The first thing we have to say about this moisturizer from NeoStrata is that you don't need a separate neck cream! The entire idea is ludicrous! What's next, a separate product for your thighs or upper arms?
In the real world, as opposed to the fantasy world of cosmetics advertising, what's good for treating dry skin or signs of aging on your face, or anywhere else on your body for that matter, is also good for your neck. There's nothing about the skin below your chin that requires ingredients different from those on your face, and there is not a shred of research to the contrary. A well-formulated moisturizer (and during the day, one with SPF 20 or greater), along with other beneficial skin-care products like exfoliants and vitamin C concentrates, can and should be applied to the neck, too!
As for this fragranced neck cream: It does have some good qualities but it simply cannot live up to its claims. NeoStrata uses terms like "NeoCitrate" and "NeoGlucosamine" to make it seem like this moisturizer has state-of-the-art qualities, claiming these components can help stimulate collagen deep within skin's layers. Although some of the ingredients in this cream can stimulate collagen production, they aren't any better than many other collagen-stimulating ingredients. Regardless, collagen stimulation actually doesn't help sagging skin on the neck. What causes neck skin to sag has far more to do with loss of elastin, muscle laxity, and the lack of bone support than anything to do with collagen.
This cream's strength is in the amount of emollients and skin-repairing ingredients it contains, which means it functions well as a basic moisturizer for normal to dry skin. Your skin will definitely feel smoother after using this.
The problem is that this is positioned as an anti-aging product, and yet lacks some of the more sophisticated ingredients that fight signs of aging. Only a handful of antioxidants are included, and the ones that are present aren't all that impressive. Plus, if you were planning to use this during the day, the lack of SPF to combat the sun's harmful UV rays is a serious problem, as sun damage is the number one cause of aging, including sagging skin. See More Info for details on products that can truly help give your skin a youthful lift!
While this neck cream is good simply for adding moisture to your skin, there are far better creams out there to prevent the signs of aging, including some that cost much less than this one. You can find many of them on our list of Best Moisturizers.
Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
This anti-aging neck cream is formulated with three clinically proven matrix building ingredients, each with a unique action to deliver optimal lifting and firming. ProAmino Acid helps stimulate procollagen production in the skin’s deep layers, while NeoCitriate™ helps promote new collagen and NeoGlucosamine® builds the surrounding support matrix. This trio of state-of-the-art actives works together to plump, build volume and firm sagging skin.
Aqua (Water), Acetyl Glucosamine, Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethyl Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, Ethoxydiglycol Oleate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethoxydiglycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Isostearic Acid, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Palmitoyl Glycine, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Dimethiconol, Isopropyl Myristate, Caprylyl Glycol, Lecithin, PEG-40 Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Pentaerythrityl TetraDitButyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Bisulfite, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Hydroxide, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylene Brassylate, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Decenol, Caramel, CI 19140 (Yellow 5).
Strengths: Huge assortment of AHA and PHA exfoliants; a couple good cleansers; some excellent moisturizers; several fragrance-free products.
Weaknesses: No BHA products (better for blemish-prone skin or for those who can't tolerate AHAs or PHA); use of jar packaging compromises some of the formulas; irritating ingredients make an appearance in several products.
Exfoliation is the name of the game for this line! The original NeoStrata and Exuviance brands were created by Drs. Eugene Van Scott and Ruey Yu, the two researchers who own the original patent (actually, they hold over 80 patents) for the use of glycolic acid (AHA) in relation to its ability to diminish wrinkles, among other capabilities. Few lines offer reliable and effective formulations for exfoliation, so those that do deserve your attention. Well-formulated AHA products are those that have an effective concentration of AHAs and a base with an acidic pH that allows them to have maximum benefit. The exfoliation that AHAs provide reduces the thickness of the skin's outer layer, helping skin to quickly look smoother and feel softer, which in turn can solve many skin problems, including dryness, blemishes, sun damage, and skin discolorations. A good deal of research also shows that AHAs can help increase the thickness of the underlying layers of skin, improve skin structure, increase collagen production, and allow penetration of other skin-care ingredients. Moreover, NeoStrata is one of the only companies to sell a range of reliable sunscreens that also contain effective AHA formulations.
Both the Exuviance (Exuviance products are reviewed separately), NeoCeuticals and NeoStrata lines contain glycolic acid (AHA), but even more of these products contain a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) called gluconolactone (also patented by Scott and Yu), and for which similar claims are made. Gluconolactone is supposed to be gentler and longer acting than glycolic acid, and its delayed penetration is attributed to its larger molecular size. However, according to an article in Cosmetic Dermatology (July 1998), the skin can't tell the difference between the various effective AHAs, and the possibility of gluconolactone staying on the surface of skin longer than other AHAs did not prove out. So in terms of exfoliation and potential side effects, PHA ends up being as good as AHA. Gluconolactone may be slightly less irritating for some skin types, but this isn't quite the magic bullet for exfoliation NeoStrata claims, though it does indeed work when properly formulated (but so do glycolic and lactic acids). Another PHA NeoStrata uses is lactobionic acid. However, there is no definitive, published research establishing it as an effective alternative to (or partner for) other AHAs or BHA.
Beyond the numerous products that exfoliate (which is NeoStrata's main selling point) there's not much to get excited about, especially for what the company is charging. And it's upsetting that a dermatologist-driven, physician-sold line still has weak spots such as the occasional inclusion of irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin and, believe it or not, a sunscreen that leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage. NeoStrata has their act together when it comes to AHAs and PHA, but that tunnel vision has, in some respects, kept them from branching out to offer a better assortment of state-of-the-art products.
For more information about NeoStrata, call (800) 225-9411 or visit www.neostrata.com.
Note: NeoStrata's range of products is advertised as being available only through physicians. However, the entire selection is available for purchase online. The Exuviance brand is sold in select department stores and specialty beauty boutiques such as Ulta.
Caution: Keep in mind that skin needs only one reliable exfoliant at a time. NeoStrata sells so many good ones, you may be tempted to double (or triple) up, but doing so can backfire and be more irritating than helpful.
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