Journee Bio-Restorative Day Cream SPF 30 is a fragrance-free daytime moisturizer with an in-part mineral sunscreen that’s best for those with normal to dry skin. Packaged in a pump-style container, it contains an OK, but not remarkable, blend of a few antioxidants, fatty acids, and thickening agents. The most incredible part of this formula is its price. That considerable expense begs the question: What exactly are you getting in return?
The sunscreen actives are octinoxate and zinc oxide—a duo that provides broad-spectrum coverage and a minimal white cast that fades almost immediately on application. It’s almost unnecessary, but Neocutis made this available in both a tinted and untinted alternative. The tint is fairly neutral, and would work well for most skin tones—but those with super-fair complexions may find it too dark.
We should note that if you decide to try Journee Bio-Restorative Day Cream SPF 30, you’ll need to be extra careful if ordering online. The tinted version isn’t clearly labeled as such—but one difference you likely will notice is that it’s $35 more (if you’re keeping track, that’s $175 for a 1-ounce bottle of sunscreen).
If we could comment on the price for a moment: We worry about super-expensive daytime moisturizers with sunscreen not working well enough. We’re not doubting the SPF rating; rather, we’re skeptical that the average person who spends this much is going to be good about applying this liberally every morning, which is essential to get the stated level of sun protection. Using this daily on the face and neck means you’ll be replacing this every six weeks, which adds up to over $1,200 per year, just for a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen!
Making the price even more of a sting is that there isn’t much in the way of anti-aging ingredients, only a smattering of antioxidants like green tea extract and vitamin C; that’s nice, but hardly $100+ nice. The marketing calls out Neocutis’ much-hyped PSP, or the trademark named “Processed Silk Proteins” blend used in many of its formulas. It’s not obvious in the ingredient list, but the actual ingredient name for “Processed Silk Proteins” is listed as cutaneous lysate, a blend of fetal cell proteins and amino acids. Despite the benefits attributed to it, there isn’t much research around its benefits for skin (check out the More Info section for additional details on Processed Silk Proteins).
Journee Bio-Restorative Day Cream SPF 30 earned an AVERAGE rating because, overall, it’s a truly unremarkable formula for the cost. Rather than splurge on a $140+ sunscreen that is outperformed by alternatives you can pick up at your local drugstore, consider any of the far more advanced options recommended on our list of Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen.
Processed Silk Proteins: “Processed Silk Proteins,” or PSP, is a blend of peptides, proteins, and other substances featured in many Neocutis products that they claim “….harnesses the power of human growth factors and cytokines.” You may have also heard that a component of this anti-aging blend is human fetal cell tissue—which is correct.
In 2006, a Swiss study published in Cell Transplantation found that biopsied fetal cell tissue could be used for tissue engineering—replacing elements of damaged tissue to aid in the healing process of injuries (Cell Transplantation, 2006). Those biopsied cells were stored in a cell bank, and today, Neocutis uses cell tissue grown from that original cell line; that is, no other fetuses have been biopsied for cells that are destined for use in the PSP blend in Neocutis products. Rather, they continue to grow cells in the lab from the original cell line.
Cellular reengineering of wounds does not translate into how Neocutis’ PSP blend is used in their skincare products—and there isn’t much research on this proprietary blend. What does exist regarding skincare application of the Neocutis PSP blend was conducted on a small group of 12 patients, and only four showed improvement (8% or less is hardly impressive) in collagen production (Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, 2008). There was no comparative data on how PSP performed against other well-researched ingredients such as vitamin C, green tea extract, resveratrol, retinol, or niacinamide.
The bottom line: While some of the proteins and amino acids that make up PSP do have some benefit for skin, it’s minor in comparison to the benefits of well-researched alternatives that you’ll find in abundance in some products from other brands. There isn’t any reason to buy into the belief that PSP is the “miracle” ingredient you’ve been waiting for, and the research certainly doesn’t support the claims made around its use in Neocutis skincare products. Remember, skincare is never as simple as one ingredient, however great (or seemingly great) it may be.
JOURNÉE is a multifunctional cream that helps restore moisture and provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 sun protection after cosmetic or dermatologic procedures. A blend of PSP®, hyaluronic acid, a powerful anti-oxidant mixture and broad-spectrum SPF 30 help rejuvenate, hydrate, protect, nourish and revitalize skin’s appearance; all in just one application!
Active ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%) and Zinc Oxide (7.3%).
Inactive ingredients: Water, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Hexyldecanol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Silica, Cutaneous Lysate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Squalane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Steareth-21, Melanin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 60, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Styrene / Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.
Strengths: Fragrance-free products; use of pump or tube packaging protects the light- and air-sensitive ingredients; excellent vitamin C serum and retinol product.
Weaknesses: Many of the anti-aging moisturizers and treatments are disappointingly simple formulas; expensive; some products rely on unproven ingredients.
If you’ve heard of the Neocutis brand, it’s likely because a dermatologist or aesthetician recommended one of their moisturizers or treatments. Like many skincare brands catering to patients of dermatologists and so-called “medi spas,” the claims associated with their products play off the perception of “prescription results” via ingredients that have medicinal-sounding names such as “Processed Skin Proteins” and “Melaplex.” It’s all designed to make you think you’re getting something special along with the pedigree of the doctor or spa retailing this line. As you’ll see from the reviews, that’s not true, although there are some good products to be found here.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, California, Neocutis was founded in Switzerland in 2003 by a group of physicians and biologists who realized the [marketing] potential of human cells in skincare products—specifically, amino acids and proteins (which is where their trademarked ingredients with exotic-sounding names come into play).
Despite their beginnings and their initial exclusivity to dermatologists’ offices, today you can order Neocutis products from beauty sites and other online retailers. Their line includes a range of products that caters to those whose foremost concerns are treating and preventing signs of aging. As a result, you’ll find Neocutis offers moisturizers, eye creams, and targeted treatments, many of which are themed around their trademarked “PSP,” or “Processed Skin Proteins.” Note: They claim this blend of peptides, proteins, and other substances “harnesses the power of human-cell derived growth factors and cytokines.”
What Neocutis isn’t telling you is that this blend of cytokines and human-cell derived growth factors has little research demonstrating any benefit for skin, and certainly not in comparison to the numerous well-researched antioxidants and cell-communicating agents used in so many of today’s best anti-aging products (see the More Info section of the products reviewed here for more details on PSP).
We should also note that, at the time of this review, Neocutis does not universally adhere to cosmetics ingredient labeling regulations on some of their products. In some cases, they do not list individually the proteins and amino acids that make up their PSP blend, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and
Unfortunately, despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding these products, most are extraordinarily overpriced and contain a surprisingly bland mix of basic moisturizing ingredients with a dusting of antioxidants. When we say “dusting” of beneficial ingredients, we really mean just that; in fact, one of their “remarkable” moisturizers is little more than a mix of glycerin, glycol, and thickeners, with a price tag topping $160!
On a positive note, Neocutis does have two outstanding products—one vitamin C serum and a retinol product—that are (like all of their formulas) fragrance-free and packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients. What’s certain is that Neocutis doesn’t have enough going for it to make putting together an entire anti-aging skincare routine from their products a good idea, for your skin or for your budget!
For more information on Neocutis, call 1-866-636-2884 or visit http://www.neocutis.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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