I have encountered many wonderful and generous people in the skin-care industry through writing my blog, and no one is more of a standout in this regard than Kris Campbell, the founder of Hale & Hush. After I contacted her about her line, she not only gave me the opportunity to try and feature a complete regimen of products, she also spontaneously donated to the Lupus Research Alliance in my honor. Talk about incredible kindness and compassion.
Hale & Hush is the first and only professional skin care line focused exclusively on sensitive skin. I was intrigued by this immediately, because my skin is both sensitive and inflammation-prone, but if I am honest, I had modest expectations. Most of my experiences with sensitive skin care prior to this had left me feeling like the products were just watered down (e.g., leaving skin without irritation or any real improvements). As the founder of Hale & Hush, Kris Campbell, has written (and I have found to be true), “Many brands carry a sensitive product or series, which may still be too harsh. Others might strip all active ingredients from a product and label it ‘sensitive.” This is not true of Hale & Hush. Hale & Hush has its root in on oncology cosmeceuticals, so they understand health-challenged skin, but at the same time, Ms. Campbell and her team understand that anti-aging and sensitive skin care do not have to be separate products.
Ms. Campbell and her team at Hale & Hush have created a line that brings together the best aspects of gentle and cosmeceutical skincare. They conduct dermatological tests on each product to test for irritation and they also opt for natural herbs, botanicals, and what they term nutricosmetics (i.e., antioxidants and nourishing ingredients) over harsher chemicals. Every Hale & Hush product is gluten-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. Hale & Hush products are also Corneotherapy-supportive, which means that they are restorative and corrective of the stratum corneum and the skin barrier. You can read about some of the benefits of this approach here.
What’s amazing about this line is that it accommodates even the touchiest of skin well without sacrificing on effective active ingredients that deliver results. For example, you can find both a vitamin C and a vitamin A serum in the Hale & Hush line, and both of these products are carefully formulated to be completely non-irritating. As Ms. Campbell explains it, “Our line has the buzz words for anti-aging (retinaldehyde, vitamin C, peptides, probiotics, etc.), but these ingredients may not be in the typical forms that one typically sees in order to avoid triggering irritation or further sensitivity to skin.” Along with carefully chosen forms of key actives, Hale & Hush also includes special soothing ingredients in all their formulas to calm the skin and repair barrier function. Hale & Hush also has several of what they term rescue products, designed to soothe and heal irritation from aggressive treatments and even allergic reactions. I was fortunate enough to try several products in the Hale & Hush line, and I am excited to give you a quick overview of each along with key ingredients and my experience. (Notice as you peruse the key ingredients that they sound almost like exotic ingredients you might see at a posh vegetarian restaurant.)
o Designed to purify and prep
o Key ingredients: mirabilis jalapa extract, moringa seed extract, horse chesnut bark extract, epilobium angustifolium extract, birch tree heart, plantago
lanceolata extract, olive leaf extract
o Quiet Wash offers a soothing, non-drying alternative to harsher cleansers. It left my skin fresh without stripping it of natural moisturizing factors.
o Designed to restore and hydrate
o Key ingredients: sodium hyaluronate, betula alba bark extract, sunflower seed oil, squalene
o Soothe Essence Serum has is light, and easily absorbed, yet it provides a surprising amount of hydration. The serum feels cool and comforting on contact and is packed with actives to tame inflammation, redness, and skin damage.
o Designed to calm and revitalize
o Key ingredients: anthocyanins, neem leaf extract and neem flower extract, amino esters, coccinia indica fruit extract, eggplant fruit extract, aloe extract, henna extract, curuma longa, pearl powder and more
o This is a gentle, moisturizing formula that feels cool and soothing on contact, a real delight for skin that is at all irritated. I found it was great for minimizing redness. It has powerful anti-inflammatory action and protects against environmental damage while delivering lightweight moisture. For maximum effects, this can be used as a mask!
o Designed for barrier repair and to defend against damage
o Key ingredients: shea butter, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, squalene, ceramides, phophatidlycholine, phytoestrols, mirabis jalapa extract, prebiotic and probiotic, pre-fructooligosaccharide, and more
o Vital Lipid Lotion felt very replenishing and wonderful on my skin. Its formulation is designed to mimic the lipids found in a healthy statum corneum. Since the skin barrier tends to be compromised in lupus, I found the barrier repair offered by Vital Lipid Lotion to be especially helpful.
o Designed for optimal moisture and comfort
o Key ingredients: saffron meristem cell extract, shea butter, vitis vinifera seed oil, ricinus communis seed oil, avocado seed oil, sesame seed oil, complex of honey, sodium hyaluronic acid, phospholipis, and sphingolipids
o Saffron Meristem Cream is the richest and perhaps most luxurious product in the entire Hale & Hush line. The actives help to restore the skin barrier, tame inflammation, and-with saffron meristems—provide excellent antioxidant and skin-toning properties. I found it extremely hydrating and soothing, and my skin benefitted.
o Designed to brighten and smooth lines
o Key ingredients: glutamylamidoethyl imidazole, carnosine benfotiamine, perfluorocarbons, sodium hyaluronate, Matrixyl, hydrolyzed hibiscus esculentus extract, daisy flower extract
o Eye Mousse has a rich yet velvety smooth texture. It delivers impressive and visible results, as it successfully plumps and hydrates, improving skin texture and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. My eyes looked and felt so good after their nights with Eye Mousse that I could not resist putting it on my expression lines as well. Eye Mousse has quickly become one of my favorite skin-plumpers out there. My only request is a bigger bottle.
o Designed to calm and conceal
o Key ingredients: glycyrrhetinic acid (licorice root heart), willow bark extract, beta-glucan, boswellia serrata extract, totarol, ursolic acid, calamine, and allantoin
o Relief Bio-Powder is a very unique and extremely functional product for anyone dealing with skin inflammation or redness (whether due to medical issues like lupus, post-procedure, etc.). This is a dual remedy that rescues skin from redness, irritation, and itchiness while concealing redness. Relief Bio-Powder can be used as a powder to conceal or, when mixed with water, as a soothing mask. For anyone with temperamental skin, this is a good product to have on hand.
o Designed for radiance and pore rehab
o Key ingredients: 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid (anti-inflammatory, non-irritating form of vitamin C), sodium hyaluronate, Artemisia vulgaris/algae extract, beta glucan, witch hazel, lecithin
o Rare C Serum is the least irritating vitamin C serum I have ever used, and it does not sacrifice results. Skin is brighter and more even, and redness is diminished rather than exacerbated!
o Designed to stimulate collagen and rehab tone
o Key ingredients: IconicA (a patented, optimized form of vitamin A, performs close to retinoic acid, yet is the least skin-irritating vitamin A), carnosine benfotiamine, albizzia julibrissin, carnitine, resistem, niacinamide, and more
o Rare Retinal Serum was effective at lessening lines and improving firmness, and it accomplished these results without triggering any redness or irritation whatsoever, which is remarkable given the way my sensitive skin generally responds to vitamin A (i.e., by turning red, drying out, and actually looking older rather than younger). Another thing that is extraordinary about this serum is that it combines vitamin A with one of nature’s most potent anti-glycation ingredients, albizzia juibrissin from the Persian silk tree. Rare Retinal Serum is a comprehensive, dynamic, and effective anti-aging product that I found to be hydrating and anti-inflammatory.
o Designed to shield and hydrate
o Key ingredients: zinc oxide 13.5%, ergothioneine, red algae extract, aleurites moluccana seed oil
o Zinc oxide is my favorite form of protection, and Hale & Hush includes it at a potent level in this light, moisturizing cream that is accurately described as “dual shield and hydrate.” If you are used to zinc oxide leaving you with white smears, worry not: Hale & Hush completely avoids this common pitfall, with a zinc oxide product that blends easily and seamlessly, leaving skin moisturized and soothed. The key ingredients above only scratch the surface of the beneficial ingredients in this formulation; needless to say you are getting an abundance of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. I have to say it again, this blends seamlessly despite 13.5% zinc oxide!
My skin improved dramatically after using Hale & Hush products. In fact, I did a couple of video conferences with another skin care company, one before using Hale & Hush, and the other when I was a few weeks into the Hale & Hush regimen, and on the second call, the company’s esthetician immediately wanted to know what I was doing that was working so well for my skin. My skin had done a 180, going from red and irritated to calm, even, and—dare I say it—plump! Something about applying great actives and hydration while repairing the skin barrier did wonders for my skin.
Using Hale & Hush products, I finally realized that I don’t have to be aggressive in my approach to my skin, and that my sensitive skin looks a lot better—even in terms of anti-aging results—when I treat it with products that are designed not to trigger reactivity. Hale & Hush products deliver results while treating skin with respect. I give Hale & Hush my highest recommendation, especially for anyone who has health-compromised skin, skin prone to inflammation, and/or wants an anti-aging regimen that works with your skin rather than against it.
Hale & Hush products are available from: