Plantscription Anti-Aging Serum
This thin-textured, water-based serum is mostly a prescription for irritation! We agree that the name is brilliant and tempting, but rather than including proven, state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients, Origins defaulted to using lots of fragrant plant oils that research has shown can damage skin because of the irritation they cause. Please see More Info below for a discussion of this serum’s specific claims.
- Despite Origins’ claims that this serum works without irritation, it contains several fragrant oils that cause acute irritation. See More Info below to learn why irritation is so bad for your skin.
- Several of the fragrant oils in this serum can cause a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
- Contains more fragrance chemicals than beneficial ingredients (fragrance isn’t skin care).
You may be curious to try this product based on its claims of helping with specific wrinkles, such as furrows between the brows and frown lines around the mouth. Well, the curiosity ends here: There is nothing in this serum that will improve those wrinkles, or wrinkles anywhere else on your face.
Etched lines from repetitive facial expressions are not the type of wrinkles that skin-care products can address. We wish that weren’t the case, but there is no topical product that works like Botox or dermal fillers. Those cosmetic corrective procedures remain your best non-surgical options for dramatically (and we do mean dramatic) improving expression lines.
Origins’ claim that your skin will be “more lifted-looking” is telling many consumers what they want to hear, but in reality it’s not telling you anything at all. Making skin look more lifted doesn’t mean it will actually be lifted. Plus, if skin is sagging and then is lifted, you have to wonder where the excess skin goes? Simply lifting loose skin isn’t going to make you look younger, any more than putting Scotch tape on your forehead lines will prevent deeper furrows from forming.
The irritation from the fragrant plant oils and numerous fragrance chemicals can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal (you can feel this serum cool and tingle your skin). None of this is what you want from an anti-aging product—and none of these problems can be addressed with topical retinoids, which is what this serum is slyly being billed as able to replace in its magazine ads and the claims association to prescription products.
Although its not a prescription, in just 4 weeks natures next generation power plant noticeably reduces wrinkle length & depth. Without the irritation. Visibly helps repair the vertical fret lines between your eyes, the stubborn furrows across your forehead and the deepening frownies that frame your mouth. Youthful bounce is revived. Skin is clinically firmer, smoother and more lifted-looking. And with continued use, results improve.
Strengths: The makeup products fare best including liquid concealer, blush, brow enhancer, and lip liner; very good makeup brushes composed of synthetic hair.
Weaknesses: Almost every skincare product contains potent irritating ingredients; no products to effectively address needs of those with acne or skin discolorations; some of the makeup products contain irritating ingredients.
Started in 1990, Origins was Estee Lauder's contribution to the (still going strong) demand for natural products. Their approach and claims all hinge on the wonder of plants and the allegedly miraculous properties they offer for skin, whether it be dry, sensitive, oily, or simply showing the effects of time. Here's the issue: Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ones. Ironically, Origins isn't all that "natural" because it uses its share of synthetic ingredients, and the plant extracts they do use include some that are bad for skin.
We have never been opposed to using natural ingredients. However, it lacks integrity when a company throws in any plant ingredient with no proven benefit for skin beyond anecdotal information, and then boasts about all sorts of improbable results. It becomes a far more serious issue when the natural ingredients in question have published research showing that they are in fact irritating or damaging to skin. That's the predicament of reviewing Origins' skin care products: almost every product they sell contains several volatile oils (another term for essential oils), all of which have their share of negative qualities when used on skin. In their attempt to appear more natural, Origins uses quite a bit of these offending ingredients, and they're often listed before the much more beneficial additives, such as antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients.
You might be wondering why, if Origins has had such continued success, their products can be such a problem for skin? Can't women just use what they like? The answer is two-fold: yes women can use what they like, but often women like what isn't good for them. For example, smoking is bad for skin (and for your lungs), but lots of people smoke; getting a tan from the sun is bad for your skin, but lots of people spend time outdoors getting a tan; and using products that contain irritating ingredients is bad for your skin, and lots of products come to the table with these inconsistencies.
As we have explained in the introduction tothe book, there is a litany of problems that take place when skin is irritated or inflamed, but fundamentally this results in the skin's immune system becoming impaired, collagenase (the breakdown of collagen) occurs, and the skin is stripped of its outer protective barrier. What is perhaps most shocking is that all of these damaging responses can be taking place underneath the skin and you won't even notice it on the surface. The clearest example of this is the significant and carcinogenic effect of the sun's "silent" UVA rays. You don't feel the penetration of these mutagenic rays, but they are taking a toll on your skin nonetheless (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2006, pages 3038; International Journal of Toxicology, May-June 2006, pages 183193;Skin Research and Technology; November 2001, pages 227237; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 1625; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, May 2004, pages 327337; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, November 2003, pages 663669; Drugs, 2003 volume 63, issue 15, pages 15791596; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, March 2002, pages 138146; Cosmetics & Toiletries, November 2003, page 63; Global Cosmetics, February 2000, pages 4649; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1995, pages 8387).
Most of the Lauder companies really have their acts together when it comes to formulating state-of-the-art moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens that leave out the problematic plant extracts (and that represents a lot of products given the almost two dozen cosmetics companies under the Lauder corporate banner). Origins is the exception, and we encourage my readers who prefer to shop for skin care at the department store to explore the truly far better options from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, M.A.C., Bobbi Brown, or even La Mer. Even salon-styled Aveda, also owned by Lauder, with a natural theme similar to Origins, has less problematic formulas.
For more information about Origins, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 674-4467 or visit www.origins.com.
Compared to the makeup offered by almost all of the other Estee Lauderowned lines, Origins falls short by virtue of including ingredients that align with its marketing image of offering natural ingredients that have the blessing of Mother Nature regardless of the risks they pose for skin. As omnipotent as Mom may be, this force of nature is a disaster waiting to happen. A secondary reason Origins isn't competing as well with its sister companies is that for many products (particularly the lipsticks, blush, and cleverly named but non-essential specialty products) the technology isn't as advanced. That lack of technological creativity combined with significant amounts of hostile essential oils will help you understand why we recommend exploring similar, but superior (and irritant-free), options from any of the other Lauder companies from Clinique to M.A.C.
If you're prone to being swayed by the promises of natural products (though Origins is not any more natural than many other lines, it just uses the most problematic plant extracts possible), there are a few outstanding gems to unearth here, and at prices that aren't unrealistic. Additionally, Origins' latest tester units, especially in their freestanding stores, are accessible and user-friendly. They include pull-out counters for added space and feature large mirrors. Combine this with a low-key yet helpful sales staff and knowing what to zero in on and you'll find shopping the best of Origins is a pleasure.
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