The marketing behind this serum from L'Oreal is all about smoothing wrinkles—the product's packaging even looks like a syringe, suggesting that this can do the work of injectable fillers. Not only is that not the case, but this might harm skin due to its irritating formula.
L'Oreal touts the benefits of sodium hyaluronate in the formula, and it is indeed a good ingredient, capable of boosting skin's moisture content (and moisturized skin always looks fuller and healthier). The issue is that sodium hyaluronate alone cannot smooth wrinkles the way L'Oreal claims, and this serum lacks a range of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients that would truly make it an anti-aging product.
The other issue is that there is far more skin-damaging alcohol in this serum than there is any of the beneficial ingredients. Not only is alcohol drying, but also it can cause skin-cell death and free-radical damage. See More Info for details on why alcohol in skincare is a problem.
Given that there are plenty of great serums out there that offer true hydrating benefits, skip this one and check out one on our list of Best Serums instead.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Source: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skincare 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 that weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Source: Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that alcohol's 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 (Source: 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 (Sources: Aging, 2012; and Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Volume loss intervention. Re-volumizes skin and smoothes out wrinkles. Improve skin's fullness and firmness day after day.
Aqua / Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Methylsilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide /Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, 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.
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