Have you heard of Epicé Skincare?
Founded by Dr Michael S. Spicer, the brand specialises in therapeutic moisturizers for children with eczema and psoriasis.
My first thought was, “Cool! High time someone created safe skincare products for eczema and psoriasis suffers.”
My second thought, “Wait! What?! This stuff has fragrance, alcohol, and other irritating stuff that could trigger a flare-up in sensitive skin…”
Should you check them out or is it better to stay away? Here’s a quick guide to Epicé Skincare to help you make the right choice:
Epicé Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($27.00)
Let’s start with the good. Epicé Hydrating Facial Cleanser uses one of the gentlest surfactants on the market: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. Derived from coconut oil, AML gently removes dirt and impurities from the skin without disrupting the skin’s protective barrier. The bad bit? It also has fragrance, a wild card that could inflame your skin… or not. You won’t know until you try it. One more thing: the cleanser has its fair share of antioxidants, but they won’t do much when you rinse them down the drain…
VERDICT: An effective and gentle cleanser. But it’s a bit too pricey for what it does.
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Epicé Restorative Toner ($27.00)
Epicé Restorative Toner is another mixed bag. It has plenty of aloe vera, a soothing plant that contains glycoproteins to help speed up the healing process by reducing pain and inflammation, and polysaccharides that stimulate growth and repair. Plus, mandelic acid, a gentle exfoliant that gets rid of the dead cells that are roughing up your skin and robbing it of its glow. Still, that’s not something I’d use everyday even on normal skin that has no problems whatsoever. Exfoliate only in moderation, ladies! But the real problem are the fragrance and alcohol denat. Alcohol thins the texture and helps actives better penetrate the skin, but it can be drying and irritating. Do a patch test before you use this.
VERDICT: Poor. Although it contains some antioxidants and soothing ingredients, the high amount of alcohol can cause problems for sensitive skin.
Epicé Therapeutic Moisturizer ($15.00)
Epicé Therapeutic Moisturizer is one of the best products from the brand. For starters, it’s fragrance-free. Phew! Plus, it has a blend of glycerin, safflower oil, and shea butter to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, protect skin from harsh weather and other irritants, and deeply moisturise skin. Oh, and some aloe vera to help soothe irritation. My only criticism is the inclusion of Methylisothiazolinone, one of the most irritating preservatives used in skincare. There is only a tiny amount in here, but it may still cause a negative reaction to those sensitive to it.
VERDICT: Despite the unfortunate choice of preservative, I think this is a good, but basic, moisturizer for dry and inflamed skin.
Epicè Epicell Recovery Serum ($75.00)
Stem cells are just glorified antioxidants. An apple stem cell can turn into an apple leaf or an apple branch, but there’s no way it can create a new patch of skin or regenerate anything in your body. That’s stretching science into science fiction. What Epicé Epicell Recovery Serum does is hydrate skin. Carrageenans, a polysaccharide that’s extracted from seaweed, has excellent water binding properties. So does Sodium Hyaluronate. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions.
VERDICT: A good hydrating – and terribly overpriced! – serum.
Epicé Hydrating Facial Mask ($35.00)
I wouldn’t recommend Epicé Hydrating Facial Mask to people with dry skin. Sure, it has sunflower oil to moisturize skin, glycerine to hydrate it, and ceramides to restore skin’s barrier function (which is often impaired by eczema). Plus, aloe vera to soothe skin and a bunch of antioxidants to help fight premature aging. So, what’s the problem? It has also bentonite and kaolin, two clays that can easily absorb sebum from your skin. Handy if your skin produces too much. Not so much if your skin is already dry and needs all the moisture it can get.
VERDICT: A good clay mask best suited for those with normal to oily skin.
Epicé Purifying Exfoliant ($32.00)
Epicé Purifying Exfoliant is an exfoliating cleanser. It uses gentle surfactants to help water mix with excess oil and dirt, so they can be rinsed away, and polyethylene beads to manually exfoliate skin. And that’s the problem. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, your skin is too sensitive for manual exfoliation. Oh, and it has fragrance, too. Ouch!
VERDICT: An exfoliating cleanser that’s too harsh for sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line
I expected more from Epicé. It has some good skincare picks, but a lot of the products are too harsh for the sensitive, eczema and psoriasis prone skin they’re aimed at.
Have you ever tried Epicé products? Let me know in the comments below.