Many a skincare company has been launched because its founder couldn’t find the right product for their problematic skin. IT Cosmetics was founded by Jamie Kern Lima who needed camera-ready foundation to cover her rosacea. When Adam Grossman couldn’t find a solution for his psoriasis, his research led him to Irish seaweed, which sparked the creation of Sea Calm Skin. Lilli Gordon wanted to find safe but effective products that would work on her sensitive skin – while also feeling luxurious. The result? First Aid Beauty, a Sephora favorite that was recently bought by Proctor & Gamble. Here’s a look at First Aid Beauty (FAB), what products it sells and is it right for you?
What Is First Aid Beauty?
First Aid Beauty debuted in 2009 but Gordon herself was no stranger to the beauty world. The Boston-based entrepreneur had a career in finance before joining the skincare company Fresh in its early years. She helped negotiate its sale to LVMH in 1999 and was then deciding her next career steps. As she told the website Beauty in the Bag, she was inspired to create FAB “because as someone with sensitive skin, I tired of the boring products at the drugstore that had horrible textures and irritating ingredients.”
What Is the Concept Behind First Aid Beauty?
First Aid Beauty products are meant to be the daily go-to products in a beauty regimen but also work in emergencies. As Gordon told Beauty in a Bag, “You have your feel good products, your classic beauty products, your doctor brands, but you don’t have fundamental, work horse products that everyone can really rely on generally and also for specific, emergency problems. Every household has a first aid kit and every household needs first aid beauty products. That’s when I realized I had the name for my business.”
FAB products are designed to be safe, effective and soothing for all skin types, including those with dull skin, eczema, dark spots, combination skin and wrinkles.
What Does First Aid Beauty Sell?
FAB sells skincare and makeup products. Here’s a breakdown.
FAB Ultra Repair Cream- According to the company one tub of this cult-favorite cream was sold every 3.34 minutes in US Sephora stores. The rich body and face cream is jam packed with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, eucalyptus oil and ceramides, and is designed to soothe eczema and dry skin.
Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer- This two-in-one moisturizer and primer is formulated with coconut water, quinoa protein, minerals and micro-pearls for a dose of brightening power.
FAB Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream – This facial cream can be applied twice a day to help strengthen the skin barrier while also delivering deep hydration. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, ceramides and colloidal oatmeal.
FAB Facial Radiance Pads- Soaked with lactic and glycolic acids, these pads can be used daily for a gentle exfoliation.
FAB Pure Skin Gentle Foaming Face Cleanser with Amino Acids – Designed for all skin types, this foaming cleanser delivers a deep clean while leaving skin balanced and soft with soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, aloe and bisabolol.
FAB Serums & Treatments
FAB Facial Radiance AHA Intensive Peel – This potent peel needs just three minutes to help get smooth, glowing skin. Lactic and salicylic acid helps dissolve dead skin cells while kaolin and activated charcoal help purify skin.
FAB Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum- Two pumps of this serum are meant to leave skin hydrated all day, thanks to hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides and colloidal oatmeal.
FAB Ultra Repair Body Scrub Grapefruit – Pumice buffing beads help get rid of dry, dull skin while shea butter and coconut oil boost moisture levels.
Hello FAB Bendy Avocado Concealer – Available in 11 shades, this lightweight concealer offers buildable coverage. Avocado oil helps keep skin hydrated while caffeine helps to de-puff eyes.
FAB Pure Skin Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover – Eye makeup is whisked away with this gentle but effective formula that is powered by the humectant panthenol, vitamin E and chamomile water.
How Much Do First Aid Beauty Products Cost?
FAB products have a mid-point price range. A six ounce jar of FAB Ultra Repair Cream sells for $32, the Pure Skin Face Cleanser is $21 and Facial Radiance Pads are $32. Some of the priciest products include the 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 for $40, and FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream With Triple Hyaluronic Acid for $42.
Is First Aid Beauty Cruelty Free?
Yes. According to Cruelty Free Kitty, FAB says they don’t test on animals during the production of their products. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law.
What Ingredients Are in First Aid Beauty Products?
As the company explains on its website, FAB products are “formulated with only clean, skin-loving ingredients.” The company says it has over 1,300 ingredients on its no-no list, including artificial colorants and artificial fragrances, parabens, lanolin, phthalates, petrolatum, formaldehydes and hydroquinone. Most products are formulated with naturally derived ingredients including skin soothing colloidal oatmeal, which is a key ingredient in its Ultra Repair Cream and Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer; aloe; coconut; hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water; skin brightening vitamin C and retinol, a vitamin A derivative that is the gold standard for softening the look of fine lines and dark spots.
More exotic ingredients include quinoa protein micro pearls, sea buckthorn and mushroom extract. Turmeric extract and rose of Jericho in Hello FAB Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask. Pepha tight (an algae based blend), benoitine (marine plankton extract) and eijitsu rose are key ingredients in the 5 in 1 Face Mask.
Where Can I Buy First Aid Beauty Products?
FAB products are sold on its website, and at Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, QVC and Skinstore.com
Do First Aid Beauty Products Work?
Beauty and skincare is not a one sized all approach. A little trial and error is always necessary, as one person’s hero product may do nothing for you. It’s always helpful to look at customer reviews and editorial write ups as a starting point.
FAB products have received plenty of press coverage since its launch in 2009. Its best known products is the Ultra Repair Cream, which was a 2016 Allure Best of Beauty Winner. In 2019 a writer for Refinery29 sampled and reviewed every single FAB product. Her conclusion? “Because with just about every cleanser, moisturizer, mask, eye cream, and serum I tried, I came to just about the same impossible conclusion: It’s really good. (Also, why doesn’t this cost more?) … Overall, my month and a half of testing nearly 35 products proved overwhelmingly positive.” Some of the products that didn’t get high marks were the Facial Radiance Intensive Peel (it burned too much) and the writer felt the Ultra Repair Cannabis & Oat Dry Oil had a “dank” smell.
The editors at Allure had plenty of praise for the Ultra Repair Cream in 2016. “Hallelujah and a million emoji hands to the sky: Someone finally concocted a moisturizer that’s elegant, effective, and affordable enough for us to smear on our face and body, whatever the irritation — eczema patches, beard burn, retinoid-induced raw spots, chafed limbs, chapped nostrils.” The editors noted that the cream works best as a spot treatment, “providing intense hydration and relief to irked areas. It dries the teeniest bit too tacky to wear under full-face makeup or sunscreen.”
So what do real customers think of Fab products? On Sephora.com, the Ultra Repair Cream gets a 4.6 out of 5 star rating from more than 6,000 reviews and 150,000 “loves.” LeilaBeauty called it “My holy grail moisturizer!!!” Greg0428 called it “great therapy – this product is so gentle and amazing that it almost makes me cry.” Those who didn’t love it cited an off putting smell or said it did nothing for them. Rat9 wrote that she wanted to love it but “unfortunately, after a while I noticed that it isn’t hydrating, even when used on wet skin.” LALady95 wrote that it burned her skin.
The Pure Skin Face Cleanser has 3,000 reviews and 80,000 “loves,” and an overall 4.4 out of 5 star rating. Kbpa wrote that “This cleanser saved my skin!!!” and TeacherCreature said “My search is over.” Customers who gave it low feedback, like MMG5, said it made them break out, or didn’t find it to be special, like dmkamb who wrote, “In the morning my skin was literally peeling with dry patches. I have never had such a bad reaction to a skin care product.”
The Facial Radiance Pads are also well-regarded on Sephora, with a 4.3 rating and 70,000 “loves.” Fans wrote, “Never seen such results so fast!” and “Happily impressed.” Those that didn’t love it complained about the smell and a tacky finish, like JParti: “… they have a[n] unpleasant smell and left a tacky, sticky residue on the skin so much so that I only used these at night.”
What Are Some Alternatives to First Aid Beauty?
First Aid Beauty may not be for everyone, either because they don’t react well with your skin or you tried it and it did nothing for you. There are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin. For polished looking skin, try Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum. It contains plant based acids to gently slough off old skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin. The serum also works to tackle unevenness and blotchiness.
Hydrated skin looks healthy and dewy. If you like the feel of a lightweight moisturizer, try Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.