We'd like to take this opportunity to point out that although the neck shows signs of aging that are different from those on the face (and often at different times), it doesn't require special products to improve them. Although skin on the neck is thinner and has less underlying support than skin on other parts of the body, there are no skin-care ingredients that are unique for the neck but of no use when applied to the face and vice versa. It's for this reason that you can and should apply any well-formulated facial moisturizer (or serum) to the neck, too—including daily sun protection products (most neck products leave out this important need for skin anywhere on the body).
In light of the above, Age Reverse Neck Cream cannot reverse signs of age on the neck, or anywhere else, but it is a good, though rather basic moisturizer for dry skin. Exuviance claims it is a potent firming and exfoliating treatment, but it's short on firming and exfoliating ingredients. It does contain acetyl glucosamine which has some skin retexturizing benefit but not in comparison with how AHAs or BHA work on skin (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Science, July-August 2009, pages 423–428).
This moisturizer isn't rated higher because it's packaged in a jar—a decision that won't keep the beneficial ingredients stable after it is opened. See More Info to learn why jar packaging and anti-aging skin care don't go hand-in-hand.
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, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so 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, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Products claiming to lift sagging skin: 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.
Developed exclusively for the fragile neck and décolletage, this potent firming and exfoliating treatment helps correct the telltale signs of premature aging and UV overexposure. This luxurious fast absorbing cream creates a strong, supportive network to lift away years, restoring youthful tone and definition to the neckline.
Aqua (Water), Acetyl Glucosamine, Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethyl Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Ethoxydiglycol Oleate, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethoxydiglycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Nylon-12, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Isostearic Acid, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Dimethiconol, Lecithin, Palmitoyl Glycine, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Ammonium Hydroxide, Isopropyl Myristate, PEG-40 Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Bisulfite, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Methyl Decenol, Ethylene Brassylate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyldihydrojasmonate, 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.
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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