Age Affirm Firming Eye Balm claims to treat anti-aging concerns around the delicate eye area. While any well-formulated moisturizer will help in that regard (see More Info to learn why you might not need an eye cream), if you are in the market for an eye-area product, this simply doesn't have the ingredients necessary to do much for skin other than moisturize but the eye area or any area on the face for that matter needs so much more than that.
The formula is indeed packed with emollients, such as shea butter, dimethicone, and apricot kernel oil, which will make skin feel smoother and moisturized while having a superficial impact on fine lines (the introduction of moisture always makes skin appear more "plumped"). This is something most moisturizers can do. But just like you can feel full eating foods with empty calories such as white bread and cakes, your body will be healthier and younger when your diet is high in antioxidants and other nutrient-rich foods. Skin is the same, it is hungry for antioxidants, skin repairing ingredients, and cell communicating ingredients that you apply topically.
Plus it takes more than one product to provide antiaging benefits to the face or eye area. See More Info for how to truly get skin-firming benefits!
As for the "rose petal complex" that's supposed to be the star of the show here it includes violet extract, lavender flower extract, and rose extract. This blend is definitely not good news for your skin especially around the eye area because all of those fragrant plant extracts pose a risk of irritation. Plus lavender also causes cell death.
Add to that the fact that the jar packaging renders what little anti-aging ingredients are present here ineffective over time after opening, because exposing the product to air causes them to break down. You can find much better options in the More Info section of this review.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream: Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep the key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled an eye cream.
You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage, and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
Firming Claims: Many skincare 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.
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).
Rose Petal Complex helps smooth and firm the delicate eye area while reducing the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles.
Water (Aqua), Cetyl Ethylhexylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isonoanoate, Cetearyl Stearate SE, Synthetic Beeswax, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, Prunus Areniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propranol, Dimethiconol, Avena Satvia (Oat) Kernel Extract, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Methyl Isothiazolinone, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Viola Odorata Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Rose Extract.
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.
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