U Beauty is a skin care brand that was founded by Tina Craig, an entrepreneur and pioneer of influencer marketing and luxury skin care. Tina was inspired to launch U Beauty with the belief that achieving beautiful skin doesn’t need to be complicated. And with just three products in the U Beauty collection, this brand definitely keeps things simple. But can the U Beauty skin care products really improve the look of your skin?
To answer this question, we’ll review the U Beauty skin care products with a scientific lens. That means we’ll discuss the research that supports (or doesn’t support) the ingredients that you’ll find in these products. We’ll also share some U Beauty reviews so you can get a better idea of what customers really think about these products.
What Are The Best U Beauty Skin Care Products?
The U Beauty collection only consists of three products at the time of writing this review: Resurfacing Compound, Super Hydrator, and Sculpt Arm Compound. Here’s a breakdown of each of these U Beauty skin care products.
U Beauty Resurfacing Compound
- Anti-aging serum that is said to replace up to 6 products in a typical skin care routine
- Formulated to brighten, resurface, renew, tighten, equalize, and defend, visibly improving skin appearance in just 3 to 6 days
- Key ingredients include aloe, vitamin C, glycerin, witch hazel, sodium hyaluronate, glycolic acid, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and retinyl palmitate
- Tested for safe use on all skin types and skin tones
- Tested for safe use around the eyes
- Contains a low concentration of one synthetic fragrance ingredient (methyl dihydrojasmonate)
U Beauty Super Hydrator
- Facial moisturizer that is said to hydrate and resolve compromised barrier functionality where skin is most parched
- Contains U Beauty’s proprietary HYDRA-SIREN Capsule, which allows this moisturizer to effectively transport more water by weight to the deep layers of skin
- Key ingredients include squalane, shea butter, argan oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, panthenol, and vitamin E
- Tested for safe use on all skin types and skin tones
- Tested for safe use around the eyes
- Contains a high concentration of one synthetic fragrance ingredient (methyl dihydrojasmonate). In fact, there’s more of this fragrance ingredient than hyaluronic acid in this formula!
U Beauty Sculpt Arm Compound
- Body moisturizer that is said to visibly tighten, tone, and sculpt skin on the arms
- The second highest concentration ingredient in this formula is denatured alcohol, an ingredient that leads to skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier
- Also contains a high concentration of the synthetic fragrance ingredient methyl dihydrojasmonate. In fact, there’s more of this fragrance ingredient than the “key” ingredients
- The remainder of the formula mostly consists of glycerin, butylene glycol (solvent, humectant), cyclopentasiloxane (silicone), dicaprylyl carbonate (emollient), grape seed oil, and caffeine
What Are The Key Ingredients in U Beauty Skin Care Products?
The formulation philosophy behind the U Beauty skin care products is the brand’s patent-pending technology called “SIREN Capsules”. According to the brand, these microscopic molecules mimic the properties that naturally appear in healthy skin, and are designed to “lure free radicals to it like a magnet”. What’s in the SIREN Capsule can vary, but a SIREN always interacts with the skin in the same way.
While we appreciate the innovation, we can’t ignore the fact that two out of the three products in the U Beauty skin care collection include high concentrations of ingredients that will likely do more harm than good for your skin.
For instance, the highest concentration ingredient in U Beauty Sculpt Arm Compound (after water) is denatured alcohol. The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems like it’s benefitting the skin. Initially, alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, immediately degreases the skin, and imparts a weightless feel. However, these effects are temporary and will disappear once you wash off the product.
You’ll notice that this formula also contains a high concentration of the humectant glycerin and the silicone cyclopentasiloxane. Combining denatured alcohol with glycerin and silicones will provide an effect that disguises signs of aging. You see, alcohol tightens the skin, glycerin hydrates the skin and thereby plumps skin, and silicones form a thin, invisible film that can help disguise signs of aging. Once again, these effects are temporary!
The major problem with using high concentrations of denatured alcohol is that this ingredient is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. Furthermore, alcohol can disrupt the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), according to a publication in the journal BBA Biomembranes. While alcohol may provide short term benefits, it’s not doing your skin any good in the long run.
We also have to point out that both the U Beauty Sculpt Arm Compound and U Beauty Super Hydrator contain a pretty high concentration of methyl dihydrojasmonate, a synthetic fragrance ingredient. We understand that customers would like their skin care products to smell pleasant, but this ingredient (or any fragrance ingredient) isn’t doing your skin any good.
All fragrance ingredients (whether natural or synthetic) impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the ingredient, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term. This is something to keep in mind before purchasing U Beauty skin care products, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Where to Buy U Beauty Skin Care Products?
U Beauty skin care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as a few third party online retailers, such as VioletGrey.com, SkinStore.com, and Amazon.com.
What is The U Beauty Return Policy?
The U Beauty return policy states, “We think you’ll love our products, but if you’re not completely satisfied, we have an easy return policy. Simply email us with your order number and the item(s) you’d like to return at [email protected] within 60 days of purchase. We will provide return authorization and shipping instructions. Shipping costs incurred for returns will be the responsibility of the customer. All refunds will be issued to the original form of payment within 10 business days of receipt. Shipping charges will not be refunded.”
Is U Beauty Cruelty Free?
Yes, U Beauty is cruelty free and the products are officially Leaping Bunny Certified. Leaping Bunny Certification means U Beauty Skin Care products are free of animal testing at every stage of product development.
U Beauty Reviews
U Beauty reviews on the brand’s website are a mix of positive and negative. The product with the most reviews is the U Beauty Resurfacing Compound, which has received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 250 customer reviews.
The positive U Beauty Resurfacing Compound reviews mention that it really does help to improve the look of skin, such as brightening the skin tone, minimizing the appearance of pores, and promoting a firmer complexion. For example, one U Beauty review says, “Excellent product… I’ve seen improvement in the texture of my skin with regard to clarity, tightness and minimized pores!”
And another U Beauty Resurfacing Compound review says, “Love the product, it’s lightweight and is very smooth when applied to the face. The product works really well. My skin looks amazing the next day. My skin tone is getting more even and my skin is getting brighter.”
Then, there are a few negative U Beauty Resurfacing Compound reviews. Most of these reviews are from customers who think this product is too expensive. For example, one review says, “Very easy to apply smoothly, however, the price is too high. Wish it was more affordable.”
Overall, we think that U Beauty Resurfacing Compound is formulated well, but the other two U Beauty skin care products contain high concentrations of ingredients that can do more harm than good for your skin.
- Products packaged in opaque, airless pump bottles
- U Beauty Resurfacing Compound contains high concentrations of key ingredients
- Many positive U Beauty Resurfacing Compound reviews
- U Beauty is cruelty free
- U Beauty Sculpt Arm Compound contains a very high concentration of denatured alcohol
- U Beauty Super Hydrator contains a high concentration of a synthetic fragrance ingredient
- High price point (e.g. U Beauty Resurfacing Compound costs $148 USD for 1 fl oz)
What Are Some Alternatives to U Beauty Skin Care Products?
Since we don’t recommend all of the U Beauty skin care products, we wanted to give you a couple alternatives to consider. First up is Formulyst, a cruelty free skin care brand that believes in long-term skin care treatments rather than short-term cover-ups.
If you’re looking for a hydrating moisturizer, we recommend Formulyst’s Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. This lightweight formula includes sodium hyaluronate, which attracts atmospheric moisture and transforms it into intense hydration for your skin. It also contains jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil to balance oil production. Both of these botanical oils are non-comedogenic, so you don’t have to worry about clogged pores or breakouts. Overall, Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer can help the skin to feel softer and smoother while promoting a healthier, more youthful appearance.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals as well as the preservatives, emulsifiers, and thickeners commonly found in Skin Care products.
BBA Biomembranes, May 2012, pages 1410-1419