Dr Roebuck's Pure Might Be My Life Moisturizer

You guys! This is one of the purest moisturizers around (hence the name).
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Michelle Villett
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You guys! This is one of the purest moisturizers around (hence the name).

We've talked about Life Cuts. And Life Colours. But in all the years of running this site, I don't think I've ever been so bold as to declare a Life Beauty Product.

(If you're just catching up, by "life", I mean when something is SO good, SO perfectly suited to you, that you just know you'll always wear/use it.) Bill Angst is the creator of my Life Cut and Tony Chaar my Life Colour.

And Dr Roebuck's—an Australian brand that recently debuted in Canada at Murale—is the current top contender for my Life Moisturizer.

Dr Roebuck's Pure

It's called "Pure" and it is indeed that. I've been struggling for a long time to find a moisturizer that isn't filled with questionable chemicals, fillers or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are in everything. (This is why I use serums so much!)

A detailed PUFA explanation is a post for another day, but quickly, they include oils such as sunflower, safflower, argan and soybean—all very popular ingredients right now in moisturizers and straight-up face oils. When you consume these unsaturated oils in your diet, they contribute to premature aging and oxidize quickly with sun exposure, producing free radicals. Since your body can absorb up to 20 percent of what you put on it, I choose not to add apply them topically, either. They may be "natural", but I don't consider them beautifying ingredients at all.

Long story short, I love what's in the Dr Roebuck's product, which is not much:

  • Purified Water
  • Emulsifying Wax
  • Glycerine
  • Liquid Paraffin
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate

That's it. No PUFAs, no weird additives, no parabens (the last two ingredients are actually food preservatives). And they don't use BPA in their containers. Speaking of which, here's what the stuff looks like:

Dr Roebuck's Pure review

It's pure white and very thick in the jar, although it spreads great when you put it on your face. The thick consistency actually reminds me of the creams I used to have for eczema, and although this doesn't contain hydrcortisone, you could definitely use it on any eczema-affected areas. In fact, it's formulated specifically for "sensitive problem skin" that gets allergic reactions to most other creams and strong perfumes.

Of course, anyone could use it, even if you don't consider your skin sensitive. (As I've mentioned before, I actually recommend treating your skin as such anyway.) The non-toxic cream forms a natural shield on the skin that both replenishes and seals in moisture, making it the perfect solution for dry skin and weather-damaged skin (#icestorm13, anyone?).

I am in love with how it feels, which is fast-absorbing and not greasy at all. In fact, it's almost mattifying. Even when you put it on at night and wake up the next morning—there's no oil. None. I've never had that with ANY moisturizer. A little goes a long way, although they do recommend applying a thicker layer if your skin is particularly dry/sensitive. It will make your face white, but will absorb in minutes.

Dr Roebuck's Pure review

One caveat. Although I haven't had any problems, and haven't found anything online about people breaking out from it, I don't know how comedogenic the wax and paraffin ingredients are in this. Yes, they are derivatives of mineral oil, which has a bad rep, but Cosmetics Cop corrects some of the controversy here. If you have acne and are worried, I recommend patch testing. (At Murale, you have 30 days to try the product and if you're not satisfied, return it.) If it doesn't cause you problems, I suspect it'd be a great cream for acneic skin because it's so calming and it restores the moisture barrier.

Although Pure is their claim to fame, Dr Roebuck's also makes a toner (Tone), an anti-aging moisturizer (Face), lip balm (Lips), exfoliator (Polish) and a body balm (Bubs & Bits). I've been using the toner before I apply Pure, and really love it as well—it has an equally short ingredients list and is supposed to be particularly great for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Dr Roebuck's Tone

The history of the company is kinda neat, too. The co-founders' parents were physicians in Australia in the 1970s, and after not being able to find a safe and effective skincare product for their children and patients, they decided to create their own. For Pure, they adapted an old English dermatological formula with their own clinical and practical knowledge—but it wasn't commercially available until daughters Kim Devin and Zoë Kelly launched the Dr Roebuck's brand in 2010. Everything continues to be made in Australia (both products and packaging).

Get the products

You can find Dr Roebuck's exclusively at Murale in North America. For a list of retailers in Australia, see here.

Have your say

Have you tried this moisturizer—or anything else from Dr Roebuck's?
Which ingredients (if any) are you concerned about in skincare products?
Got any other moisturizer recos for dry, sensitive skin?