One of the latest trends in skincare is products claiming to add volume or plump the skin, and L'Oreal jumps on the bandwagon with their Revitalift Daily Re-Volumizing Moisturizer. While it does have some positives going for it, it just can't do what it says, and, surprisingly, it contains some ingredients that work counter to its claims!
The first thing you'll notice about this silky, somewhat thick cream is the perfumey smell, which hits your nose as soon as you open the jar (and that jar is a problem, too, which we'll explain in a little bit). Even though fragrance is the very last ingredient on the list, the scent is alarmingly strong— so strong you'll be catching a whiff of yourself throughout the day, which is not what most people want out of their moisturizer.
This does contain sodium hyaluronate, which functions as a skin-identical ingredient, meaning it can boost skin's moisture content, prevent moisture loss, and reduce inflammation. Boosting your skin's moisture can definitely lead to a more "volumized" appearance, though it won't make your wrinkles disappear. The issue here is that this moisturizer contains more drying alcohol than sodium hyaluronate—alcohol literally breaks down the very ingredients that keep skin soft and smooth. Talk about working against your anti-aging goals!
Then there's the fact that this is packaged in a jar, which means the good ingredients that are in here won't remain stable for very long after you open it. See More Info for details on why jar packaging and high amounts of alcohol are a problem for most skincare products.
With all these factors taken into consideration, this winds up being an overall lackluster product. We encourage you to consider instead one of the much better options on our list of Best Moisturizers.
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).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
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!)
Alcohol-Based 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).
Our 1st Daily Volumizing Skincare. Restores skin's natural fullness for a more youthful look. See improvement on cheekbones, under-eye and wrinkles.
Aqua / Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Silica, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Secale Cereale Extract/Rye Seed Extract, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Nylon-12, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Phenoxyethanol, CI 77163/Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!