Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel Moisturizer
Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel Moisturizer has a silky, lightweight texture that feels refreshing on normal to oily skin, but its strong fragrance instead turns refreshing into a problem for skin.
We like that StriVectin includes replenishing ingredients and antioxidants along with a form of niacinamide known as myristyl nicotinate; however, the amounts of most of these are on the low side, which is not the best for defending skin against anything.
By far the fragrance is the biggest disappointment, and making matters worse, it's joined by strong-smelling orange and lavender oils which can trigger further irritation—even if you don't see or feel it taking place. See More Info for details on the other problems fragrance and irritating ingredients cause for skin.
The irony is that this product is supposed to de-stress skin, but the problematic fragrant ingredients are actually skin stressors. The research on this is clear: A "soothing aroma" will please your nose, but won't make your skin happy! See our list of Best Moisturizers for superior options.
- Silky, lightweight "water gel" texture hydrates without a slick feel.
- Good mix of replenishing ingredients and antioxidants.
- Several fragrance ingredients pose a strong risk of irritating skin.
- The fragrant plant oils are skin stressors, not soothers.
Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's barrier, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the visible effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191-202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1-43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446-475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789-798
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.