Anew Power Serum
Anew Power Serum joins Avon's other anti-aging serums as yet another good-but-not-outstanding option. Its thin, water-based texture is suitable for all skin types but best for normal to oily or combination skin. The formula contains a fairly impressive mix of anti-aging ingredients, but does it deliver "your very own custom treatment" as promised on the packaging itself? No—but keep reading to find out why.
Supposedly "inspired by Nobel Prize winning research," but note that "inspired by" doesn't actually state the serum's formula won a prestigious prize—furthermore, which Nobel Prize? The invention of the X-ray? But we digress, what about Avon's other claims? Anew Power Serum is said to have the ability to detect and then treat each person's specific skin concerns so you can get maximum anti-aging benefit. Interestingly, Avon doesn't specify which concerns this product treats (at least not on the product box or component), so you're left to guess what they mean, which isn't too reassuring! At least on their Web site Avon mentions wrinkles and fine lines, among other more generic benefits that give you a better idea of what this product does and who it's for, but given the attention-getting claims, it still seems rather vague to us.
Nothing about the formula makes it capable of performing custom treatment for a wide range of skin concerns. Don't get us wrong, it provides a good mix of antioxidants to your skincare routine, but this lacks the ingredients needed to treat more substantial concerns—sun damage, wrinkles, discolorations, uneven skin texture, and so on. Given the number of people who have those concerns plus other signs of aging, it's easy to see how shortsighted Avon's claim about custom treatment for skin concerns is!
Where this silky serum does excel is in its mix of intriguing antioxidants, including a fatty acid extract from a type of algae that research has shown can keep proteins in skin from becoming oxidized—a key marker of aged skin (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2004). However, this ingredient (Phaeodactylum tricornutum extract), while intriguing, can't do it all. Luckily, Avon seems to agree with us as seen by the number of other beneficial ingredients this serum contains.
What of the boast that results from this serum are seen immediately? Upon application, you'll see smoother skin and some hydration will occur, but signs of aging or other undescribed skin concerns won't simply disappear and become faint memories. More than anything, we were dismayed at how Avon overstated the claims while offering few specifics to help consumers decide if this serum is right for them or not.
Ultimately, this missed our top rating not because of the frustrating claims but because today's best serums contain a better blend of anti-aging ingredients that have more proof to support what they can really do for skin. Anew Power Serum has its strong points; its texture is one many will find agreeable, but ideally, we like to see a greater, more reliable mix of repairing and cell-communicating ingredients.
Note: Although this serum contains fragrance that's initially strong, it quickly dissipates so we suspect there's minimal cause for concern in terms of it causing irritation.
- Packaged to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
- Contains a fairly impressive mix of anti-aging ingredients to address a range of concerns.
- Claims of this being a custom treatment for specific skincare concerns are overstated.
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 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.