Anew Clinical ThermaFirm Face Lifting Cream

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 32.00
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Brand Overview

In case the name of this product wasn’t obvious enough, it’s designed as an alternative to Thermage treatments. Thermage is a cosmetic corrective procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to heat skin, causing a controlled, nonablative wound that stimulates new collagen production. It is a viable option for tightening skin and smoothing the appearance of wrinkles, and the results continue to improve as more is learned about how to perform the procedure to get the best results.

Does Avon’s alternative even come close to mimicking the effect of Thermage? Not in the least. This is a surprisingly lackluster formula for a cream advertised as having “potent ingredients.” It consists primarily of water, slip agents, triglyceride, several thickeners, shea butter, film-forming agent, preservatives, several plant extracts, minerals, and a tiny amount of vitamin E. Avon refers to this as their “most advanced and powerful facial lifting product ever.” Well, it isn’t, at least not from any published research, or any research Avon is willing to part with, and not in comparison to other products Avon sells. At best, this is a decent moisturizer for someone with normal to slightly dry skin, but the menthol derivative (menthyl lactate, used in a small amount to create the impression that the product is doing something) isn’t the best for any skin type. In fact, the irritation this can cause (and other irritants like fennel don’t help, either) can hurt skin’s healing process and ability to produce healthy collagen. Your skin deserves better than this!

Lastly, we wish this wasn’t the case, but this product cannot lift sagging skin. The multiple factors that cause skin to sag (sun damage, muscle laxity, hormonal shifts, gravity, bone loss) cannot be addressed by skin-care products or any single ingredient or blend, regardless of how exotic or scientific they seem. The only solution for sagging skin is cosmetic corrective procedures (including Thermage) or cosmetic surgery.

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Avons most advanced and powerful facial lifting product ever. The pain-free, hassle-free and appointment-free cost-effective at-home answer to professional thermal facelifts. The power behind this cream is an exclusive technology called Triple-Sonic Technology, which goes to work immediately. So advanced, it was formulated to work on the same dermal support structures targeted by thermal face lifts fortifying damaged tissue with new collagen production. The potent ingredients in this cream fuse to help provide a lifting, tightening and firming effect. In addition, it is formulated to help stimulate the production of three different structural proteins that diminish with age collagen, elastin and fibronectin resulting in the restoration of firm, youthful skin and facial shape.

Water, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Maleate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Phytol Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Root Extract Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Xymenynic Acid, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Plankton Extract, Cola Nitida Seed Extract Bupleurum Falcatum Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Tocopherol Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Saccharomyces/Gold Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Caffeine, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Trisiloxane, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin Menthyl Lactate, Ceteth-24, Maltodextrin, PEG-8, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Red 4

Avon At-A-Glance

Strengths: Broad-spectrum sun protection from most of the SPF products; a selection of good cleansers, moisturizers, and serums; a phenomenal concealer and a handful of other excellent makeup products at bargain prices; the company provides complete ingredient lists on its Web site and offers some of the most helpful Customer Service associates in the industry.

Weaknesses: The Clearskin products are mostly irritating and poor choices for anyone battling blemishes; the Anew Clinical lineup isn't as impressive as its made out to be; an over-reliance on jar packaging diminishes the antioxidants found in many Avon moisturizers; endless, unnecessarily repetitive moisturizers with exaggerated, outlandish claims; some of the foundations look unnatural.

The last few years have been an interesting time for the world's largest direct seller. Avon is sold in 120 countries and has an enormous range of products that goes beyond skin care and makeup, all sold by five million Avon representatives racking up annual sales of over $8 billion (Source: www.avoncompany.com). Yet due to several quarters of lackluster or poor financial performance, the company announced a multiyear restructuring plan in 2006. The anticipated cost of these changes is upwards of $500 million, which includes downsizing under-performing areas and focusing on re-marketing their star products. In recent years, those key products have had "cosmeceutical" appeal, with claims that have gone beyond reality (but over-exaggerated claims sell big in the cosmetics industry).

The Anew Clinical line ushered in several products claiming to work like (or, in some instances, better than) cosmetic corrective procedures. Whether you are considering laser treatments, Botox, Thermage, collagen injections, or even liposuction, the ads for Anew Clinical were designed to make you rethink that decision.

It is definitely impressive that Avon invested $100 million on a state-of-the-art research and product development facility in New York, but despite some innovative products that compete with the best of the best (typically for much less money), no cosmetics company has (or will) produce skin-care products that rival or beat the results obtainable from medical procedures. It's admittedly easier to slather on a cream or stroke a pad over your face than to make an office call and shoulder the expense for a cosmetic corrective procedure, but in this case convenience and savings don't equal - or even come close to - comparable results. And lest we forget, despite the onslaught of so-called cosmeceutical products claiming to mimic the results such procedures provide, the number of these procedures being performed increases each year. If any of these works-like-(insert cosmetic corrective procedure here) products did work, the number of procedures would be declining, not rising.

The National Advertising Division (NAD) took issue with several claims Avon made in ads for their Anew Clinical products (Source: www.nadreview.org/default.asp?SessionID=1149178&DocType=1&CaseType=1). In some cases, Avon reworded their claims in ad reprints, while in others they "respectfully disagreed" with the NAD conclusions but agreed to take their comments into consideration for future ads. We'll see how this turns out, but, based on their current ads, the message remains that Anew Clinical products are at the forefront of making cosmetic corrective procedure results as easy as calling your Avon representative and reciting your credit card number.

As a major international cosmetics company, Avon has several initiatives in place that prove its commitment to women and the environment. Whether donating to women's health concerns (most notably breast cancer), surpassing environmental regulations, or financially supporting alternative methods to animal testing, Avon's principles are responsible and admirable. If you pay attention to the best of what they have to offer, you will not only be supporting Avon's mission to improve the lives of women but also gaining some wonderful products, making it a win-win situation.

For more information about Avon, call (800) 500-AVON or visit www.avon.com.

Avon Makeup

Avon may be viewed as a skin-care innovator, but when it comes to makeup they're more follow-the-leaders than trail blazers. Admittedly, their foundations, powders, blush, and lipsticks have smoother, more state-of-the-art textures than ever, but with few exceptions none of them are setting a precedent that other, more innovative companies are likely to follow.

You will find some outstanding Avon makeup products to consider, but perhaps due to the sheer size of the collection there are far too many mediocre products, especially among the eyeshadows, pencils, and mascaras. Given that Avon isn't as easy to obtain as comparable products at your local drug or department store, many of the makeup items end up being a tough sell. After all, who wants to go out of their way for average products? Turning to what Avon does really well, you'll find their loose and pressed powders have amazingly silky textures and natural finishes. Their blushes are wonderful, and a few of the lipsticks and foundations are definitely worth talking about with enthusiasm. Another positive point is that Avon regularly discounts their makeup, often upwards of 50% during any given campaign (Avon's campaigns run for two weeks and the specials change each time). If you shop at the right time, the best of Avon color can be yours for less than you'd pay for most low-cost drugstore makeup.

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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