Nuria, a vegan, plant-based skin-care line founded by Johnson & Johnson veteran Naomi Furgiuele, is meant to combine all the local skin care wisdom hidden in pockets of the world into one encyclopedic master line.
Furgiuele traveled frequently for her former job with Johnson & Johnson and observed that different communities across the globe had different beauty routines specialized to address the common skin problems that arose where they lived, as well as specific ingredients used to solve them.
Nuria products are designed around the natural flora that communities have used locally for centuries to treat their common skin concerns. For instance, the “Rescue” collection is inspired by people who live in lush, warm climates that can beget clogged pores. “Defend” is inspired by large cities in Asia and the necessity of protecting the skin from internal and external aggressors like pollution, and the “Hydrate” collection is inspired by drier, cooler European climates.
Furgiuele, herself a mother of two girls, also observed pervasive gender inequality while traveling across the globe brainstorming skincare for Johnson & Johnson. In an effort to combine profit with purpose, Nuria donates a portion of every sale to She’s the First, a non-profit that fights gender inequality by providing education to girls. All proceeds of select Gift Sets are donated.
On Nuria’s site, you can shop by collection, product category, or skin need.
To get a sense of whether the line could be just as good in real life as it sounded in theory, I tested a variety of the company’s best sellers.
The Nuria skin care I tested
Defend Overnight Recovery Cream, $48: This defensive overnight cream purports to protect skin against its environment. It’s made with seaweed and brown algae found along coastal Japan to combat free radicals. The seaweed works like a super hydrator and also exfoliates dead or dull skin cells and toxins. The algae helps prevent damage to amino acids in the skin, and the formula’s density of fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 help plump the skin.
In person, it’s a relatively lightweight, fast-absorbing overnight cream. Initially, it may feel sticky, but it will absorb completely and quickly if you evenly distribute it. I woke up without any clogged pores, residue, or oiliness in my skin. Combined with the rest of the products, my skin felt and looked clear, hydrated, and fine lines did appear less noticeable. However, the biggest benefits of combatting environmental aggressors are inherently long term.
Hydrate Moisturizing Toner, $24: This moisturizing toner is formulated with Mallow Root, a plant with antioxidant and calming properties found in eastern Europe. The formula also includes rose oil (vitamins, antioxidants), chamomile (hydration, reduced effects of photodamage), aloe leaf juice (organic clarifying and detoxifying agents), and cucumber (decreasing puffiness), among others. It’s lightweight, hydrating, and non-irritating.
Hydrate Moisture Replenishing Serum, $43: This serum is hydrating, lightweight, and fast-absorbing in person – making it easy to layer with other products. It’s made with Squalane (a hero ingredient in many moisturizing skin care products) made from pressed olives and Everlasting Flower, a plant native to Greece that’s known to make skin more vibrant. It also has Sodium Hyaluronate, which is naturally occurring in the body and helps maintain the skin’s moisture.
The product container is a standout with a twist-off stopper top that’s refilled by pressing down on a plastic button. I preferred the design to other serums, however, the price is probably going to be tough to stomach for the average person at $43 for a 25ml jar of serum.
Rescue Rebalancing Cleanser, $26: This cleanser uses the gentle astringency of Japanese mandarin oranges to cleanse the skin and purify clogged pores. A combination of minerals and Rice Water – rich in vitamins B, C, and E – help tighten skin and shrink pores while other ingredients (rosehip oil, loquat extract, and seaweed extract) replenish moisture and exfoliate.
In person, it’s a gentle, non-drying cleanser that would probably work for most skin types. A standout feature was the clever bottle design, which prevents leaks and makes it easier to toss into my gym bag and keep my routine consistent. However, the bottle is still too large for a carry-on.
Defend Triple Action Eye Cream, $40: The Triple Action Eye Cream has mulberry root (brightens, evens skin tone) and ginseng (reduces fine lines) native to China – skin-care ingredients that have been used in the region for centuries. The mix of natural ingredients, vitamins, antioxidants, and sodium hyaluronate work to restore moisture in the delicate under-eye skin and reduce puffiness and dark circles.
This was another instance of a helpful and inventive applicator: The top of the small tube is a slanted, disc-shaped smoothing tip that you can spread the product with – minimizing or negating how much you have to tap or pull at the thin skin. In person, it was a rich, fast-absorbing cream that did make my under-eye skin look brighter. In terms of price, while eye cream is often expensive, I get more bang for my buck from my (currently sold out) $28 go-to.
My overall impression
I liked each of Nuria’s products, but was most impressed by its thoughtful product packaging. It made using its serum easier and cleansers easier to travel with – even if the bottles were still too large for carry-on bags.
It’s difficult to say for certain whether the regional ingredients used in the products really did contribute to a vastly different skin-care experience. But, regardless, the products were great in their own right.
The products are all vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based, and non-irritating, even on my sensitive skin. They’re also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, hydroquinone, mineral oil, coal tar, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, triclosan, triclocarban, and ethanol. It feels good to know none of that is going on your face in your overnight cream and seeping into your pores.
All in all, Nuria is a solid skin-care brand – and one that will send a portion of the money you spent to support girls’ education across the globe. The products are gentle, non-irritating, do what they purport to do, and come in inventive, helpful packaging.
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