Positively Radiant Triple Boosting Serum, reformulated (not for the better) in 2008, has a texture that is more like a lotion than a serum, but the prominence of silicones lends it a silky-smooth finish. Aveeno claims that this product has their highest concentration of Total Soy Complex, listed as soybean seed extract. They maintain soy will even skin tone, diminish discolorations, and shield skin against further wrinkles. It would be great if soybean extract could accomplish all of that, but it isn’t possible. The good news is that research has shown that soy and its components, when taken orally in supplement form (particularly the antioxidants genistein and other isoflavones), have protective properties, such as shielding skin from UV light–induced damage and reducing inflammation (Sources: Carcinogenesis, March 7, 2006; and Archiv der Pharmazie, December 2005, pages 598–601). In addition, limited in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that topically applied soybean seed extract increases collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis in aging skin (Sources: Photochemistry and Photobiology, May–June 2005, pages 581–587; and Journal of Cosmetic Science, September–October 2004, pages 473–479), but that is true of lots of antioxidants, not just soy. Plus, none of that means soy will forestall wrinkles; you’ll still need to wear an effective sunscreen every day and practice smart sun behavior, eat lots of antioxidants, and use skin-care products that are loaded with lots of antioxidants. This product would have been rated higher if Aveeno had included additional antioxidants and perhaps a cell-communicating ingredient or two. As is, it’s an option if you’re curious to see what soy does for your skin all on its own, but that makes it a one-note product. Ultimately your skin deserves and can reap greater benefit from a variety of beneficial substances. This product does contain fragrance.
This breakthrough serum, with the highest concentration of clinically proven Total Soy Complex, works in 3 ways to take skin to a whole new level of radiance. It's powerful combination of the best of nature and the proof of science that we call Active Naturals. Brightens and evens skin tone. Visibly diminishes the appearance of skin discoloration and brown spots. Contains vitamins and antioxidants that help fight free radicals to keep skin looking younger.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Stearyl Heptanoate, Polyacrylamide, C14-22 Alcohols, Steareth-21, Stearyl Caprylate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Fragrance, Squalane, Polymethyl, Methacrylate, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, P Anisic Acid, Laureth 7, Bisabolol, Octadecenedioic Acid, Disodium Edta, Pentaerithrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhyrocinnamate, Polysorbate 60, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, May Contain: Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid
Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).
Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.
Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.
The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!
For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.