Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Protector SPF 20
Here's another moisturizer with sunscreen from Nuance Salma Hayek that promises anti-aging results, but it just doesn't have the formula to compete with the best anti-aging products on the market today.
Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Protector does provide reliable broad-spectrum sun protection with an in-part avobenzone sunscreen, although the SPF 20 rating is a bit low. The latest research suggests that products with higher SPF ratings are more desirable due to the further protection they can provide. Therefore, our recommendation is to look for sunscreens rated SPF 30 or greater, and/or consider layering SPF products for enhanced anti-aging protection.
As far as the other anti-aging claims made for this moisturizer-in-a-tube: Nuance relies heavily on its "star" ingredients—blue agave extract and mimosa extract—but there's minimal research showing either has anti-aging benefits. Most plant extracts have antioxidant properties, but these don't have the research behind them that the best anti-aging ingredients do. Fortunately, this moisturizer contains some established antioxidants, but it's difficult to tell how much you're getting because Nuance opted to list this product's inactive ingredients in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content (see More Info).
As far as a line-smoothing effect, this will make wrinkles seem less apparent as any moisturizer would, but improving dry skin does not impact premature aging of the skin.
Crashing the party, however, is fragrant lavender oil, which research has shown can harm skin in numerous ways, despite its pleasant, relaxing aroma. See More Info on why avoiding products with lavender oil is a very good idea!
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Contains some good emollients and silicones that will make wrinkles appear "filled."
- Relies heavily on unproven ingredients, such as blue agave extract and mimosa extract, for its purported anti-aging benefits.
- Most of the proven anti-aging ingredients in this formula are listed near the end of the ingredient list, meaning you're not getting much of them.
- Lavender oil poses a strong risk of irritation.
- Also contains perfume which can be a skin irritant.
More Info: Ingredients Listed in Alphabetical Order: Because this product is regulated in the United States as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of concentration. Although this is an accepted standard, we have more respect for companies that choose to list their inactive ingredients in descending order of concentration, so that the consumer is better informed about the potency of the ingredients that they are putting on their skin, just like with any other skincare or makeup product.
Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skincare products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen. Silky, age-defying formula melts into skin, filling fine lines and wrinkles and locking in hydration.
A reasonably priced retinol product with packaging that keeps the retinol stable; good skin-brightening product; excellent cream body cleanser; good body cream for dry skin.
Many products contain lavender oil, which is a known skin irritant, despite its nice scent; most of the moisturizers are packaged in jars, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients will lose their effectiveness once the lid is opened; many of the star ingredients lack independent research proving their effectiveness; very few fragrance-free products; an anti-acne product that has the potential to make acne breakouts worse.
Its a simple fact of the cosmetics industry, and its been the case for decades: A beautiful actress or model touting the benefits of a brand can have an enormous influence on how people make decisions about what products to buy! Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Jennifer Aniston has sold their face and fame to a cosmetic company to proclaim its benefit. Now, actress Salma Hayek has an eponymous line of skincare and makeup products called Nuance Salma Hayek.
Hayeks acting career began in her native Mexico, where she became a star after appearing in successful films and telenovelas. She then made the jump to Hollywood and found commercial success in English-speaking projects, as well as branching out into directing and producing. Cosmetics companies took note of Hayeks success and ethnic beauty, which lead to Revlon contracting Hayek to be one of their models in late 1999.
In 2011, Hayek decided to strike out on her own by creating Nuance Salma Hayek. The actress says the inspiration for the line is her grandmother, who used traditional Mexican home remedies to craft her own skincare products. Many of Nuances products contain the same ingredients (or at least derivatives of those ingredients) used by Hayeks grandmother, such as blue agave and prickly pear. As nostalgic and folksy as that sounds, anecdotal stories about skin care dont relate to the phenomenal evolution of research that now exists about skin.
While it is possible that blue agave and prickly pear are decent ingredients for skin, there is scant evidence or any research proving that to be the case. Though there certainly isnt any negative information yet about these extracts, the fact that Nuance relies heavily on them for anti-aging benefit means theyre ignoring some truly great ingredients with vast amounts of proven research showing they work!
Even more to the point, regardless of how good an ingredient is for skin, whether the concern is dryness, acne, signs of aging, oily skin, blackheads, sagging, puffy eyes, or anything else, skin is a complex organ, and one or two good ingredients is not even remotely enough to take the best care of it. Believing these kinds of homespun tales will end up hurting your skin. The same way eating only the same two or three foods every day wouldnt keep your body healthy, two or three ingredients wont keep your skin healthy, either.
Aside from the marketing spin, the line itself, which is extensive, has far more negatives than positives. The facial moisturizers rely heavily on jar packaging, meaning the light-and air-sensitive ingredients in those products will start to lose their effectiveness as soon as the jar is opened. Another misstep is the inclusion of lavender oil in many productsa not-so-great natural ingredient that research has shown can cause many problems, including skin-cell death, meaning it has no place in skincare products! Yes, lavender smells good, but oftentimes what pleases your nose isnt going to make your skin happy.
Of course, there are some standout products among Nuances offerings. There is a goodand affordableretinol product, as well as an excellent skin lightener, a truly great body cleansing cream, and a body moisturizer thats great for dry skin. As a whole, though, the line is largely unimpressive, and is bolstered more by its celebrity cache than by the strength of its products performance.
Note: Although Nuance Salma Hayek offers makeup, too, only the skincare is reviewed at this time. We noticed that our area CVS stores carried only a small portion of the makeup, and many items were deeply discounted, which is a sign the color line might be going away.
Nuance Salma Hayek is sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacies. For more information, visit www.cvs.com or call 1-888-607-4287.
About the Experts
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.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.