Age Perfect Cell Renewal Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is being heavily advertised in fashion magazines; its attractive gold packaging and promise of cell renewal may have caught your eye. Unfortunately in this case looks are deceiving because this can't live up to its promises and is far from the ideal anti-aging moisturizer.
On the plus side, this daytime moisturizer provides broad spectrum sun protection that includes stabilized avobenzone for reliable UVA screening. UVA rays are the sun's most aging rays, and sufficient UVA protection is critical to any SPF-rated product's ability to help your skin look and act younger.
This product's creamy texture is well suited for normal to dry skin. Several emollients are on hand, but their ability to be "deeply moisturizing" is compromised due to the amount of alcohol this Age Perfect product contains. Although the alcohol isn't likely to cause immediate dryness due to the emollient ingredients this product contains, we're still concerned about its irritation potential over the long term. This amount of alcohol can also increase the potential for irritation from its non-mineral sunscreen active ingredients, which can be sensitizing for some.
Things don't improve much beyond this point. We found this product's finish to be somewhat greasy (even for dry skin). You can apply makeup over it easily enough, but the unusual, greasy-ish finish can keep makeup from lasting as long as it otherwise would. If you have dry skin, you'll want to give this several minutes to absorb or you may not like how it feels. Those with very dry skin may not mind this, but there are other reasons to think twice about this day cream…
Another concern is the jar packaging. Unlike many L'Oreal day creams, this one contains some light- and air-sensitive antioxidant ingredients—but these beneficial ingredients can't retain their potency when they're exposed to air and light each time you open the jar. See More Info to learn why jar packaging is something we don't recommend.
As for L'Oreal's claims of surface cell renewal, you can attribute that to the form of salicylic acid this contains. Regrettably, the amount of this ingredient and this product's pH of 5.3 keep it from being an effective way to exfoliate skin's surface or prompt any kind of cell renewal. While this formula's broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from incurring further sun damage, today's best daytime moisturizers with sunscreen do that and a lot more with advanced combination of anti-aging ingredients.
Last, it's worth mentioning that although this isn't a strongly-fragranced formula, its fragrance does linger, and the ingredient list includes low amounts of several fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation.
In the end, Age Perfect Cell Renewal Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 has more negatives than positives. Although it will moisturize dry skin and provide reliable sun protection, its somewhat greasy finish can be problematic, the salicylic acid won't exfoliate, and alcohol plus fragrance ingredients conspire to put skin at risk of irritation. By most people's standards, that list doesn't come close to creating the perfect day cream! See our list of Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen for alternatives that run circles around this ultimately disappointing formula.
Note: The ingredient neohesperidin dihydrochalcone is primarily used as a fragrance and flavoring ingredient. It's not an ingredient we see often in skincare products; Nivea uses it to flavor several of their lip balms, but other than those and one other L'Oreal product, that's about it.
High Amounts of Alcohol in Skincare Products: A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, 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 that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
This deeply nourishing cream helps stimulate surface skin cell renewal to reveal more youthful looking skin, while keeping skin hydrated all day long. Instantly, skin feels smoother, more supple. In 1 month, skin appears renewed, vibrant and full of life.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-20, Petrolatum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethiconol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Cetearyl Glucoside, Neohesperidin Dihydrochalcone, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Cyclodextrin, Adenosine, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Mannitol, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Cicer Seed Extract, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Laureth 7, Yeast Extract, Xanthan Gum, Polyacrylamide, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Octyldodecanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4, Yellow 5, Linalool, Geraniol, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Fragrance
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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