bareMinerals Extra Firming Neck Cream
Although there are some very good emollient ingredients in this product, the truth is you don't need a special cream for the neck. Yes, skin on the neck can be thinner and can show sagging sooner than skin on the face, but that doesn't mean a special cream is needed—and no neck cream can change what really bothers most people when the neck begins to age (namely, deep, horizontal grooves, banding, and sagging).
What we typically observe with neck creams versus facial moisturizers is that neck creams tend to be more emollient; that's nice if your skin is dry, but that generally isn't the problem for skin on your neck. Even so, there are rich facial moisturizers that would easily do the job. What is most important to realize is that there are no special ingredients skin on the neck needs that skin on the face (or chest) does not.
If that isn't reason enough to skip this neck cream, here are two more: The jar packaging won't keep the most beneficial anti-aging ingredients (of which there are many) stable once you open it and the lavender oil this contains may smell great, but fragrance isn't skin care. In fact, lavender oil is among the most problematic ingredients for skin. See More Info for details about jar packaging and lavender oil.
In the end, despite its rich formula and impressive mix of antioxidants, plant oils, and skin-repairing ingredients, this neck cream cannot address the "special needs" of skin on the neck. This is due not only to the limitations of skin-care products when it comes to how the neck ages, but also because skin on the neck doesn't need different ingredients than skin on the face. You can (and should) apply your facial skin-care products, including sunscreen, exfoliants, serums, and other treatments, to your neck—not this unnecessary product!
- Jar packaging reduces the effectiveness of the best ingredients in this neck cream.
- Contains fragrant lavender oil, a potent skin irritant that's the opposite of anti-aging.
- Doesn't contain anything unique or special for skin on the neck.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. 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 (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
This clinically proven, all-in-one cream targets the special needs of the delicate skin around the neck and dcollet, locks in moisture to restore a youthful, lifted look and helps defend against environmental stressors.
Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.
The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of, yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn't your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).
Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.
Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.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.