Here's another skincare product that claims to "firm" skin, but it just can't do what it says.
Nuance highlights two ingredients—cocoa and coffee—as having the ability to make skin appear more toned (in this case, "toned" refers to the firmness of skin, not to the shade or color). We suspect their reason for emphasizing these ingredients is because both contain caffeine, which has long been pitched as a solution to sagging skin from the neck down. There is not a great deal of research showing caffeine has such properties; in fact, the evidence is largely anecdotal and unbelievable (if caffeine could firm skin why wouldn't you just take the left over coffee in your coffee pot and apply that to skin?).
This cream's "firming" properties (or the appearance of them, at least) may come from the inclusion of Mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, which contains tannins. The tannins do have constricting properties on skin, which might make it "feel" tighter, but that constriction can also lead to irritation, especially if used daily.
This formula also contains Arnica montana flower extract, which is associated with a high incidence of skin sensitization. But that's not the worst part: A. montana can almost eliminate the naturally occurring defensive antioxidants present in skin!
While there are some other good, healing ingredients present in this cream (plant-based emollients and antioxidants), these two ingredients make it one to avoid. To find out how to truly improve the appearance of your skin from the neck down, we invite you to read this article and check out our list of Best Body-Care Products.
Nuance Salma Hayek Dark Cacao & Coffee Firming Body Cream is made with cocoa seed butter & rice bran oil.
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Flower Extract, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Illite, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
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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