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L'Oreal Paris

Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Ultra-Nourishing Moisturizer

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 19.99
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L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Ultra-Nourishing Moisturizer is a slightly revised version of its Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Golden Balm, but this reformulation doesn’t merit an upgrade, so it keeps its average rating.

The only change between this version and its prior incarnation is the addition of a couple of honey ingredients, which help skin retain moisture.  There’s also non-fragrant plant oils including rosehip and apricot, and when paired with hydrating ingredients, it can stimulate healthy collagen production that will make skin (including its barrier) stronger. Unfortunately, this also contains problematic ingredients that work against this goal.

Marjoram, orange peel, and the numerous fragrance ingredients in this moisturizer cause irritation that hurts skin's ability to heal and produce healthy collagen. Although marjoram is a natural source of the skin-lightening ingredient arbutin, it also contains volatile components that are known to cause inflammation. Check out More Info for further details on why irritation is so bad for your skin.

Sadly, the most intriguing ingredients in this moisturizer will not remain stable for long because of the jar packaging. Please see More Info for details on why jar packaging is an issue as well.

Note: while L’Oreal claims that the type of honey in this product, manuka honey, is extra “nourishing,” it is no more or less special for skin than any other type of honey.

Pros:
  • Honey ingredients help skin retain moisture.
  • Contains ingredients that can stimulate healthy collagen production.
Cons:
  • Contains fragrance ingredients that can irritate skin.
  • Packaged in a jar, which isn’t the best for its sensitive ingredients.

More Info:

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

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

Luxurious balm moisturizer with nurturing oils and manuka honey is infused with calcium and antioxidants. Melts into skin for incredible nourishing comfort with 48H of long lasting, non-greasy, non-sticky hydration. Effectively penetrates into the skin’s surface layer to comfort and strengthen mature, very dry skin. Skin on the face, neck, and chest is firmer, stronger and more resilient.

Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Isocetyl Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Mel/Honey, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Hydroxyethylpeperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Origanum Majorana Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil/Bitter Orange Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil/Orange Peel Oil, Zea Mays Oil/Corn Oil, Mel Extract/Honey Extract, Cera Microcristallina/Microcrystalline Wax, Paraffin, Royal Jelly Extract, Isobutane, Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbian Tristearate, Calcium Pantetheine Sulfonate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Carnauba Wax, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Oryza Sativa Bran Oil/Rice Bran Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Propyl Gallate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamide, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Coumarin, Limonene, Citral, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance.

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.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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