Pros: Cheaper in price than the Original Formula
Cons: Doesn't work on dry hands, feet, and elbows
As long term user of Curel, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw the blue bottles replacing the familiar white bottle on my drugstore shelf. Asking at the pharmacy about the change, I was informed that Kao now owns the Curel brand and reformulated the products, even the Original Formula, which has survived the other company ownership changes.
Which is the 'Real' Original Formula?
I immediately went to the company website to verify that the Original formula was gone and yes, Kao views their Continuous Comfort product as the replacement for the Original Formula:
"How have the formulas changed?
Original Formula is now Continuous Comfort Original Formula lotion. It still has the same fragrance and formulation as in the past, except it now contains time-released moisturizers, which deliver 24-hour continuous moisturization. It also has high levels of glycerin and petrolatum, two of the most effective ingredients known to relieve dry skin problems."
I've used this product for 20 years because it was the only lotion that worked. The slogan on its label "Ends Dry Skin" was absolutely true. After trying other body lotions, such as Vaseline Intensive Care, Aveeno moisturizing lotion, Nivea Extra Enriched Body lotion, Nutraderm Therapeutic Lotion, St. Ives Swiss Formula Cream Lotion, to name a few, I could recommend Curel without hesitation. But the same can not be said of the new formulation, which replaced the original white bottle in my drugstore in Sept 2005.
The new formula doesn't leave anything out of the original formula but adds the following ingredients:
BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER)
ACACIA SENEGAL GUM
The first two on this list occur before dimethicone on the label. Dimethicone supposedly locks in moisture. Since labels list ingredients in order of abundance, this means there is less dimethicone in the new formula. The addition of salt (sodium chloride) might be as a preservative but you probably wouldn't want to use it on chapped skin. And gelatin is filler. Despite misgivings, I purchased the product and gave it a try. What choice did I have?
My Experience with the New Formula
I've used the new formula for two weeks now and it doesn't seem to be working. I use the product as an all-over body lotion everyday and after hand washings. It feels thin compared to the white bottle formula but soaks in more quickly. Even after a relatively short trial period, I can see the difference in formulas on my hands and feet, which have already started to dry out. My knuckles are dry and itchy while my feet are dry and cracking. I've noticed similar changes in my fingernails, cuticles, and elbows.
There is no other conclusion that I can reach except this lotion doesn't work. It no longer "Ends Dry Skin." Then again, they've removed that slogan from the label and with good reason. I'm going to try doubling up on the lotion to see if that helps the problem areas. However, if I have to double up on lotion in October, the product probably doesn't have the potential to get my skin through the winter.