Skyn IcelandAngelica Line Smoother With Natural GABA Complex
1.5 fl. oz. for $65
Expert Rating
Community Rating (1)Write a Review
Expert Reviews
Community Reviews
Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

Angelica Line Smoother is made to seem like the natural alternative to Botox injections when that's absolutely not the case. This moisturizer (and, make no mistake, this is just a moisturizer, not a revolutionary anti-wrinkle product) contains mostly water, glycerin, thickeners, an absorbent ingredient, wax, and plant oil. How any of that is supposed to get rid of wrinkles "in minutes" is a very good question, though they could simply be referring to how a moisturizer (any moisturizer) makes wrinkles look less apparent.

So what about this GABA complex? Well, GABA refers to gamma aminobutyric acid, an amino acid synthesized in the brain that acts as a neurotransmitter inhibitor and is associated with reducing the incidence of seizures and depression (Sources: Advances in Experimental Medicines and Biology, 2004, volume 548, pages 92–103; and Archives of General Psychiatry, July 2004, pages 705–713). Cosmetics companies include GABA in products and then claim that topical application relaxes muscles, thus sparing consumers from going through Botox injections.

However, GABA has not been proven to relax muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles or expression lines when applied topically. Cosmetics companies are hoping that consumers will associate the topical application of products containing GABA with its internal function of controlling the manner in which nerve impulses fire. There is no substantiated research proving GABA works in this manner when applied topically, and if it did, it would be cause for alarm. Why? Because if GABA worked as stated and you applied it to your entire face, what's to stop it from affecting the muscles around your mouth, jaw, or neck? If it really relaxed muscles upon application, consumers would see more skin sagging, not to mention problems controlling the (relaxed) muscles in your fingers (assuming they come in contact with the product).

Further, the whole nonsense of using GABA in cosmetic products is refuted by the fact that GABA does not work alone to exert its effect internally on nerves. It requires many other substances (substances that are not present in the skin-care products containing GABA) for it to prevent nerves from being triggered and causing muscles to relax (Sources: www.emedicine.com; www.naturaldatabase.com).

But here's the kicker: Skyn Iceland refers to GABA but this product doesn't contain the ingredient, at least not in its pure form. Instead, they maintain that "biotransformed tomato extract" is the source of the GABA. Even if that were true (which we highly doubt), it doesn't change any of the research-supported info about GABA mentioned above. If you want to make a dramatic increase in expression lines and deeper wrinkles, skin care can help but it's better to pair great skin care (including daily sun protection) with Botox.

It must be stated that this product contains some helpful plant extracts and moisturizing ingredients, though most of those will get lost among the absorbent ingredients (these contribute to this product's texture and help smooth wrinkles, though temporarily).

On the flipside, this contains some problematic plant extracts, too, including angelica. But both the good and not-so-good plant ingredients won't remain stable for long because this product is packaged in a jar. See More Info to learn why jar packaging is a problem for any anti-aging product. Sadly, this isn't the anti-wrinkle powerhouse it's made out to be, and is only an alternative to Botox in the sense that not eating is an alternative to sitting down to a nice dinner.

  • Contains some good moisturizing ingredients.
  • Silica and wax ingredients help to temporarily smooth wrinkles (but not in any way like Botox).
  • There's no research proving that GABA, whether in pure form or from a tomato, effects wrinkles.
  • Jar packaging affects the stability and effectiveness of key ingredients.
  • Contains an oxygenating ingredient (perfluorodecalin) that may cause free-radical damage.
More Info:

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).

Last Updated:09.12.2013
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews
Anti-aging spot treatment that visibly smoothes lines and wrinkles in minutes with a natural GABA complex.
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Silica, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Synthetic Beeswax, Isohexadecane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Perfluorodecalin, Oxycoccus Palustris (Arctic Cranberry) Seed Oil, Rubus Chamaemorus (Arctic Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Angelica Archangelica Root Water*, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Butylene Glycol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, o-Cymen-5-OL, Glycosphingolipids, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance (Parfum) *With Minerals
Brand Overview

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.

Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!