Anti-Aging Smooth & Firm Elixir is supposed to provide your skin with "antioxidant protection" for a smoother, firmer look, but it lacks many of the proven ingredients it takes for a skincare product to actually achieve such results.
Using words like "botanical complex" and "O2 complex" (everything here is a complex), Nuance relies heavily on unproven ingredients for the bulk of this formula. The O2 complex is listed as a group of "ferments," such as silicon ferment, copper ferment, and zinc ferment. All of these are yeast-based fermented in the presence of different ions. Although they might have antioxidant properties, there is no known benefit for skin from any of them, and they make up a good deal of this product. There are other proven antioxidants included in this formula, but there's not much of them present.
Another area of concern is the inclusion of Centella asiatica extract, and fairly high on the ingredient list. There is preliminary evidence that C. asiatica can aid in wound healing and possibly in the treatment of psoriasis. Unfortunately, research also shows it can cause eczema and allergic contact dermatitis accompanied by redness, itching, burning, and raised bumps on the skin (Source: naturaldatabase.com). Because of this, and especially because this is supposed to be a daily-use product, we can't recommend it. We suggest looking into one of the superior options on our list of Best Serums instead.
With sea buckthorn extract, O2 complex & vitamins A, C & E.
Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Physalis Angulata Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmate, Ascorbyl Palmate, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Green (CI 42053),Yellow 5 (CI 19140).
A reasonably priced retinol product with packaging that keeps the retinol stable; good skin-brightening product; excellent cream body cleanser; good body cream for dry skin.
Many products contain lavender oil, which is a known skin irritant, despite its nice scent; most of the moisturizers are packaged in jars, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients will lose their effectiveness once the lid is opened; many of the “star” ingredients lack independent research proving their effectiveness; very few fragrance-free products; an anti-acne product that has the potential to make acne breakouts worse.
It’s a simple fact of the cosmetics industry, and it’s been the case for decades: A beautiful actress or model touting the benefits of a brand can have an enormous influence on how people make decisions about what products to buy! Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Jennifer Aniston has sold their face and fame to a cosmetic company to proclaim its benefit. Now, actress Salma Hayek has an eponymous line of skincare and makeup products called Nuance Salma Hayek.
Hayek’s acting career began in her native Mexico, where she became a star after appearing in successful films and telenovelas. She then made the jump to Hollywood and found commercial success in English-speaking projects, as well as branching out into directing and producing. Cosmetics companies took note of Hayek’s success and ethnic beauty, which lead to Revlon contracting Hayek to be one of their models in late 1999.
In 2011, Hayek decided to strike out on her own by creating Nuance Salma Hayek. The actress says the inspiration for the line is her grandmother, who used traditional Mexican home remedies to craft her own skincare products. Many of Nuance’s products contain the same ingredients (or at least derivatives of those ingredients) used by Hayek’s grandmother, such as blue agave and prickly pear. As nostalgic and folksy as that sounds, anecdotal stories about skin care don’t relate to the phenomenal evolution of research that now exists about skin.
While it is possible that blue agave and prickly pear are decent ingredients for skin, there is scant evidence or any research proving that to be the case. Though there certainly isn’t any negative information yet about these extracts, the fact that Nuance relies heavily on them for anti-aging benefit means they’re ignoring some truly great ingredients with vast amounts of proven research showing they work!
Even more to the point, regardless of how good an ingredient is for skin, whether the concern is dryness, acne, signs of aging, oily skin, blackheads, sagging, puffy eyes, or anything else, skin is a complex organ, and one or two good ingredients is not even remotely enough to take the best care of it. Believing these kinds of homespun tales will end up hurting your skin. The same way eating only the same two or three foods every day wouldn’t keep your body healthy, two or three ingredients won’t keep your skin healthy, either.
Aside from the marketing spin, the line itself, which is extensive, has far more negatives than positives. The facial moisturizers rely heavily on jar packaging, meaning the light-and air-sensitive ingredients in those products will start to lose their effectiveness as soon as the jar is opened. Another misstep is the inclusion of lavender oil in many products—a not-so-great natural ingredient that research has shown can cause many problems, including skin-cell death, meaning it has no place in skincare products! Yes, lavender smells good, but oftentimes what pleases your nose isn’t going to make your skin happy.
Of course, there are some standout products among Nuance’s offerings. There is a good—and affordable—retinol product, as well as an excellent skin lightener, a truly great body cleansing cream, and a body moisturizer that’s great for dry skin. As a whole, though, the line is largely unimpressive, and is bolstered more by its celebrity cache than by the strength of its products’ performance.
Note: Although Nuance Salma Hayek offers makeup, too, only the skincare is reviewed at this time. We noticed that our area CVS stores carried only a small portion of the makeup, and many items were deeply discounted, which is a sign the color line might be going away.
Nuance Salma Hayek is sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacies. For more information, visit www.cvs.com or call 1-888-607-4287.
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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