Present Perfect Antioxidant Defense Lotion
This lightweight moisturizer has a silky lotion texture centered around the anti-aging ingredient myristyl nicotinate. A derivative of nicotinic acid, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin) myristyl nicotinate isn't the same ingredient as niacinamide, yet functions in nearly the same manner (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). There is research concerning myristyl nicotinate's ability to improve skin barrier function, mitigate signs of sun damage, and reduce dry skin, just like niacinamide, so again, the two are nearly indistinguishable.
Along with the anti-aging ingredient myristyl nicotinate, there are standard thickeners as well as a long series of plant extracts, antioxidants, and peptides, which, at least in theory, have cell-communicating ability and may be able to help skin produce healthy collagen. On balance, this moisturizer contains an impressive mix of beneficial ingredients, though the fragrance-free claim is bogus (did anyone at the company read this product's ingredient list, where "fragrance" is clearly indicated?).
What held this otherwise stellar moisturizer back from our top rating is a single ingredient, that being the plant extract Ocimum sanctum leaf. Also known as holy basil, the leaf portion of this plant contains several fragrance ingredients, including eugenol, which is a known irritant. The amount of holy basil in Present Perfect is potentially concerning, as it's toward the beginning of the ingredient list rather than being nicely settled in a "mere dusting" amount at the end.
As with many fragrant plant extracts, holy basil has antioxidant benefits, but we prefer plant-based antioxidants that don't put skin at risk of irritation from chemical constituents like eugenol and its "cousin", methyl eugenol. This ingredient's presence isn't a deal-breaker, but without it we would've had no qualms assigning a BEST rating—and the price for what you get, which might seem high to some, is actually quite reasonable.
Note: This moisturizer contains cosmetic pigments, including mica, which lend a subtle tint and shine to the complexion. If possible, test this out in store to see if you like the result, as it can make oily areas look oilier.
- Lightweight, silky texture hydrates without a greasy feel.
- Loaded with beneficial ingredients.
- Capable of fighting early signs of aging and improving the appearance of wrinkles.
- The plant extract Ocimum sanctum leaf is a source of fragrance irritant eugenol.
- Not fragrance-free as claimed.
Fight the early signs of aging and prevent wrinkles. Rich in protective antioxidants and skin nourishing ingredients, this oil-free and fragrance-free lightweight wrinkle cream treats the onset of skin aging. It prevents wrinkles by targeting first lines and fighting against causes of visible aging, both offensively and defensively.
StriVectin put itself on the skincare map with its original StriVectin-SD cream, designed to treat stretch marks. The product took off and became the cornerstone of skincare collection whose focus is now on anti-aging. Its main selling point is its use of myristyl nicotinate (called NIA-114 in brand literature), which is related to and has many of the same properties as niacinamide.
Overall, the brand has some worthwhile products and for the most part theyre in packaging that will protect their ingredients from light and air. Unfortunately there are a number of options that include fragrance and other potential irritants, which are noted in our individual reviews.
As of 2019, StriVectin no longer sells in mainland China and is now cruelty-free. For more information about StriVectin, visit www.strivectin.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.