Nuance Salma HayekAgeless Clarity Acne Treatment Moisturizer
1.7 fl. oz. for $16.99
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

This two-in-one product from Nuance comes with the promise of treating both acne breakouts and aging concerns, but it doesn't have what it takes to get either job done and could cause more problems than you started with!

As an anti-aging or anti-acne product this formula fails abysmally. It is as ordinary and mundane as it gets containing little of benefit for skin. The tiny amount of vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) isn't nearly enough to be exciting. Vaseline and Jergens all have better formulas than this.

If you were banking on this product's anti-acne claims, your investment will disappoint. Although the acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid is present, the 0.5% amount is on the low side for much benefit but adding to the disillusionment is the formula's pH of 4.6 is too high for exfoliation to occur.

There's also a small amount of lemon verbena extract in this formula. Although not a great amount, it can cause contact dermatitis (Source: naturaldatabase.com), and that's not good news, particularly if you have acne-prone skin. See More Info to learn why irritation can actually make breakouts worse!

Skip this moisturizer and go instead for one of the superior options on our list of Best Anti-Acne Products.

  • None.
  • Formula lacks anti-aging ingredients to provide any real benefit for skin.
  • Salicylic acid is not present in an amount that can be effective, and the pH is too high for it to provide exfoliation for anti-acne benefits.
  • Lemon verbena extract can potentially cause contact dermatitis.
More Info:

Inflammation in skin is usually related to external factors, such as irritation that damages the skin's barrier, in numerous ways, whether you can see the reaction or not. When irritation on the surface of skin occurs, it activates specific chemicals in the brain called neuropeptides (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2007), which are specifically the kind that regulates the hormonal system of the body.

When this happens, it causes inflammatory chemicals that directly target the oil gland, triggering an increase in oil production, which, in turn, can increase the size of the pore, and the likelihood of acne—the more inflammation, the worse the risk (European Journal of Dermatology, 2002 & Dermatology, 2003).

Bottom line: Inflammation and its resulting irritation, whether internal or external (for this discussion externally it would be due to the use of irritating ingredients, hot water, overusing scrubs, and so on), is practically a guarantee you will see excess production of oil, larger pores, and acne breakouts (Experimental Dermatology, 2009; and Dermato-Endocrinology, 2011).

That's reason enough to avoid products with irritating ingredients, which often come in the form of fragrance, including the misnamed "essential" oils.

Last Updated:12.15.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

Soothing formula for acne-prone skin treats breakouts and helps improve skin tone.


Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (0.5%). Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Octyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Lippia Citridiodora Flower (Lemon Verbena) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Polysorbate 80, Lactic Acid.

Brand Overview


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.

About the Experts

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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