Eluage Firming Gel

by Avène  
Price:
$46 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizers/Anti-Aging
Last Updated:
5/21/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

The only really anti-aging ingredients of note in this moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin are sodium hyaluronate and retinal. The latter, also known as retinaldehyde, is an effective derivative of vitamin A. Although those two ingredients are great, this fairly pricey lightweight moisturizer would be far more effective if it contained a wider range of anti-aging ingredients because the skin is complex, and requires more than any one ingredient can provide. On the plus side, this is packaged so that the retinal remains stable during use.

Eluage Firming Gel misses the mark by not including a range of anti-aging ingredients that help repair skin, encourage healthier cell production, and soothe irritation. It's little more than an average moisturizer, and your skin deserves (and, in fact, needs) better.

Pros:
  • Contains some good ingredients for slightly dry skin.
Cons:
  • Expensive, especially considering its limited formula.
  • Lacks the large range of anti-aging ingredients skin needs to look and act younger.

Targeted firming gel to reduce the appearance of deep lines around the corner of the eyes, nose and lower cheek.

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Ceteareth 20, Glycol Montanate, Cyclomethicone, Ceteareth 33, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates Copolymer, BHT, Butylparaben, Carbomer, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Propylparaben, Red 33, Retinal, Triethanolamine

Building an entire skin-care line on a single concept, however meaningless that concept may be, is often all it takes to capture the attention of consumers, just because it sounds so convincing. Such is the case with Eau Thermale Avene, a France-based line whose claim to fame is the thermal spring water in its products.

The company's history is laced with romanticized folklore of the allegedly restorative power of this water, with some tales dating back to the 1700s. Building a skin-care line around what was known (or, more accurately, unknown) about skin 300 years ago doesn't make sense, because 300 years ago no one knew anything about skin care or how skin functions; certainly no one knew about sun damage or free-radical damage. For goodness sakes, women in the 1700s were using face powders laced with lead, and who would want to emulate that? Still, the stories Eau Thermale Avene concocts must be convincing some people to buy their products or we wouldn't have been contacted several times per week by readers asking me to review this line.

Avene maintains that their thermal spring water is curative not only because of its historical proof (more anecdotes than proof), but also scientifically because of its low mineral content and pure, pristine source. The company's owner (Pierre Fabre Laboratories) claims to have conducted over 150 clinical studies. However, as you might suspect, there only a handful of published studies, and they all are related to the supposed healing power of Avene's thermal spring water when applied to skin that's been compromised by exposure to radiation or by cosmetic corrective procedures, such as light-emitting devices. Their studies showed that the water has soothing properties and that it helped damaged skin heal faster when compared with the effects of another type of spring water, the standard post-burn treatment, or randomly selected skin-care products.

As convincing as that sounds, the studies don't hold water for several reasons: first, the improvement seen from Avene's thermal spring water was nominal compared with the control; second, the studies were sponsored by Avene; and third, the studies didn't show how the spring water may have fared against numerous established topical anti-irritants or other FDA-approved skin protectants (Sources: Annals of Dermatology and Venereology, Special Edition, January 2008, pages 5–10; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 31–35; and Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2007, pages 924–928).

Avene offers additional studies on their Web site, but the majority again are published in the company's own publications; and none were peer-reviewed. Bottom line: There is absolutely no evidence that any type of thermal spring water allows skin to resist or correct signs of aging. Helping skin maintain its barrier is great, but there is abundant research showing that substances such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin do a far better job.

To its credit, Avene does offer some worthwhile products for sensitive skin. Yet they also offer products that can be problematic for sensitive skin because they contain fragrance and other potentially harmful ingredients. More important is the lack of significant anti-irritants that could have been extremely helpful for those with sensitive skin.

For the most part, unless you're a believer in the company's thermal spring water, there is little reason to get excited about their products. They offer some good cleansers, alternatives to retinol (using a similar ingredient known as retinal and retinaldehyde, which is one of the more effective derivatives of retinol), and some basic yet effective moisturizers for sensitive skin that's also dry.

Given this line's penchant for extolling antiquated skin-care fables, it shouldn't be surprising that their products lack an impressive selection of state-of-the-art ingredients whose benefits for skin are substantiated by reams of research. Interestingly, many of the claims prevalent throughout the cosmetics industry are found here, too, but without the formulas to support them and to actually deliver remarkable antiwrinkle results.

For more information about Eau Thermale Avene, call (866) 412-8363 or visit www.aveneusa.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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