The A.G.E. in this product's name refers to advanced glycation end-products (AGE), which are not good for the body or the skin. AGEs are formed by the body's major fuel source, namely glucose. This simple sugar is essential for energy, but it also binds strongly to proteins (the body's fundamental building blocks), forming abnormal structures—AGEs—that progressively damage tissue elasticity. Once generated, AGEs begin a process that prevents many systems from behaving normally by literally causing tissue to cross-link and become hardened (Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 14, 2000, pages 2809–2813).
SkinCeuticals' theory is that by breaking these AGE bonds you can undo or stop the damage they cause. AGEs and free-radical damage may be inextricably linked (Sources: European Journal of Neuroscience, December 2001, page 1961; and Neuroscience Letters, October 2001, pages 29–32), but none of the studies indicate that there are any substances that can be included in skin-care products to affect this process.
Specific to this product, the only ingredient it contains that is known to inhibit the formation of AGEs in skin is one that L’Oreal did the research on. Because L’Oreal owns SkinCeuticals, this research can hardly be considered impartial. Surprisingly, the blueberry extract L’Oreal used in this study (and in this product) did not fare as well as aminoguanidine, another ingredient known to inhibit AGEs (Source: Experimental Gerontology, June 2008, pages 584–588). Knowing this, why would you want to purchase this SkinCeuticals product when the parent company's own research shows that what they're including to inhibit AGEs is not as effective as another ingredient that they didn't include?
If anything, this product is a big step backwards for SkinCeuticals. It's mostly slip agents, silicones, and wax, plus the questionable AGE-inhibiting blueberry extract, although even if this extract could help, it won't remain potent for long thanks to the jar packaging (not to mention that there's hardly any of it in this product). For $150, you have every right to expect a whole lot more than this no-better-than-average product provides.
Specifically formulated to improve the creping, thinning appearance of mature skin caused by intrinsic or internal aging processes such as glycation.
With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skincare market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C).
There are many good reasons to shop this line; it boasts a lineup up impressive vitamin C products, as well as some good retinol options and sunscreens. Even better is that the majority of its anti-aging products are packaged in containers that will protect their contents from light and air. Focusing on what Skinceuticals does best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. The main drawbacks of this line are some products that contain fragrance ingredients, as well as potentially-drying alcohol, though they represent the minority of the brands offerings.
For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.
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The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
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