Tested on animals:No
Hyaluronic DMAE Lift & Firm Cream could have been a relatively good option for normal to dry skin, unfortunately it is packaged in a jar and contains a few less than desirable ingredients for a formula intended for daily use. What beneficial ingredients it does contain (and there are several) are compromised upon exposure to air and light. See More Info for the additional details on the disadvantages of jar packaging.
The jar packaging is an especially unfortunate choice, as Andalou Naturals took the care to include multiple antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients. Resveratrol, ubiquinone (CoQ10), vitamins E and C are all prone to breaking down with repeated exposure to light and air. To aid in repairing dry skin, argan, jojoba and sunflower oil are present, as well as shea butter—a comprehensive package to reduce signs of aging.
Andalou Naturals includes their Fruit Stem Cell mix, as is the case with many of their products, but we should note that fruit stem cells have no special demonstrated anti-aging benefit for skin (aside from their potential as antioxidants). See the More Info section for additional details on stem cells in skincare.
The inclusion of the controversial ingredient DMAE is another misstep. Also known as dimethylaminoethanol, DMAE research has conflicting results in terms of its anti-aging effectiveness and subsequent risk to the skin. It seems to offer an initial benefit that improves the skin, but these results are short-lived and eventually give way to breakdown of the substances in skin that help build healthy collagen (Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2007 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2005).
Despite its beneficial ingredients, Hyaluronic DMAE Lift & Firm Cream earned its rating because of its use of the ingredient DMAE and its jar packaging, which renders what benefits are provided largely useless. See the Best Moisturizers Without Sunscreen list for moisturizers that don't share the weaknesses of this product.
Note: The marketing for this product makes note of supposed "Lift & Firm" abilities. While healthier skin can be firmer to the touch, once skin has begun to lose elasticity and sag, there isn't anything topical that can reverse this progression outside of cosmetic procedures.
Last, please refer to the brand summary for a discussion of Andalou Natural's BioActive 8 Berry Complex.
- Contains several beneficial antioxidants.
- Multiple moisturizing non-fragrant plant oils and shea butter are helpful for dry skin.
- Anti-irritant and reparative ingredients replenish skin's barrier.
- Jar packaging exposes its delicate ingredients to air and light.
- Skincare products cannot "lift" skin.
- DMAE is a controversial ingredient when used in the long term.
- Fragrance ingredients (orange oil) aren't helpful to skin.
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, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, 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 that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to light exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin. That means the vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
Stem Cells in Skincare: Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.
The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless.
Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant properties. Actually, it's a good thing plant stem cells can't work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don't want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!
There are also claims that because a plant's stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or to survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin, and these claims are completely without substantiation.
Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics company's claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid because stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.