Anew Genics Treatment Cream

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 38.00
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Brand Overview

The concept behind this product is that everyone’s skin has a youth gene—we don’t, but that didn’t get in Anew’s way. Over time and with cumulative sun damage, this “youth gene” doesn’t work as efficiently to keep skin in top shape. You can likely guess the result of this gene slowing down: wrinkles, dullness, and other signs of aging. Anew Genics Treatment Cream claims it stimulate the activity of this youth gene for skin that looks up to 10 years younger.

The premise is intriguing, but what isn’t mentioned is there are thousands of genes responsible for how skin looks, how it repairs itself, and how it ages and wrinkles. Certain genes stimulate normal collagen production; others stimulate fibroblasts to generate collagen, reduce inflammation, repair skin’s surface, and on and on. In other words, there isn’t one youth gene.

Avon doesn’t identify which gene is the youth gene their product is supposed to stimulate, but assuming their YouthGen Technology has any effect on genes (which it doesn’t, and that’s a good thing; you don’t want cosmetics screwing around with your genes) that’s but one factor of turning back the clock on your face.

Besides, skin care is never as simple as one product (which Avon would agree to because they have dozens of products). Daily sun protection; gentle, non-irritating products containing the right ingredients (such as lots of antioxidants); and regular use of a well-formulated exfoliants play far more pivotal roles. Not surprisingly, the fine print on Avon’s gene-stimulating claim was done in a lab on skin cells, not measured on intact skin. What works in a controlled lab setting may not prove to work as well (or at all) on intact skin, not to mention that without the actual test results we don’t even know what this product actually did to the cells (did the cells even have genes present?).

What this product really does is exfoliate skin. It contains approximately 5% of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) glycolic acid formulated at a pH of 3.8, a range that permits exfoliation to occur. This fragranced AHA moisturizer is best for normal to dry skin. It contains some intriguing plant extracts and peptides, but these anti-aging ingredients won’t remain stable during use because Anew Genics Treatment Cream is packaged in a jar. Please see More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem.

The bottom line: This is an effective AHA moisturizer to consider, but its packaging and amount of fragrance makes it less compelling than those on our list of Best AHA Exfoliants.


  • Exfoliates skin with an effective concentration of glycolic acid at a pH within range for it to work as intended.
  • Silky, lightweight cream texture.


  • Pseudo-science claims are over-the-top and not supported by published research.
  • Jar packaging means the plant extracts and peptides won’t remain stable during use.
  • Strong perfume-y fragrance (and fragrance isn’t skin care).

More Info:

All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Some women never seem to agemaybe its in their genes. Avon has discovered you have a youth gene too, so you can be one of those women. Now ANY woman can look up to ten years younger with ANEW Genics & our patented YouthGen Technology.

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Trisiloxane, Isohexadecane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Thiodipropionic Acid, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Melicope Hayesii Leaf Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Mesyloxybenzyl Isobutylbenzenesulfonamide, Thiazolylalanine, Saccharomyces/Gold Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-10, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phytol, Dimethiconol, Silica, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-150 Distearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Lecithin, Steareth-20, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Ammonium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Caramel, Yellow 5

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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