10.26.2015
4
Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream
1.7 fl. oz. for $14.99
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:10.26.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes

Aveeno's Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream is designed for people with sensitive skin (that is, skin that experiences redness and irritation). Though it has positive aspects that will certainly help with such sensitive skin concerns, its overall lackluster formula — and not-so-great packaging — mean it just doesn't rank among the best products.

Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream comes in a plastic jar with a screw-top lid. That's one of the main reasons it earns an average rating, since jar packaging means the beneficial ingredients this contains won't be protected from light and air once this is opened. See More Info for details on why jar packaging isn't a good idea for most skincare products.

The cream itself is fragrance-free, and contains emollients that will make skin feel smoother and soothed, and help repair its barrier. It also has oat flour and feverfew extract, which have research showing they can help reduce irritation. Overall though, the formula is lacking in what can really help sensitive, reddened skin improve. A greater number of skin-conditioning and skin-repairing ingredients, anti-irritants, and antioxidants would go a long way to helping improve skin's barrier and at the same time reduce inflammation.

While Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream isn't a bad moisturizer, because of its jar packaging and pared-down formula, it's one we can't recommend with enthusiasm. You'll find much better options on our list of Best Moisturizers (which includes many options for sensitive skin!).

Pros:
  • Contains anti-irritants oatmeal and feverfew.
  • Has emollients to soothe sensitive skin and help repair its barrier.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Lacks an array of anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant ingredients for sensitive skin.
  • Packaged in a jar, meaning its plant-based soothing ingredients aren't protected from light and air.
More Info:

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.

The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology 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!)

Community Reviews
Claims
Sensitive skin can be unbalanced, leading to irritation and redness. AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING® Nourishing Night Cream, works through the night to help actively manage sensitive skin. With ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat and Calming Feverfew® , two of nature’s most effective and clinically proven ingredients for sensitive skin, this daily moisturizer leaves your sensitive skin feeling soothed and nourished. It’s clinically shown to significantly reduce the appearance of redness on the face and dry skin in just 1 week, while helping to replenish skin’s protective moisture barrier overnight. It’s dermatologist-tested, oil and fragrance-free, and gentle enough for everyday use on sensitive skin.
Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Arachidyl Alcohol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetearyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Arachidyl Glucoside, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Chlorphenesin, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Flower/ Leaf/Stem Juice, Disodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Laureth-7, Pentylene Glycol, Ceramide NP.
Brand Overview

Aveeno At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.

Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar won’t remain stable.

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 & Johnsonowned 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.

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!

See all reviews for this brand

Aveeno At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.

Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar won’t remain stable.

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 & Johnsonowned 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.