Fade Serum Intense LES-10 Brightening Complex is an interesting skin-lightening product, held back from being a good option by a few ingredient missteps, plus it's ludicrous price. There is an impressive array of antioxidants and plant-based skin lighteners here, and its light, serum-like consistency will work for all skin types. Unfortunately, this also includes a prominent amount of fragrance irritants. See More Info for the details on why fragrance is such a problem in skin-care products.
What's intriguing about this formula is that Lancer made use of a novel combination of plant-based ingredients that have the potential to suppress melanin in skin. Specifically, you'll find a combination of licorice extracts and the skin-lightening ingredient phenylethyl resorcinol. However, these ingredients aren't present in substantial amounts for a formula marketed specifically for its ability to lighten discolorations—especially at this price (in fact, we'd recommend checking out Lancer's Advanced C Radiance Cream over this formula).
Phenylethyl resorcinol has limited research supporting its ability to lighten discolorations; the most compelling research looked at the results of a cream with phenylethyl resorcinol plus three other skin-lightening agents. The product was applied over a period of 3 months by 20 women, all of whom also used sunscreen. At the end of the study, it was determined that the women's dark spots decreased by 43%. The problem? We don't know how much of this improvement is due to phenylethyl resorcinol, as it wasn't used alone (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2011, pages 189–196).
This product includes orange and lemon fruit extract, both fragrant skin irritants that can cause a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to the sun, which can lead to skin discolorations (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). An ironic (and undesirable) outcome for a product marketed towards those looking to treat an uneven skin tone!
Despite the interesting elements of this product, we recommend skipping it in favor of better options without its shortcomings. Consider any of the numerous well-formulated alternatives on the market from other brands in the Best Skin-Lightening Products section.
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).
A lightweight fluid formulated to lighten and brighten skin and help even its tone. Powered by LES-10 Brightening Complex, a proprietary combination of skin tone regulators and dark spot diminishers.
Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulvis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Resveratrol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Dimethicone, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Glabridin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Isostearate, Benzyl Benzoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool.
Strengths: Has a good option for 10% vitamin C treatment; Their 10% AHA moisturizer is a worth considering for those who have dry skin.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some products with light- and air-sensitive ingredients are packaged in jars; overly abrasive scrub.
Dr. Harold Lancer is a Beverly Hills dermatologist with celebrity clientele, two credentials that pique the interest of many women interested in skin care. His specialty is cosmetic rejuvenation and, like many dermatologists before him, Lancer has his own line of products: Lancer Dermatology Skincare.
Lancer's skin-care line is built around four steps: polish, cleanse, nourish, and protect. According to Lancer, these steps work for every skin type or aging concern. The polish (i.e. scrub) step involves applying a fairly abrasive, alkaline scrub before cleansing. Lancer's idea is that the polish loosens soil and cellular debris, which the cleanser you apply next will easily wash away.
After you cleanse, you're supposed to nourish skin with an anti-aging moisturizer. During the day, you're advised to protect your skin with sunscreen and, occasionally, if needed, you can apply a treatment product (such as a vitamin C cream).
Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's ultimately nothing new to the skin-care industry: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubs aren’t the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.
The polish (scrub) before the cleansing step is a new twist, but it's actually a problem if you're wearing makeup. Scrubbing skin before you remove your makeup will grind the makeup deeper into your pores, making it harder for the cleanser to remove. If anything, you should cleanse first, polish second.
Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's about as interesting as white bread. If anything, it's a mix of dated and modern concepts built on information that researchers have known about for years: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubbing isn't the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.
Unfortunately, Lancer’s scrubs are all alkaline (high pH) and contain overly abrasive scrub ingredients and fragrance extracts that skin doesn’t need. The nighttime moisturizers are all packaged in jars (exposing their beneficial ingredients to air), and the one sunscreen in the line is alcohol based (which isn’t a good thing for skin, as we’ll discuss in the product review).
There are some highlights in the line, such as good options for a 10% vitamin C treatment and AHA exfoliant, but ultimately you don’t need to spend this much to have healthy, younger-looking skin. In fact, because many of Lancer's products contain one or more problematic ingredients, you may end up thinking, “why bother?”
For more information about Lancer Dermatology Skincare, call (310) 278-8444 or visit http://www.lancerskincare.com/.
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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