Tested on animals:No
Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream contains a number of beneficial ingredients and its moisturizing formula is well suited to the needs of those with normal to dry skin (not for sensitive skin, as its fragrance could trigger sensitivity). With all of its pros, it should have been a shoe-in for a higher rating—but Andalou Naturals packaged this in a jar. Such packaging exposes its delicate antioxidants to oxygen and light, which means the benefits these ingredients provide is substantially limited. See the More Info section for the details on why jars are such a problem for moisturizers like this one.
Andalou Naturals included a number of antioxidants to help protect skin against free-radical damage. From extracts like cranberry, vitamin C from magnesium ascorbyl phosphate to white tea and rooibos, there is a range of anti-aging ingredients present. To help moisturize and repair, Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream contains multiple non-fragrant plant oils (flax, borage and sunflower) along with cocoa, shea and mango butter. All of those ingredients kick in antioxidant benefits, too—but jar packaging won't let them work as well as they otherwise would.
This contains wild carrot extract (Daucus carota), which has a potential to provoke reaction for those who are allergic to the plant (Contact Dermatitis, 2014). Despite the fact that Andalou Naturals based a series of products around carrot extract, it has little documented benefit for skin when applied topically. The amount of orange oil is also likely not problematic for most, but its presence and a fragrance extract isn't a good thing.
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.
Despite its beneficial ingredients, Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream earned an unimpressive rating primarily due to its use of jar packaging. Given the brands claim of focusing on scientific research in the development of their formulas, it is all the more disappointing they chose this style of packaging, especially given the well-known (to chemists and formulators) sensitivity of antioxidants to air exposure. For moisturizers that don't share this packaging Achilles heel, see our Best Moisturizers Without Sunscreen section.
Last, please refer to the brand summary for a discussion of Andalou Natural's BioActive 8 Berry Complex.
- Contains multiple beneficial antioxidants.
- Includes several moisturizing non-fragrant plant oils and butters.
- Anti-irritant and reparative ingredients help repair skin's barrier.
- Jar packaging exposes its delicate ingredients to air and light.
- 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.