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Acure

Day Cream: Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% Chlorella Growth Factor

1.75 fl. oz. for $ 18.99
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There's also fragrance from citrus and clove oils, which is a problem due to their potential to irritate skin. We were also very surprised to see that Acure indicates you should use this moisturizer as your "day cream," especially as this doesn't include any sunscreen actives—and there's no mention on the packaging of the need to follow this with a broad-spectrum sunscreen formula. Any anti-aging benefits provided by this formula would be lost without daily protection from sun exposure.

As is the trend for Acure, there's also the problematic nature of the preservative—the brand notes potassium sorbate as its sole preservative ingredient. They refer to it as a "food grade" preservative, which is accurate. However, potassium sorbate on its own isn't sufficient to provide protection against both bacteria and mold/yeast—existing research has demonstrated it to be effective only when combined with other preservatives like phenoxyethanol.

Day Cream: Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% Chlorella Growth Factor leaves us with too many concerns to recommend it—despite the fact that it has many beneficial ingredients for skin, and, on the surface, could be a good option for those with normal to dry skin. For alternatives that don't leave you guessing at what you're putting on your face, check out our recommendations on the list of Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen.

One last note: Please totally ignore the claims made about the plant and fruit stem cell ingredients this product contains (see More Info if you wish to read the considerable details explaining why). The notion that plant stem cells can "renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, or regenerate healthy cells" may be true for a plant, but it is not true for human skin.

This product is listed simply as Eye Cream on the Acure website. The naming convention used in this review is reflective of the product's packaging.

Pros:
  • Contains a number of beneficial moisturizing ingredients.
  • Has a range of antioxidants to help offset the effects of free-radical damage.
Cons:
  • Fragranced with the potential irritants clove and red mandarin oils.
  • Lacks sunscreen ingredients (unusual for an anti-aging moisturizer advertised for daytime use).
  • Preservative system appears to be inadequate.
  • Ingredient list appears to be inaccurate; thus, you can't know what it is you're putting on your face.
  • Claims about the benefits of stem cells in skincare products are greatly exaggerated.
More Info:Incomplete Ingredient List: Acure Organics states that this product is based from their “Organic Curoxidant Superfruit Blend,” and contains no water or anything else to hold its formula together. We thought this had to have been a mistake on their packaging, but after reaching out to Acure Organics via Twitter about their lack of water in products, they confirmed it was not a printing error.

Rather, you're to believe that this product is made up of a blend of fruits and flowers, but no water or any ingredients that would form the "base" that keeps these ingredients from separating.

A mixture of mashed-up berries, dried tea leaves, and flowers does not a moisturizer make, and whether based from an ingredient blend or not, its individual constituents are still required to be listed in full on the label—which is not the case here. Trade names, like "Organic Curoxidant Superfruit Blend" or "Echinacea Stem Cell Culture," are not permitted on ingredient labels for this very reason—this violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and FDA labeling regulatory requirements.

Of course, there's also the fact that an incomplete ingredient list prevents you from knowing what's in your skincare or makeup product.

Stem Cells in Skincare: Stem cells are cells present in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.

The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skincare products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless.

Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants they likely have antioxidant properties. Actually, it's a good thing plant stem cells can't work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don't want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!

There are also claims that because a plant's stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or to survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is totally unrelated to human skin—these claims are completely without substantiation.

Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics companies claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid—stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Face the day with Gotu Kola Stem Cells, shown to firm and help your skin fight environmental damage and free radicals, and 1% Chlorella Growth Factor, shown to support collagen and elastin fibers. This powerhouse combo helps fight off the signs of aging with a one-two punch. Easily Absorbed Moisture + Cell Renewal = Great Day!

Organic Curoxidant Blend [(Organic Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile), Fair Trade Organic Aspalanthus Linearis (Rooibos)], Organic Aloe Barbensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fair Trade Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE (Vegetable Derived), Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Infusion of Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower in Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Glucono Delta Lactone (Fermented Sugar), Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Stem Cell Culture, Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound) Stem Cell Culture, Echinacea Stem Cell Culture, Fermented Resveratrol Extract (Probiotic), Organic Argan Oil, CoQ10, Olive Leaf extract, Organic Chlorella Pyrenoidosa (Chlorella Growth Factor), Citrus Reticulata (Red Mandarin) Oil, D-Alpha Tocoperyl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Organic Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Oil

Acure operates with the mission statement of using only the purest, most effective fair trade, natural and organic ingredients available. At first glance, there are a lot of interesting products in the line, as Acure includes a great deal of antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients in their formulas. Unfortunately, on closer inspection of the brand, we found quite a few inconsistencies.

First the good news: Along with the inclusion of antioxidants at nearly every turn, Acure made the effort to avoid jar packaging, which is beneficial in terms of protecting the abundance of anti-aging ingredients their products contain. They are also exceptionally affordable products, an increasing rarity in the cosmetics industry.

On the other hand, Acure stretches the boundaries of belief when it comes to what some ingredients are capable of, such as plant stem cells. While fruit and plant stem cells can function as antioxidants, they cannot lift skin, repair wrinkles, or affect the skins own growth factors when added to a skincare product. Not only are plant stem cells unable to substitute for the body's own stem cells, but also they (like all stem cells) must be alive to function. Once these delicate cells are added to skin care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless. Plant stem cells make for a good story, but the research simply isn't there to support their use in skin care or the claims attributed to them.

One point worth noting: when we originally reviewed Acure in 2015, much of the brand's focus was on so-called toxic or harmful ingredients found in other brands' skin care products that were not present in its own. This has since shifted to a much more positive approach targeted on the quality of ingredients Acure uses as opposed to any unnecessary fearmongering.

For more information on Acure, visit www.acure.com or call 1-877-902-2873.

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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