This moisturizer with SPF from Elizabeth Arden might have "Flawless" in its name, but it most certainly isn't without its flaws!
We'll start with what's good: Flawless Future Moisture Cream, which is positioned as an anti-aging cream, provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection. Protecting skin from the sun's harmful rays is the number one way to prevent signs of aging. This moisturizer also features a good mix of barrier-repair ingredients (including the blend of ceramides Elizabeth Arden is known for) as well as skin-conditioning agents and some anti-irritants.
We are disappointed that Arden didn't include a greater range of anti-aging ingredients, especially more antioxidants, which are some of the most powerful fighters against multiple signs of aging. There's also the issue that fragrance chemicals such as geraniol, limonene, and linolool are included; even though they're present only in small amounts, they pose a risk of irritation – and irritation is pro-aging.
Another problem with this cream is that it's packaged in a jar, which means some of its beneficial ingredients won't remain stable or as effective once it's opened. There's also the risk of contamination from repeatedly putting your fingers into the jar, potentially introducing bacteria into the mix. See More Info for details on the problems related to jar packaging.
Give this one a pass, and instead check out one of the many superior options on our list of Best Moisturizers With Sunscreen.
The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
This lightweight daily moisture cream hydrates and immediately brightens skin, as it helps smooth the look of pores and minimize the appearance of discolorations like those caused by blemishes. Skin looks smooth and supple more even toned, revitalized and luminous.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate, 7.14%, Octisalate, 4.75%, Oxybenzone, 4.00%, Avobenzone, 3.0%; Inactive Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Adenosine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Bisabolol, Caprylyl Glycol, Caramel, Carbomer, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 LI, Cholesterol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fucose, Glucose, Glucuronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Jojoba Esters, Kefiran, Panthenol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phytosphingosine, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Red 40 (Ci 16035).
Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance
Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.
Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.
Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empire—one that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.
Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.
Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit, we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of the early 2000s may have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.
For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.
Elizabeth Arden Makeup
Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked. Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way, only one of the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.
In contrast to the mostly disappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile. A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.
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