We wonder how many women are buying products like this, unaware that they are not only wasting their money but also potentially hurting their skin in the process. We suspect women who wouldn’t bat an eye at the cost of this kind of product probably aren’t reading this review, so if you clicked on it out of curiosity, please pass it along. (Of course, that’s what we hope you do with all of our reviews, but even more so for products with obnoxious price tags like this one!)
This water-based serum’s price is almost as outrageous as its formula, which isn’t the least bit lifting or “next generation.” It contains a high amount of sodium citrate, a salt-based ingredient that’s a derivative of citric acid, which can be irritating when so prominent in a skin-care formula. The irritation may cause your skin to feel tighter, but skin feeling tighter (think of washing your face with bar soap) isn’t the same as making loose, sagging skin tighter—that process requires far more than this product provides (see More Info for ways you can help improve sagging).
The formula also contains a high amount of a dry-finish solvent plus alcohol, the same kind that is pro-aging rather than anti-aging. Following closely behind are constricting plant extracts whose irritation potential spells more trouble for skin. Those are joined by fragrance ingredients known to be irritating, so, despite the fact that this product contains some promising anti-aging ingredients, you’re most likely getting far more trouble for minimal benefit, all at a premium price. No matter how you look at it or how large your skin-care budget may be, this product is one to leave on the shelf.
Alcohol in Skin-Care Products
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,” Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Irritation From Fragrance and Fragrant Oils
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 Aging and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Why Skin-Care Products Cannot Lift Sagging Skin
Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn’t possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that’s exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. This combination of products (remember, one product doesn’t do it all) has extensive research showing how it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You’ll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
An age defying serum joins the iconic Skin Caviar Collection. One drop helps to lift, firm and provide a long-lasting tensing effect to skin. This modern day next generation formula contains scientific advancements that create this lifting phenomenon. Past damage recedes as existing cells are rejuvenated, and new ones are super-charged, nourished and protected. Skin appears lifted and taut.
Water, Sodium Citrate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Alcohol, Linseed Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Acrnelia Oleracea Extract, Pentapeptide-31, Centella Asiatica Extract, Caviar Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Lactic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Algin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum Crosspolymer, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tin Oxide, Fragrance, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Iron Oxides
La Prairie At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the makeup categories present at least one good, though needlessly expensive, option.
Weaknesses: Very expensive; overreliance on jar packaging; many products contain a potentially irritating amount of astringent horsetail extract; no effective skin-lightening options; poor options for anyone dealing with blemishes (though La Prairie is concerned primarily with selling wrinkle creams anyway).
La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.
Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.
A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.
For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.
La Prairie Makeup
The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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