Nu Skin

AgeLoc Future Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 210.40
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Brand Overview

It is nothing short of amazing (and sad, too) that NuSkin sees fit to charge so much money for a water-based serum. You’d think that a serum in this price range would be jam-packed with ingredients that improve aging skin, but this one simply isn’t. How this serum is supposed to transform anyone’s skin “for unsurpassed anti-aging results” is beyond any research that exists, not to mention that if this is the "ultimate" answer for skin, why doesn’t NuSkin stop selling all its other anti-aging, antiwrinkle products?

The formula doesn’t contain anything exceptional, and, of course, NuSkin doesn’t provide substantiated research to support their grandiose claims. They believe the ultimate source of aging is our genes, but that’s not entirely true. Genetics plays a role in aging and longevity, yes, but there are numerous other factors that contribute to what we perceive as aged skin and an “older” appearance. Sun damage outdoes genetic inheritance by miles, and unhealthy lifestyle habits (e.g., poor diet and smoking), gravity, physiological processes (such as the fact that we lose bone mass with age yet our skin keeps growing, leading to advanced signs of sagging), and many more factors, both within and beyond our control, all play pivotal roles. To think that aging comes down to genes is foolishness, or at least turning a blind eye to all of the other contributing factors mentioned above.

Most important for you to know is that NuSkin hasn’t unlocked the secret to preventing or reversing aging—doing so is far more complex than what any cosmetic product could ever provide. AgeLoc Future Serum has a silky texture (like countless other serums) and contains some intriguing ingredients, including acetyl glucosamine (featured more prominently in Olay’s Definity products) and a handful of antioxidants, none of which are unique to AgeLoc.

The only ingredient worth further explanation is equol. This was a new one for us, and we were surprised to find out it’s a substance produced in the intestines as a by-product of digesting soybeans and soy-based foods. According to www.MedicineNet.com, equol “is a non-steroidal estrogen that acts as an anti-androgen by blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone.” The site goes on to explain that “Equol is chemically unique among the isoflavones (a family of phytoestrogens, plant estrogens). It is the major metabolite of the phytoestrogen daidzein, an isoflavone abundant in soybeans and soy foods.” As a class of ingredients, isoflavones from soy have antioxidant ability, but their hormone-disrupting properties make them controversial ingredients to consume due to their potential link to stimulating breast cancer, although this research is mixed and inconclusive (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

What about topical application of equol as a by-product of soy? There is no research demonstrating it has any benefit beyond offering some protection to skin cells exposed to UVB radiation in a controlled lab setting. Even so, what research exists concludes that more studies are needed to determine the risks and benefits of equol in skin-care products and for oral consumption (Sources: The Journal of Nutrition, July 2010, pages 1369S–1372S and 1390S–1400S; International Journal of Dermatology, March 2010, pages 276–282; Immunology and Cell Biology, March 9, 2010 Epublication; and Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2006, pages 198–204).

As more research is carried out on equol and other isoflavones, we may discover further advantages of these ingredients. But in terms of equol being one-stop shopping for genetic aging, that’s not likely to become reality, any more than eating only pomegranates or drinking noni juice can ensure perfect health. If you decide to invest in this serum, it is suitable for all skin types except sensitive due to the fragrance it contains. OK, one last comment: NuSkin states that based on daily usage, this serum should last for 30 days. That means you’d be spending $2,832 per year, an amount that would be better spent on any of several cosmetic corrective procedure options that will improve your appearance in a way this serum cannot. This just makes us sick to our stomachs.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

For the ultimate ageLOC experience, add ageLOC Future Serum to the lineup as your treatment step and discover how the products work synergistically to reveal younger looking skin morning and night. By targeting the ultimate sources of aging and with the maximum ageLOC concentration of any Nu Skin formula, ageLOC Future Serum truly transforms your skin with unsurpassed anti-aging results.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Isoceteth-20, 1-Methylhydantoin-2-imide (Creatinine), Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysilicone-11, Salicin, Glucosamine HCI, Polysorbate 80, Lemon Peel Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Equol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Pea Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexapeptide-2, Schizandra Chinensis Fruit Extract, PEG-75 Stearate, Isohexadecane, Ceteth-20, Decyl Glucoside, Steareth-20, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol

Nu Skin At-A-Glance

Strengths: Workable AHA and BHA products; some state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums; several products are fragrance-free; almost all sunscreens include sufficient UVA protection, and most have impressive levels of antioxidants; good lip gloss, sheer powder blush, and makeup brushes.

Weaknesses: Expensive; drying cleansers; irritating toners; Tri-Phasic White products do not noticeably improve skin discolorations; unimpressive masks and "spa-at-home" products; claims are too far from reality; several categories of Nu Skin's makeup are resounding disappointments, including foundation, concealer, and eyeshadows; the brow pencil; the Eyelash Treatment product; average lipsticks.

With over 75,000 enthusiastic distributors, Nu Skin pledges to provide products that contain "all of the good, none of the bad." Of course, this same marketing tactic is used by numerous other cosmetics companies, almost always with little to no substantiation for the claim. And just how Nu Skin went about separating the good from the bad ingredients isn't explained, so you're left to take their word for it, which is, as experience has proved, not always the best approach.

Before we go further into a discussion about the ingredients Nu Skin uses (and they do have some remarkable products), it deserves mention that they are a direct sales company that has been around since 1984. Their product line goes beyond skin care and makeup, encompassing a broad range of personal care and nutrition products, all promising to fulfill the needs of a broad range of consumers while being financially rewarding for the independent distributor. Depending on who you meet with about Nu Skin's person-to-person marketing, the experience will either be your standard at-home cosmetic presentation or a hard sell (and we mean a really, really hard sell) to become a distributor.

In either case, expect to hear repeatedly about how using Nu Skin products are superior and (again depending on the verve of the distributor) potentially life-changing on all fronts. Suffice to say, there isn't enough room in this book to discuss the myriad claims made for every Nu Skin product. However, what you need to know is that, like almost every cosmetics line out there, Nu Skin has its share of good and unfavorable products. It's also important to note that their skin-care systems are not interdependent; that is, there's no reason you can't combine a Nu Skin serum with a sunscreen from Estee Lauder and a cleaner from Pond's, or whichever brand you choose. What counts are the product formulations, which brings us back to Nu Skin's big claim of using only good ingredients while omitting the bad ones.

There are plenty of good ingredients in these products, including natural ones such as willow herb, panthenol, shea butter, and lactic acid. Lots of good synthetic ingredients show up, too, such as various silicones, preservatives (including parabens, yet Nu Skin makes no mention of the controversy surrounding parabens, though they have yet to be proven problematic in the amounts found in skin-care products), and film-forming agents (synthetic hair-spray ingredients). The reason not to take Nu Skin's ingredient boast at face value is twofold. First, it doesn't take into account how an individual may react to an ingredient. For example, a sunscreen active such as octinoxate can be considered good if your skin tolerates it. But someone whose skin reacts negatively to this active wouldn't consider it good for them, and it's not a "good" ingredient when it's the sole active because it leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage (for the record, every Nu Skin sunscreen provides sufficient UVA protection).

Second, there's the fact that Nu Skin uses a handful of ingredients that published research has shown are definitely bad. Examples include their cleanser with sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, volatile fragrant oils (including lavender), witch hazel, and camphor. None of these ingredients is helpful for skin, yet they show up in Nu Skin products, which certainly damages their "don't worry, our products are great for your skin" assertions.

In terms of great products, Nu Skin has always had its share. You'll find some formidable serums, a beautifully formulated cleanser, a selection of very good moisturizers, and sunscreens that go beyond simply shielding skin from the sun. As long as you can keep things in perspective and dont get swept up by the more grandiose claims made for this line, it is definitely one to shop should the opportunity present itself.

For more information about Nu Skin, call (800) 487-1000 or visit www.nuskin.com.

Nu Skin Makeup

Nu Colour is the name of Nu Skin's makeup, and if you were hoping that the "Nu" would translate into "new" as in product innovation and textural elegance, you might as well keep shopping elsewhere. This small but comprehensive collection of makeup has some credible formulas, but completely misses the boat (the entire ocean, for that matter) when it comes to effective sun protection and skin-true colors for foundations. Nu Skin plays up their assertion that each product is really skin care masquerading as makeup, and although several items do contain antioxidants and soothing plant extracts or water-binding agents, the amount of these ingredients present in most of the makeup is trivial, and doesn't compensate for the uninspired to downright embarrassing products. If you're already a fan of Nu Skin's skin care and want to dip your toes into the color pool, stick with their powder blush, lip gloss, and makeup brushes to not only get your money's worth but also to avoid dissatisfaction.

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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