This is Aveeno's addition to the growing number of skin-lightening products being launched around the world. The term "tone corrector" is a typical euphemism meant to convey skin lightening. . In this case, the focus is dark spots and uneven skin color which are widespread concerns for people who've spent too much time in the sun (yes, those pesky dark spots that keep popping up are from years of sun damage before we knew about the importance of sunscreen, weren't good about applying it daily, and many of us still aren't). Sadly, despite a nice silky texture, this skin-lightening product disappoints more than it impresses.
The formula contains soy, retinol, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), all ingredients that can lighten dark spots and promote a more even skin tone. The problem? All of these beneficial ingredients are present in amounts likely too low to be effective. It's very disappointing that this treatment contains more fragrance (which isn't skin care) than the ingredients skin needs to look more even.
The amount of fragrance may pose a risk of irritation; see More Info to learn why and to find out why Aveeno's claim that this product is hypoallergenic is lacks meaning.
So should you try this product? It's inexpensive compared to many other skin-lightening products, but in this case you're not getting a beauty bargain. Instead, consider any of the options on our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products, and remember, no skin-lightening treatment can work the way you want if you're not committed to protecting exposed skin from sun (daylight) exposure all year long with a product rated SPF 25 or greater.
Why You Cannot Rely on the Hypoallergenic Claim: "Hypoallergenic" is little more than a nonsense word meant to make products sound safer or somehow better for sensitive skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. Any company can label any product "hypoallergenic" because there is no regulation that says they can't, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category, which was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled "hypoallergenic" that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word "hypoallergenic" gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren't putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).
Why Daily Use of Fragrant Skin Care is a Problem: 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 to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Imagine having a more even skin tone without concealer. AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Targeted Tone Corrector gives you just that. This oil-free, hypoallergenic formula is clinically proven to fade the look of dark spots in only 2 weeks with continued improvement over time. It combines ACTIVE NATURALS® Total Soy Complex with vitamin A to reveal softer, smoother, more radiant looking skin. It’s a spot-on solution you’ll love.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, PEG-8, Stearyl Heptanoate, C14-22 Alcohols, Steareth-21, Stearyl Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Polyacrylamide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, BHT, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, P-Anisic Acid, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Ascorbic Acid, Dihydroxy Methylchromone, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Retinol, Laureth-7, Polysorbate 60, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide.
Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.
Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar won’t remain stable.
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.
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