I don't know where I'm getting that image from, but there it is. It's there to do a job. No frills. It's absolutely unscented, for one thing.

So usually in a review of something like this, I get into the ingredients. The ingredients here are definitely workhorses. No nonsense, tried and true. How many cliches can I fit into one post? Let's find out! Here are the ingredients:
Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Paraffin, Dimethicone, Cetyl PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, Magnesium Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Magnesium Sulfate, Glyceryl Oleate, Ethoxydiglycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Butylene Glycol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Propylparaben
Those are all your basic ingredients designed to moisturize and leave your hands feeling smooth. I'm not going to analyze them one by one, but I don't see any problems here. If you don't like petroleum products for environmental reasons, then I guess that's your thing, fine, but mineral oil is a good moisturizer that rarely causes allergic reactions and is non-comedogenic. Glycerin I've talked about before. The formula for this stuff is pretty similar to this cream designed for babies, except that this Curel one includes preservatives, which I am glad for, since it's packaged in a jar/tub.

Ugh, jar packaging. Another thing I've complained about in the past. What is the point? I guess it makes it seem more medicinal? Or heavy duty? I don't know. It's definitely trying to create some psychological association for you, because it would be more stable and less prone to contamination in a squeeze tube. This cream is thick, but it's not so thick that it wouldn't dispense perfectly well from a tube.

But on to the actual test.

I've been using this stuff for a little over a week. I wouldn't say that I have "extremely dry skin" at this point in the year, but I have some dry and/or rough spots, like the bottoms of my feet and my nails and cuticles. So that's where I tested it.

I'll spare you photos of my feet, but here are my nails an hour or so after removing nail polish and then doing my usual whatever around the house. I might have washed a couple of dishes, but mostly I just fucked around on my computer.

My nails and cuticles are pretty dry and just all-around shitty. That is their normal state.

Here is a photo taken a few minutes after applying the Curel cream:
Not actually dirty, just stained from nail polish remover melting the polish
and it seeping under my nails.
Looks better right? They felt better. Here's what Curel claims this stuff will do:

  • Spreads easily, non-greasy and absorbs quickly
  • Provides immediate healing relief and revitalizes ceramide levels for long-lasting hydration
  • Clinically-proven to help chapping and chafing caused by dryness
Most of it I agree with. That is an accurate description. But I was curious about that ceramide stuff. I looked up ceramides and found this information, which says:
Many skin-care experts recommend choosing ceramide-containing products that also include cholesterol and free fatty acids (the two other types of fats found naturally in your skin). Research suggests that there must be a balance of all three fats in order for a ceramide-containing product to be effective in healing the skin.
I don't know if this cream does that, because I had a hard time even finding the ceramides in the ingredients list. They're not listed as ceramide-1, ceramide-2 etc. like you usually see them. I did a lot of googling trying to find out which of the ingredients on that list is supposed to be the ceramide, and I came up with nothing. But then I took another look at Curel's claims and realized that Curel doesn't actually say that this HAS ceramides in it. Just that it "revitalizes" the ceramides already in your skin. Sneaky Sneaky. Okay. I call bullshit then. Marketing mumbo-jumbo.

Does it have a long-term "healing" effect like it claims to, even so? I decided that I would go without wearing nail polish for at least three whole days, which is kind of unheard of, and see if my nails and cuticles improve with multiple applications of this every day. I'm also using it on my feet at night. I will report back with the results soon.


  1. Haha, I know what you mean about it being like something grandma brings home from the hospital. There's something about the packaging that makes it seem super-clinical... maybe it's the little logo above where it says "Advanced Ceramide Therapy"? Anyway jar packaging is annoying, so the jar has to be either super-cute or the product has to really effective. It ain't cute, so here's hoping it works well...

    1. Yeah, we'll see if it's anything special or if it's just same ol' in a tub!


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