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Ahava

Age Control Even Tone Sleeping Cream

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 66.00
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Brand Overview

Ahava’s Age Control Even Tone Sleeping Cream is a moisturizer meant to be used at night, before going to bed. Its lightweight cream texture is best for normal to dry skin, but can also be considered if you have combination skin that isn’t super oily. However, before you open your wallet you need to know about this moisturizer’s letdowns…

Jar packaging is this moisturizer’s biggest issue, largely because it causes the light- and air-sensitive ingredients to break down from the first use (see More Info for details).

The jar packaging also plays a role in keeping the ingredients (primarily niacinamide) that could improve uneven skin tone and dark spots from working as well as they otherwise would. Niacinamide is generally stable in the presence of heat and light, but can deteriorate with routine exposure to oxygen in the air.

Along with that is the low amount of such ingredients--fragrance was given more prominence, yet fragrance can’t improve skin (it just makes your nose happy). Research has shown it takes more niacinamide than this product contains to really improve skin tone and discolorations.

Another issue: This moisturizer doesn’t contain the type of algae (Dunalliela salina) called out in its claims. This algae is said to be a natural form of retinol but that’s not necessarily true--see our review of Ahava’s Age Control Brightening And Renewal Serum for details.

As mentioned briefly above, rounding things out is the inclusion of fragrance and fragrant ingredients, which, while not too strong or lingering, still pose a slight risk of irritating skin. What a shame, because this capably hydrates skin without feeling greasy and contains a fairly good mix of anti-aging ingredients.

On a positive note, you can find the ideal combination of great anti-aging ingredients, the right packaging, and no fragrance on our list of best moisturizers.

Pros:
  • Capably hydrates dry skin and makes it feel supple.
  • Contains a good mix of anti-aging ingredients.
Cons:
  • Unlikely to improve uneven skin tone or dark spots.
  • Jar packaging hinders the effectiveness of the light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Does not contain the type of algae it claims works like retinol.
  • Contains fragrance and fragrant ingredients that pose a risk of irritating skin.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!

References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Fight first signs of aging with an advanced moisturizer that targets dark spots, uneven skintone, and fine lines. Dunalliela Salina Algae, a natural form of retinol, along with vitamin C and niacinamide combine to boost cell renewal, brighten overall skin tone and improve the appearance of dark spots while advanced peptides improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Glycerin, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Trehalose, Caprylyl Methicone, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, PEG-40 Stearate, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethiconol, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sorbitan Tristearate, Butylene Glycol, Dictyopteris Membranacea Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Polysorbate-20, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Allantoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Bisabolol, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Methylpropanediol, Myricetin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglycerine-3, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde.

Ahava At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the cleansers are good.

Weaknesses: Expensive; several of the daytime moisturizers with sunscreen do not list active ingredients; Dead Sea mud is not the cure-all for anyone's aging skin; disappointing toners;lackluster moisturizers and serums; jar packaging; no AHA or BHA products; no products to manage acne; no products to lighten skin discolorations; average masks; irritating men's products.

Ahava is the Hebrew word for love, and this group has adopted it for these skin-care products imported from Israel. Other than the endearing title, the point of difference for Ahava is that their products contain salts and minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel. So, you ask, is your skin going to love these products because they contain Dead Sea water? Supposedly, Cleopatra did, and, of course, she must have had skin to die for, or else Mark Antony wouldn't have risked everything for her. Is that a good enough reason to consider these products for your own skin-care routine? We hope not. Aside from the folklore, there is little truth behind the hypewhy would anyone believe that Cleopatra knew any more about skin care than she did about computers or cell phonesand skin care in this millennium is indeed akin to rocket science.

Keep in mind the Dead Sea in Israel is called "dead" because nothing can live in it (technically, there are some bacteria and fungi that can). There are many environmental factors that contribute to making the Dead Sea one of the saltiest lakes in the world, but we won't get into that discussion. A comparison should give you an idea of just how salty it is. The seawater in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has a salt content of 34%, while the Dead Sea has a salt content of 32%, as well as a large concentration of minerals such as sulfur, magnesium, calcium, bromide, and potassium. If you haven't been to the Dead Sea, we can tell you the aroma of the sulfur in the water is overwhelming. It is hard to imagine that anything so noxious would be considered a desirable beauty treatment.

Despite the smell and the high mineral content, there are no clinical studies or research showing that Dead Sea minerals have any effect on wrinkles, discolorations, sagging skin, or acne. There are, however, several studies demonstrating that Dead Sea minerals can have a positive effect on psoriatic skin, a practice known as climatotherapy (Sources: International Journal of Dermatology, October 2007, pages 10871091; Journal of Dermatological Treatment, May-June 2005, pages 308313; and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, September 2003, pages 451457). Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by rapidly dividing, overactive skin cells. How the Dead Sea minerals and salts affect psoriasis is still being debated. One of the more popular theories is that the mineral content of the water slows down the out-of-control cell division. Some research indicates that the benefit is cumulative and that the results can last for up to five months. Immersing psoriasis-afflicted skin in Dead Sea minerals is also a treatment that is better-tolerated than many conventional medical options.

Studies by the Department of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Dermatology at the Soroka Medical Center of Kupat-Holim in Israel and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on psoriasis and other skin rashes noted that "improvement [in skin] was found when patients soaked in two pounds/one kilo for three baths per week, for a period of six weeks." Now that's a lot of Dead Sea water, and certainly not the amount you would get by using these products. Most important, however, if you are looking for Dead Sea water to heal wrinkles, think again, because wrinkles are completely unrelated to psoriasis or other skin rashes.

Even if Dead Sea salts could benefit normal skin in some way, the amount you'll find in the Ahava products and products from other Dead Seaoriented lines are infinitesimally small in comparison with the amounts used in the published studies, and your skin deserves so much more than these one-note products can deliver. For more information about Ahava, call (800) 366-7254 or visit www.ahavaus.com.

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.

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