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Acure

Seriously Firming Facial Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 22.99
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Brand Overview

Acure Seriously Firming Facial Serum is marketed as a targeted concentrate to help repair and revitalize skin. What isn't mentioned is that this formula contains multiple ingredients (including strong fragrance) that can potentially damage skin and impede healthy collagen production—not to mention the lack of ingredients that can actually make good on its claims to improve skin firmness. See More Info for details on why a high amount of fragrance is such a problem for skin.

The fragrance issue is unfortunate, as this product's blend of non-fragrant plant oils like safflower, sesame seed, pumpkin, borage, and argan (to name a few) are all beneficial for adding moisture to skin and repairing dry, dehydrated areas. These, like many non-fragrant plant oils, contain a mix of antioxidant compounds that can help offset free-radical damage.

The good news ends there. Seriously Firming Facial Serum also contains sweet orange and lavender essential oils. Sweet orange oil, like many citrus oils, is loaded with a class of ingredients known as furanocoumarins (psoralen) and coumarins. These chemicals are the primary culprits for causing a phototoxic reaction on skin when exposed to the sun—a reaction that can potentially result in unsightly skin discolorations (Journal of Food and Agriculture, October 2013 & Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2007).

Lavender oil is especially problematic for a host of other reasons, which we describe in More Info.

Seriously Firming Facial Serum has far too many drawbacks to recommend, including lacking the ingredients needed to help repair (or slow) the signs of aging in skin. Rather than compromise your skincare goals with this product, consider the alternatives from other brands on our list of top-rated serums.

Pros:
  • Contains moisturizing non-fragrant plant oils.
Cons:
  • Contains a potentially phototoxic citrus oil.
  • Contains lavender oil, an established skin irritant despite its calming scent.
  • Lacks the ingredients needed to make good on its anti-aging/skin-firming promises
More Info:Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).

The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).

In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).

Lavender Oil: In vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as low a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.

As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.

The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and a process that increases their potential to cause an allergic reaction (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).

If you're wondering why lavender oil doesn't appear to be problematic for you, it's because research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Experience concentrated and targeted results as rich antioxidants and nutrients revitalize our skin. Certified Organic Argan Oil restores moisture to the skins lipid layer. Borage Oil soothes inflammation and Cranberry works to neutralize free radicals for firmer, glowing, skin.

Organic Safflower (high-oleic) Oil, Organic Sesame Seed Oil, Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Organic Sweet Orange Oil, Organic Cranberry Seed Oil, Organic Bulgarian Lavender Oil, Fair Trade Certified Organic Olive Oil, Organic Rosemary 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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