Prevage Face Advanced Anti-Aging Serum continues the carefully orchestrated launch of Prevage, which was first marketed to physicians and is now available in what is termed an “over-the-counter” version, marketed under the Elizabeth Arden name. Arden partnered with Allergan, the company that makes Prevage, to create a product that contains the “powerful” antioxidant idebenone (listed on the ingredient list as hydroxydecyl ubiquinone). What is the difference, you ask, between the dermatologic version and the one sold at the Arden counter? The original Prevage formula is billed as “physician-strength” and contains 1% idebenone, while Arden’s cosmetics-counter version contains 0.5% idebenone. The physician-strength angle is bogus because idebenone is not a drug of any kind, nor is it regulated or akin to any type of prescription treatment. There is no reason it can’t be sold in any retail channel. Such positioning and exclusivity is clever marketing on Allergan’s part (the company also distributes Botox, Latisse, and markets the M.D. Forte skin-care line).
The intense curiosity about this product has been nothing short of amazing, with most women asking me if idebenone really is the best antioxidant available. The study that showed idebenone has the antioxidant muscle to surpass others involved only 30 subjects, and compared idebenone to vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, and kinetin. The study did not, however, compare the effects of idebenone to many of the hundreds of other potent antioxidants that commonly appear in other skin-care products, nor did it compare the effects of idebenone with the effects of a combination of antioxidants. Perhaps a cocktail of antioxidants would far surpass idebenone—we don’t know. Interestingly, a study comparing the protective effect of idebenone on sun-exposed skin found it ineffective compared to topical application of vitamins C and E with ferulic acid, but this study was conducted in part by Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, whose SkinCeuticals line sells an antioxidant serum with those very ingredients (Source: The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, May 2006, pages 1185–1187).
The world of antioxidants is far more complex than the mere handful that Allergan compared to idebenone. To date, there are still no published, peer-reviewed studies that support idebenone’s alleged superiority. This does not mean idebenone is not a valid antioxidant for skin. Given what we know about how ubiquinone performs in the body, it is definitely not a throwaway ingredient. What is fairly certain, however, is that it is neither the best nor most potent antioxidant around. Comparing Allergan’s original Prevage formula to Arden’s is like comparing night and day. Arden’s water-in-silicone version is silky-smooth, and with a formula that’s nearly identical to that of Allergan’s “medically positioned” (however inaccurate that is) Prevage MD. Both Prevage products are water-in-silicone serums that contain several skin-friendly ingredients, including glycerin, phospholipids, green tea, sodium hyaluronate, and algae.
Which Prevage product to choose isn’t a tough decision, given that efficacy levels for idebenone have not been established. The fact that Arden’s product contains 50% less than the original Prevage is inconsequential, and there is no research proving that 1% idebenone is preferred to Arden’s 0.5%. Is Arden’s readily available version worth the money? Despite its elegant formula, the answer is “no.” Considering that idebenone is not the definitive antioxidant and that many companies are producing antioxidant serums and lotions that contain a cocktail of antioxidants, Arden’s price point is undeservedly high. The product is a worthwhile option, and the formula is suitable for all skin types—unless you’re sensitive to fragrance. But money-wise, lots of companies have antioxidant-loaded products that cost less (in some cases, much less) and, due to their blend of antioxidants, potentially offer skin a greater complement of benefits. One last note: The mica in both Prevage products lends a slight shimmer to skin, which the companies describe as enhancing skin’s radiance; it’s just shine, nothing more.
Note: Despite all the hullaballoo about this product getting a “facelift” and a fancier name (previous is was called Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment), we've confirmed with Elizabeth Arden that it’s only the packaging that has changed, not the formula.
PREVAGE transforms anti-aging skincare with advanced Idebenone technology, the most powerful antioxidant available today with an EPF rating of 95. Re-engineered to help create a reserve within the skin to release protective and corrective benefits when and where needed most. Measurably diminishes the appearance of lines, wrinkles, minor scars, redness, age spots and sun damage so skin looks younger than ever.
PREVAGE Face addresses major skincare concerns with proven results: Fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and discolorations appear reduced. Redness and minor scars and existing sun damage look minimized. Skin looks firmer and more radiant.
New PREVAGE Face provides significant benefits to protect and correct the look of skin, helping shield skin from environmental assaults, intercept future aging signs and dramatically improve the look of sun damaged skin. In addition to noticeably minimizing the appearance of lines, wrinkles, age spots and discolorations and giving skin a firmer look, tests show a reduction in the appearance of redness and minor scars. Over the long term, skin's natural look of resilience is fortified, allowing skin to help fight the effects of environmental aggression. Use it morning and night as the first step of your PREVAGE regimen.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-8, Glycerin, Phospholipids, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Algae Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/VP Copolymer, Hydroxydecyl Ubiquinone, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, PPG-2 Isoceteth-20 Acetate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Urea, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Tetrahydropyranyloxphenol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyquaternium-51, Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Mica, Fragrance, Benzoic Acid, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide
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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