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Lidl €2.99 face cream is best moisturiser on the market - again
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Sep 28, 2016
A FACE-CREAM from Lidl costing €2.99 has once again been found to be the most effective following research by a leading consumer organisation.
The OCU carried out rigorous tests, which involved every moisturiser being tested 'blindly' by at least 20 volunteer women over a four-week period.
None of them knew which brand they were testing out of the 17 creams which covered the full price range from a couple of euros to several hundred.
Ingredients were also examined by OCU researchers, with points deducted for those brands which contained substances that, although permitted by the European Union, are not recommended.
These include certain 'parabens', including Butylparaben and Propylparaben; the preservative Methylisothiazolinone, which has a high allergy-causing potential, and perfumes which may cause adverse skin reactions.
The OCU stressed that moisturising creams do not provide deep rehydration – only certain pharmaceutical products even reach the dermis, or second layer of skin, let alone penetrate it – meaning moisturisers are merely cosmetic and those which promise miracle anti-ageing skin-repair effects are only referring to the appearance they give, which lasts until the next time the face is cleansed.
Last time a study of this type was carried out by the OCU, Lidl's Cien Q10, in a yellow jar and costing €2.99 came out top – even causing stores across Spain to run out and queues to build up at the doors when the data were released.
This time, the pale-blue Cien Aqua cream will be the one to fly off the shelves, and carries the same price tag.
Its sunscreen potential, or SPF, was examined and found to be very low, at 4, when considering that an 'average' SPF is at least 15, but it includes UVA and UVB ray filters and, along with others which claimed to have an SPF factor – supermarket Mercadona's own brand Deliplus, and Nivea – the Lidl version 'does not make false claims about its protection level'.
Cien Aqua does contain ethylparaben and methylparaben, both preservatives and often used in the cosmetics industry, but which OCU assures are safe and efficient, causing no problems as long as they were used in measures of less than 0.4%.
Although the most expensive cream tested, La Mer at €225, does not contain parabens, its moisturising power was only graded as 'acceptable' compared with 'good' in the case of Cien Aqua.
Lidl's face cream does contain perfume, but no fragrance with ingredients that may cause problems for women with allergies.
These 26 substances, which include Benzyl alcohol, Eugenol, Isoeugenol and Cinnamal, must be clearly mentioned on the packaging in accordance with EU rules so those with sensitive skin or allergies can tell immediately before making a purchase.
La Mer contained fragrances with ingredients such as Linalol, Geraniol and Citronellol, all of which can cause reactions in certain skin types.
Methylisothiazolinone was not contained, and the OCU strongly recommends it should not be employed in substances which will be applied to the skin and remain on it for any length of time – in fact, the EU intends to add it to the 'banned list' shortly.
Mineral oils, such as Petrolatum and liquid paraffin, 'do not allow the skin to breathe', says the OCU, but Lidl's moisturiser does not contain any.
Cien Aqua contains glycerine, a natural ingredient which keeps the skin hydrated, but does not say how much.
Pantenol or Pantotenic Acid – otherwise known as vitamin B5 – is mentioned on the main label as an active ingredient in the Cien Aqua, since it is often included in moisturisers as it helps hydrate and regenerate the skin.
Photograph by the consumer organisation OCU
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