This exceedingly overpriced, daytime moisturizer with sunscreen for normal to dry skin gets the important issue of UVA protection right thanks to the inclusion of stabilized avobenzone, and the base formula is creamy and provides enough emollients to keep those with dry skin happy.
In addition to the problem expensive moisturizers with sunscreen presents—that is, given the cost, you're not likely to apply it liberally enough to get the rated protection—the antioxidants this contains, including the publicized idebenone, won't remain stable because this is packaged in a jar, which is ludicrous. Please see More Info for details on the problems jar packaging presents.
As for the claims, there is no published, substantiated research proving that idebenone (listed as hydroxydecyl ubiquinoyl dipalmitoyl glycerate) is the best antioxidant. Even the concept is silly, because there are hundreds of brilliant antioxidants for skin, and comparisons among different antioxidants are few and far between.
The few comparative studies that have been done refute the "idebenone is best" claim, demonstrating instead that other antioxidants such as L-ergothioneine (also present in this product, but not promoted like the idebenone) and resveratrol (not in this product) are in fact more potent than idebenone (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 2–7; and September 2007, pages 183–188). Another published study compared the photo-protective (i.e., sun-protective) effect of idebenone with that of other antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. Although the study was paid for by Skinceuticals (which sells an antioxidant-laden product that competes with Prevage products), it was well designed and ably proved that idebenone does not offer much photoprotection in comparison to other antioxidants (Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, March 2006, pages 1185–1187).
Bottom line: Idebenone is one of many good antioxidants to look for in skin-care products, but it isn't the best or the most potent. No single antioxidant is the best, which is why many researchers believe that a cocktail approach is best when applying antioxidants topically.
This product contains fragrance chemicals that pose a slight risk of irritation (see More Info for details), and it also contains cosmetic pigments that lend a soft shine to skin.
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.
Irritation from 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 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).
This multi-defense, intensely moisturizing day cream helps nourish skin's natural moisture defenses and reverse dryness. Advanced Idebenone technology provides powerful environmental protection while broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens help shield from the sun. Skin feels ultra-soft and smooth, looks healthy, radiant - younger than ever.
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (5%), Octocrylene (2.2%), Avobenzone (2%), Other: Water, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Propylene Glycol, PPG-2 Isoceteth-20 Acetate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ergothioneine, Hydroxydecyl Ubiquinoyl Dipalmitoyl Glycerate, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Linoleate, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Urea, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phospholipids, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, BHT, Mica, Mineral Oil, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone Trimethicone, Fragrance, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Iron Oxides, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5
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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