Unilever provided me with sample containers of Simple Ultra Light Gel Moisturizer and Simple Nourishing 24 Hr. Day/Night Cream in return for an honest review.
The Simple line includes a wide variety of skin care items, including facial scrubs, light and heavy moisturizers with and without sunscreen and foaming face cleansers. You can find Simple products at most drug stores and big box retailers like Walmart, where they cost between $5 and $10 each - certainly on the low-end of the cost spectrum and competitive with store brand prices.
The Simple brand has a 50-year history in the U.K. and had its U.S. debut in 2012.
Simple ingredient list
Simple products aim to pare down the number of potentially irritating ingredients. I counted the ingredients in Simple Ultra Light Gel Moisturizer and came up with about 13.
Then, I tallied the number of ingredients in another brand of light moisturizer, labeled as "all natural" and costing 50 percent more than Simple for a significantly smaller bottle. I came up with nearly 30 ingredients in that one - more than twice as many as I found in the comparable Simple product.
The Simple moisturizers I tried have very little aroma, probably due to their lack of harsh perfumes. The cream is white in color with a rich, smooth texture. It worked quite well on the dry skin around my lips and on my neck, softening and protecting without causing irritation. A little bit goes a long way, too. You only need a small dab to do the job.
With the light gel moisturizer, I needed to use a bit more, but not an unreasonable amount, and it also did a nice job of moisturizing without irritation.
I tried both products around my eyes, and neither caused the eye burn I've found with almost any other product I've used in that area.
Neither the light gel nor the day/night cream contains sunscreen, but Simple does have a light moisturizer product with SPF 15. Some women experience breakouts from using sunscreen on their faces, and some just prefer to use a non-sunscreen formula, either all the time or at night. With Simple, you have a choice of buying moisturizer with or without the sunscreen.
The Simple moisturizers I tried also don't contain anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, which many women, myself included, find too harsh for their skin.
Every individual is different, and fewer ingredients doesn't necessarily mean that something in the product won't irritate a particular person's skin. If you have sensitive, acne-prone or rash-inclined skin, you'll probably want to try any new product on an inconspicuous patch of skin for a few days before deciding whether it's for you.
If you're looking for a great moisturizer that doesn't load up on gimmicky additives and has a reasonable pricetag, Simple's products definitely deserve a try.