Time Freeze Wrinkle Filler promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on contact and stop them in their tracks with vitamin C and a "Dynamic Collagen" blend. To a degree, it succeeds in its mission, but not quite as dramatically as you might expect.
First, let's look at its role as a wrinkle filler. Time Freeze has a viscous cream texture dispersed via a slim squeeze tube with a precision tip opening for spot application. You're instructed to dab a small amount of product over fine lines and wrinkles. Because this is a silicone-rich formula it glides smoothly over skin, yet it has a tenacious feel to it—in other words, it's thick enough to stay put.
While not quite as effective as some of the other spackle-like wrinkle-filler products we've reviewed, Time Freeze does ever-so-slightly blur the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. If you apply concealer or foundation over Time Freeze, you'll need to be careful with blending as the wrinkle-filling base can cause a slight drag.
What about the long-term effects? True to claim, Time Freeze contains an impressive amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is considered a potent antioxidant for increasing collagen production and strengthening skin's barrier response, among other anti-aging benefits for skin (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2012; and Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2002). Ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C, but it's a form that is tricky to keep stable in a cosmetic formula; however, Time Freeze's opaque packaging and its air-restrictive opening helps keep it from breaking down.
Given the high concentration of ascorbic acid, it's possible that you could experience a slight stinging, particularly in the sensitive eye area. That won't necessarily happen to everyone, but it's something to be aware of nonetheless.
As for the rest of the "Dynamic Collagen" blend, Laneige is referring to a mix that includes Ceratonia siliqua (carob) fruit extract and adenosine. Adenosine is a beneficial anti-inflammatory and cell-communicating ingredient, although the small concentration here is nothing to get overly excited about. Carob, on the other hand, has a potentially irritating fragrance component, but, again, given the tiny amount (not enough to smell), we aren't concerned about it.
Between the vitamin C and the subtle wrinkle-blurring effect of this wrinkle filler, Time Freeze is worth a look. Just keep your expectations realistic—it's not going to make wrinkles vanish for good.
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for “mineral water” don’t stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products aren’t superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral water—which they tend to label “Optimal Mineral Water”—harvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this “superior water” is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Here’s what we really know: All water that’s included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isn’t any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneige’s highly touted mineral water won’t retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredients—all of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than what’s actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.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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