Pretty Peek: Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15 Wednesday 14 March, 2012

Refinery29 announces its exclusive online retail partnership with Aesop to push its new Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15, beginning March 29 through April 16th—and I discover why people can’t get enough of this botanicals-meets-science brand.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Aesop when Refinery29 invited me to a pre-launch event for Aesop’s new Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15. Because of this fact, I was a wee bit sheepish when I walked through the doors of Aesop’s beautiful University Place NYC location. See, Refinery29 will be the exclusive retail partner of this covetable facial cream, beginning March 29 through April 16th—before it even hits the shelves of any of its brick and mortar locations. When I spoke to the gals at Refinery29, I didn’t elude to the fact that I know virtually nothing about Aesop, but I did ask, “Why this? Why now?” Quite simply: The gals at Refinery29 love the brand, and such a partnership made sense to them. I nodded—but I needed to know more.

It was then that I was whisked away on a quick info trek by one of the store’s Aesop guides—and I got the education I wanted. Aesop was born in Australia in 1987, when former hairstylist Dennis Paphitis decided there needed to be more beauty products that utilize the goodness of plant-derived ingredients. Such beauty products also needed to be efficacious—and therein lies the rub: Pumping a product full of botanicals, but no synthetics, doesn’t always yield exemplary results. So Aesop doesn’t claim to be a “natural” brand—in fact, they’re pretty dead-set in not being perceived that way—because the company not only uses carefully sourced botanical ingredients, but also man-made ingredients that help the products deliver on their claims—even if those ingredients need to be synthesized in a laboratory, Aesop believes in doing so to the safest degree.

 Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream

And that idea takes form with this newest product: Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15. This handy tube (or jar—it’s available in both forms) is a little bit of a enigma: It’s highly hydrating, but also lightweight so as not to clog fragile facial pores; it’s filled with micronized zinc oxide to protect skin, yet doesn’t leave behind a chalky veil. And though the cream’s zinc doesn’t leave skin tinged white, no nanoparticles are at play; the micronization of the zinc allows it to be small enough to “disappear” yet still large enough to not permeate the skin—and this feat took the company years to perfect. (Ah, the pursuit of safety!) The product delivers antioxidant protection via vitamin E; clarifies with sandalwood; and calms skin by way of sage leaf extract. As a quick test, I work a dollop of the cream into the back of my hand at the start of my visit; immediately, I notice no whitening due to the zinc oxide. And when I leave 45 minutes later, my hand still feels smooth, but never greasy.

Aesop is still fairly new to the U.S.; my guide tells me that most people who wander into the NYC locations typically have discovered Aesop in their travels abroad. (The brand can be found in the rooms of many high-end hotels.) So they wash their hands in Hong Kong, fly home, and rush to Aesop to buy up as much hair and skin care as they can? This story, my guide says, is not uncommon to the Aesop brand. I suppose this further reinforces Refinery29’s simple explanation for the retail partnership: “We love the brand.” One’s reasoning can’t get much better than that.

Visit Refinery29.com March 29 through April 16 to purchase Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15.

Karie L. Frost Signature

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