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I dislike misleading claims on the label anyway, but in case of the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream with 0,3% Retinol and 2% Bakuchiol it really annoys me. Why? Because the main approach of the Beauty Expert line is to focus on effective ingredients, which would be great – if they did it with this cream.
Ingredients like Retinol for example – very effective for a variety of reasons, so an obvious choice for the line. The thing is: The cream doesn’t contain any retinol actually, at least not in the true sense of the word. It does contain a retinoid, but we all know that isn’t the same. (More info: The difference between Retinol and Retinoid – your comprehensive guide) .
Confused? I will explain in a bit, but before I start my rant: The line has some good products as well, here is a video with my overall thoughts.
What the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream claims
The Night Cream with 0,3% Retinol and 2% Bakuchiol deeply penetrates the skins upper layer and delivers intense moisture.
Facts about the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream
Prize and size
One tube contains 30 ml and is available for 5,95 € on the website here. It comes with a pump and that pump delivers a good amount of product, so not too much but also not too little.
Texture and smell
It is a cream with a slightly yellow hue, which is typical for Bakuchiol formulations and a regular cream texture. When spreading it over the skin, it doesn’t sink in immediately, but stays visible as white smears for around 30 seconds, after which it disappears. It has a very faint, nt unpleasant cream scent that I can’t really name.
How to use the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream
As the name suggests, the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream is supposed to be used in the evenings. The main reason why you use retinoid creams at night is that retinoids are susceptible to UV light, so when they are exposed to UV radiation, they loose their effect. As this cream doesn’t really contain an active retinoid anyway (I will get to that in the next chapter) and Bakuchiol is not sensitive to light and can be used during the day as well, you could use it both day or night, depending on your skin type and texture preferences.
I feel it leaves a little film after application, which is why I didn’t like it during the day, and I didn’t find it to be extremely hydrating either, so it is probably not enough if you have dry skin.
Ingredients of the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
So now to the main point, why do I say it doesn’t contain retinol, despite saying 0,3% Retinol on the label? If you look closely, the 0,3% Retinol in the name has an asterisk, and if you read the fine print, it will tell you that by 0,3% Retinol, they actually mean Retinylpalmitate, a retinol ester that needs one conversion step to be transformed into Retinol, which then again needs two more conversion steps to be transformed into Retinoic Acid. Now it might be that the concentration of Retinylpalmitate used here is indeed equivalent to 0,3% Retinol when you calculate it, but most data I have seen shows little to no effect of Retinylpalmitate when applied topically whatsoever, no matter the concentration, and I find it incredibly misleading to write 0,3% Retinol in the name when it doesn’t in fact, contain ANY Retinol, but just the weakest retinoid available.
The 2% Bakuchiol is a nice touch, as this seems to be an effective concentration. (More info: Bakuchiol vs retinol – which one is better for you?) I do however prefer true retinoids over Bakuchiol, so that didn’t win me over either. The rest of the formula is pretty simple, with Glycerin as main humectant and Sunflower Seed Oil as emollient
Does it live up to its claims?
It doesn’t contain what it says on the label and I don’t find it to be incredibly hydrating either.
How does it compare to…
Geek and Gorgeous A-Game
Now I get that drugstore retinoids are hard to find, which might make the Balea version appealing to many that don’t want to spend a lot of money. But there are alternatives that I would suggest getting instead, and one of them is the Geek and Gorgeous A-Game, available either with 0,1% or 0,05% Retinal. Now Retinal is not Retinol, but instead Retinaldehyde, which is one conversion step closer to the active form, so potentially more potent than retinol and with better data behind it.
At the same time it is usually well tolerated, so I recommend starting with the 0,05% version and working your way up to the 0,1% over time instead of purchasing the Balea option.
You can read my full review of Geek and Gorgeous A-Game here.
Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend the Balea Beauty Expert Night Cream to?
I would not repurchase, which you probably could already tell by how annoyed I was about the naming. But even if I hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have been a product for my regular routine, I am not the biggest fan of the texture and will probably use it up on my body. If you are pregnant and for this (or other reasons) don’t want to use retinoids, but are looking for a Bakuchiol product at a drugstore price, it might be a good option, but overall it isn’t a product I would recommend.
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