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Even before the pandemic hit, the founders of Rodan + Fields planned to reformulate and relaunch their core skin-care regimens. (The three-part aging-focused line, Redefine, relaunched last fall.) But when founders Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields decided to update the formulas on Soothe, the brand's sensitive-skin line, there was no way they could have known just how timely the products would be.
Thanks to mask-wearing, stress, and other side effects of the pandemic, skin concerns like contact dermatitis and acne are on the rise. The Soothe line is formulated to address similar issues. "Depending on the material of the mask, the length of time it's worn, and how tightly it fits, no question mask-wearing — which we do advise — can produce real-time skin problems," says Rodan, a dermatologist herself. She also says the range will "absolutely" assist with skin irritations arising from pandemic-era problems.
Anyone with sensitive skin will benefit from the line, says Rodan, but the new formulas were created especially to provide relief for mild conditions, such as eczema and atopic dermatitis (and even sport seals from the National Eczema Association and National Psoriasis Foundation).
Like all Rodan + Fields ranges, Soothe consists of a multiple-step regimen that's clearly labeled. Soothe has four steps: a gel cleanser, a calming treatment lotion, a rich moisturizing cream, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Fans of the current Soothe regimen will note that the cleanser, previously a cream formula, is relaunching as a gel. There are a few other differences, too — ingredients like calming colloidal oatmeal; a new proprietary peptide complex, which helps create strong, bouncy-looking skin; and, says the brand, internal research showed a visible improvement in eczema and atopic dermatitis flares compared to the former formulas.
Though the range is designed to help treat irritated skin, Fields says you don't necessarily have to be dealing with an intense skin concern to use it. "Weakened skin barrier, inflammation, and sensitivity can happen to everyone," says Fields. She recommends Soothe to those who are looking to strengthen the skin barrier and "preserve a healthy-looking complexion."
According to Gary Goldenberg, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City who is unaffiliated with the brand, Soothe may work to calm mild cases of eczema or psoriasis. "These products contain various ingredients that can soothe the skin — colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, dimethicone, ceramides," says Goldenberg, who reviewed the ingredient list. "In any event, a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen are ideal
He also confirms that, although prescription medications can be needed to treat severe skin conditions, "there are instances in which over-the-counter skin care is enough to treat minor flares."
Testing on my own acne- and rosacea-prone skin, I found myself most excited to reach for the Soothe Calming Gel Cleanser ($45). I'm already a fan of gel-texture skin care, and this provided a lot of slip and a gentle cleanse. If you're wearing a full face of makeup, I'd recommend it as the second step in a double-cleansing routine; for me, it worked well to remove a light layer of concealer.
Next up is the Sensitive Skin Treatment ($90), which felt to me like the most unique product in the line. I typically opt for a serum as the second step in my routine, but instead, the treatment is a light lotion that sunk immediately into skin. According to David Petrillo, a cosmetic chemist and a skin-care brand founder himself, the ingredients seem to have a strong focus on calming and protecting sensitive skin types.
The formula includes allantoin, known for its wound-healing and moisturizing benefits, he explains, while dimethicone is "one of the most effective moisturizing and skin-protectant agents found in beauty products today," working to increase skin softness and elasticity while locking in moisture.
Third, and, of particular note for those with eczema and atopic dermatitis, is the Moisturizing Rescue Cream ($60). It's formulated with ingredients you'll recognize from eczema-fighting products, like colloidal oatmeal (to relieve itch and dryness) and ceramides (to rebuild the skin barrier).
The texture is rich without being gloopy or impossible to rub in like some other "rescue"-oriented moisturizers. I found it best to make my morning tea and let it soak in before layering up with Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($40). It's a perfectly functional mineral sunscreen, but the bottle is a bit small for the price, and it takes a thorough rub to get rid of the chalky, white cast. But since I'm spending most of my time indoors these days, a few extra seconds of blending is no big thing.
Each product is sold individually, and although you can mix and match with other products, the lines are especially helpful for skin-care newbies or people who just want their routine sorted. (In other words, they're foolproof.) But, according to the founders, the products work best when they follow one another.
"Because skin conditions are so complicated, there isn't a singular hero ingredient that will solve any problem, including sensitivity. The true hero is the regimen," says Rodan. "Just like an orchestra: the magic happens when all of the talented players perform in unison. Similarly, our regimens produce the best possible results when used in concert as a daily skin ritual."
The Rodan + Fields Soothe collection launches on March 24 for $190 on rodanandfields.com, or via any Rodan + Fields consultant.
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