I placed an order with Beauty Habit recently and received a pair of Dr Ci-Labo Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich Lift EX, each 1.5g/0.05oz.
Having had the ammonia-filled experience below with 2 of my mini 10g jars from Japan, I tore open these two sample packets to see whether they would stink. Well guess what, they DO! Granted they weren't as overpoweringly odorous like my two jars, but the ammonia stench is present and still obviously discernible. My god, I just don't understand who would buy this stuff! Who would knowingly apply a gel that reeks of ammonia? Not me. I tossed these two packets into the trash after taking a sniff (and photos for proof, of course). So I guess this is it for me, no more Dr.Ci:Labo anything.
Original post September 4, 2014.
I had a total of 2 mini 10g jars of Dr Ci:Labo Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich Lift EX I received back in 2012, right before I left Japan. They were from 2 separate sample packs, the Gold Lift Set and the Gold Lift Sample Set. Last week I finally took one out, intending to use as a daytime moisturizer.
I have been storing all my cosmetics and skincare products very well. I had to. As you can see from some of my reviews, it could be a couple of years until I can get to using a product. To keep my items fresh, my rule of thumb is that until I'm ready to use it, its manufacturer's shrink wrap and/or sticker is not to be removed. In the case the product is not sealed, the jar/bottle/tube/what-have-you is not to be opened up and the product inside exposed to the air. This is how everything degrades - exposure to oxygen!
Dr Ci:Labo Gold Lift Set
And actually, I go further than merely not opening up the products until I use it. If it's not sealed with the manufacturer's shrink wrap and only has a sticker on it, as in the case of these mini jars, or has nothing at all, I seal it myself with commercial-grade saran wrap before storing it away in a cool and dry place. This method has helped me preserved my
So imagine my shock upon unwrapping my mini jar of this Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich Lift EX, peeling its manufacturer's sticker off of, opening it up and got smacked in the face with rank ammonia. And by rank I mean extremely strong. Yes, AMMONIA! My god, it reeked! So I started googling for various reviews of it online to see if others have complained of strong ammonia odor, but I found nothing! Could it be one of my jar came from a bad batch? Intrigued, I opened the second jar, and my jaw dropped because it too stank! What's going on? I never even opened either of these jars and further sealed them myself! And there was no discoloration or separation of liquids whatsoever (see for yourself below)! Just the smell!
Bewildered, I dug out the 10g jar of Aqua Collagen Gel Super Moisture (will review next), from the Super Moisture Sample Set I received at the same time as the Gold Lift Sample Set. Since I had received all 3 sample sets at the same time, and this Super Moisture jar has the same manufacturer sticker which prompted me to then seal with my trusty saran wrap, my logic was that this Super Moisture gel too must have gone bad, after all they have similarly gigantic list of ingredients! But nope, it's perfectly fine, still unscented and having no smell at all! In fact, I'm using it right now in place of this stinking Enrich Lift EX! What the hell?!?
Anyway, back to Enrich Lift EX. Curious, I applied some to the back of my hand. If the gel had gone bad, surely there would be a reaction of some kind, at least some redness, if not a tingling burning sensation. Nope, no sensation, no redness, nothing. I tried it on both of my hands. Still nothing. I tried it on my neck (eeps!). Still nothing. Emboldened, I tried some on my chin (don't be crazy like me, folks!!!). Still nothing. I was thoroughly confused, so I consulted with my Pharm-D sister (the one with the chemistry and bio-chemistry degrees and yet has absolutely no interest whatsoever in skincare or cosmetics, go figure...). My sister didn't know about this product, but she started telling me about mutations in the collagen structure that causes lethal diseases. What?!? Dude, are you speaking English?!?! So I'm back to my BLIND GUESS that there must be an unstable ingredient in this particular formula of "Enrich Lift EX", one that breaks down into or releases ammonia over time.
So I thought I'd look up the ingredients for myself, after all Dr.Ci:Labo brand now has a US online shop. Imagine my shock when I saw the ingredients list below. This is not a joke, folks, it really is the list of ingredients! Dare I say no wonder it smells bad?!? They probably went through the whole freakin' periodic table and dumped a little bit of everything into this gel - did you see the "gold" and the "platinum powder"? Seriously?!? And cholesterol in a skin gel, really? If you're really curious about this brand, I'd say go for the Super Sensitive version of this Aqua Collagen Gel, because that list of ingredients shows hell of a lot more restraint than this one. And will someone do me a favor and remind the docs at Dr.Ci:Labo to take their meds?
Dr Ci:Labo Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich Lift EX:
WATER, GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SQUALANE, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, BETAINE, GLYCOSYL TREHALOSE, GOLD, PLATINUM POWDER, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, HYDROLYZED ELASTIN, METHYL CARBOXYMETHYLPHENYL AMINOCARBOXYPROPYLPHOSPHONATE, PROCOLLAGEN, PORPHYRIDIUM CRUENTUM EXTRACT, ACETYL DIPEPTIDE-1 CETYL ESTER, QUERCUS SUBER BARK EXTRACT, DIPALMITOYL HYDROXYPROLINE, CYATHEA CUMINGII LEAF EXTRACT, PLANKTON EXTRACT, PORPHYRIDIUM POLYSACCHARIDE, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) GERM EXTRACT, ROSA HYBRID FLOWER EXTRACT, PRUNUS MUME FRUIT EXTRACT, PASSIFLORA EDULIS FRUIT EXTRACT, THIOCTIC AC, UBIQUINONE, RESVERATROL, SOY ISOFLAVONES, PUERARIA MIRIFICA ROOT EXTRACT, PUNICA GRANATUM EXTRACT, SOLUBLE PROTEOGLYCAN, PLACENTAL PROTEIN, CUCUMIS MELO (MELON) PHYTOPLACENTA EXTRACT, TRIFLUOROACETYL TRIPEPTIDE-2, SOLUBLE COLLAGEN, SUCCINOYL ATELOCOLLAGEN, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN PG-PROPYL METHYLSILANEDIOL, ISOSTEAROYL HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, SODIUM HYALURONATE, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HYALURONATE, HYDROLYZED HYALURONIC ACID, SODIUM ACETYLATED HYALURONATE, C12-13 ALKYL GLYCERYL HYDROLYZED HYALURONATE, CERAMIDE 1, CERAMIDE 2, CERAMIDE 3, CERAMIDE 5, CERAMIDE 6 II, DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE, TAURINE, LYSINE HCL, GLUTAMIC ACID, GLYCINE, LEUCINE, HISTIDINE HCL, SERINE, VALINE, SODIUM ASPARTATE, THREONINE, ALANINE, ISOLEUCINE, ALLANTOIN, PHENYLALANINE, ARGININE, PROLINE, TYROSINE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, SODIUM RIBOFLAVIN PHOSPHATE, PYRIDOXINE HCL, TRISODIUM ASCORBYL PALMITATE PHOSPHATE, TOCOPHEROL, PUERARIA LOBATA ROOT EXTRACT, POLYGONUM CUSPIDATUM ROOT EXTRACT, CIMICIFUGA RACEMOSA ROOT EXTRACT, ANGELICA POLYMORPHA SINENSIS ROOT EXTRACT, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, HIBISCUS ESCULENTUS FRUIT EXTRACT, TRIFOLIUM PRATENSE (CLOVER) FLOWER EXTRACT, CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS OIL, PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS OIL, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL, ORIGANUM MAJORANA LEAF OIL, CYMBOPOGON MARTINI OIL, MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) OIL, VETIVERIA ZIZANOIDES ROOT OIL, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) OIL, HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE, DIGLYCERIN, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PHYTOSTERYL MACADAMIATE, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, CHOLESTEROL, PHYTOSPHINGOSINE, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) STEROLS, OCTYLDODECANOL, ALGIN, XANTHAN GUM, CARBOMER, HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, SODIUM LAUROYL LACTYLATE, DEXTRAN, PULLULAN, ISOSTEARIC ACID, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, SORBITAN LAURATE, PEG-12 DIMETHICONE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, PENTASODIUM PENTETATE, CARAMEL, PHENOXYETHANOL.
***List of ingredients from Dr.Ci:Labo USA.