ANEW CLINICAL Absolute Even Multi-Tone Skin Corrector

by Avon  
Price:
$39.99 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
5/16/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This fragrance-free skin-lightening product has a lightweight lotion texture that sets to a very smooth finish suitable for all skin types.

Avon presents a series of statistics from the studies they've done indicating how much improvement you can expect to see based on the type of skin tone issue you have. Although the statistics are presented to make this seem helpful, they aren't really all that impressive; for example, most people wouldn't be all that happy with only a 13% improvement in dark spots.

Avon also differentiates between "dark patches" and "dark spots" on the skin, but it isn't clear what they are talking about. What is the size of a patch versus a spot anyway? Nonetheless, according to Avon's statistics, dark patches showed more improvement than dark spots. Perhaps that's because a dark spot is darker than a dark patch? We're just guessing here because Avon doesn't make it clear what the distinction is.

In any event, what counts the most is the formula, and in this case, for skin-lightening you're getting a mix of two types of vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate). We suspect the amounts of both are too low to offer much improvement for dark spots or other types of discolorations (like red marks from acne), but the vitamin C plus the plant extracts still pack an antioxidant punch, and that can help with many problems for all skin types.

This contains Avon's own form of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)—thiodipropionic acid—plus BHA (salicylic acid), but the pH of 4.4 is outside the range needed for either to exfoliate skin, plus the amounts of both ingredients are too low for them to be helpful. That's a shame because a well-formulated exfoliant can help lighten all types of discolorations, including post-acne marks. If you have dark spots and want to treat them plus exfoliate, Paula's Choice RESIST Triple Action Dark Spot Erasers are the way to go, or check out our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products.

On balance, this product deserves a "GOOD" rating for its overall formula and pleasing aesthetics. It's not likely to work all that well for dark spots, dark patches, or uneven skin tone, but can be considered a lightweight moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

Pros:
  • Lightweight, silky-smooth texture feels great.
  • Fragrance-free formula contains a good mix of antioxidants.
  • Improves skin texture.
Cons:
  • Low amount of vitamin C is unlikely to have much impact on brown spots or other types of discolorations.
  • pH of the formula is a bit too high for exfoliation to occur.
Clinically shown to improve the look of discolorations: 38% improvement in clarity; 25% improvement in the look of dark patches; 13% improvement in the look of dark spots.
Water/Eau, Isododecane, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Tromethamine Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Yeast Polysaccharides, Hydrolyzed Prunus Domestica, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment Yeast Extract, Pueraria Lobata Symbiosome Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract Thiodipropionic Acid, Phytol, Salicylic Acid, Carbomer, C13-16 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-40 Stearate, Steareth-2, C10-13 Isoparaffin, Xanthan Gum, Silica Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea

The last few years have been an interesting time for the world's largest direct seller. Avon is sold in 120 countries and has an enormous range of products that goes beyond skin care and makeup, all sold by five million Avon representatives racking up annual sales of over $8 billion (Source: www.avoncompany.com). Yet due to several quarters of lackluster or poor financial performance, the company announced a multiyear restructuring plan in 2006. The anticipated cost of these changes is upwards of $500 million, which includes downsizing underperforming areas and focusing on remarketing their star products. In recent years, those key products have had "cosmeceutical" appeal, with claims that have gone beyond reality (but overexaggerated claims sell big in the cosmetics industry).

The Anew Clinical line ushered in several products claiming to work like (or, in some instances, better than) cosmetic corrective procedures. Whether you are considering laser treatments, Botox, Thermage, collagen injections, or even liposuction, the ads for Anew Clinical were designed to make you rethink that decision.

It is definitely impressive that Avon invested $100 million on a state-of-the-art research and product development facility in New York, but despite some innovative products that compete with the best of the best (typically for much less money), no cosmetics company has (or will) produce skin-care products that rival or beat the results obtainable from medical procedures. It's admittedly easier to slather on a cream or stroke a pad over your face than to make an office call and shoulder the expense for a cosmetic corrective procedure, but in this case convenience and savings don't equal—or even come close to—comparable results. And lest we forget, despite the onslaught of so-called cosmeceutical products claiming to mimic the results such procedures provide, the number of these procedures being performed increases each year. If any of these works-like-(insert cosmetic corrective procedure here) products did work, the number of procedures would be declining, not rising.

The National Advertising Division (NAD) took issue with several claims Avon made in ads for their Anew Clinical products (Source: www.nadreview.org/default.asp?SessionID=1149178&DocType=1&CaseType=1). In some cases, Avon reworded their claims in ad reprints, while in others they "respectfully disagreed" with the NAD conclusions but agreed to take their comments into consideration for future ads. We'll see how this turns out, but, based on their current ads, the message remains that Anew Clinical products are at the forefront of making cosmetic corrective procedure results as easy as calling your Avon representative and reciting your credit card number.

As a major international cosmetics company, Avon has several initiatives in place that prove its commitment to women and the environment. Whether donating to women's health concerns (most notably breast cancer), surpassing environmental regulations, or financially supporting alternative methods to animal testing, Avon's principles are responsible and admirable. If you pay attention to the best of what they have to offer, you will not only be supporting Avon's mission to improve the lives of women but also gaining some wonderful products, making it a win-win situation.

The bad news is that unless you know what you want and order from Avon's Web site, dealing with an Avon representative tends to be a frustrating experience. Try as they might, most of them are mere order-takers. They cannot keep up with the product assortment, sales, and changes that occur between Avon's "campaigns." One of the representatives we dealt with was quite frank about how much she didn't know, and mentioned that they are not kept as up-to-date as they should be, not to mention the haphazard assortment of testers or samples available. On the flipside, Avon is a wonderful mail-order company should you need to return or exchange products. Unlike companies with a similar business model (Arbonne comes to mind), Avon makes the process smooth and hassle-free, with a "if you're not happy, we're not" motto that epitomizes outstanding customer service.

For more information about Avon, call (800) 500-AVON or visit www.avon.com.

Avon Makeup

If you've been noticing more magazine and television ads for Avon recently, it's no accident. According to an article in the November 21, 2005, issue of The Rose Sheet, Avon's ad spending through 2008 will reach "historical heights" due in part to the brand's flat performance the past couple of years. Avon's CEO Andrea Jung admitted that the company's makeup business has struggled due to increased competition, a point we wholeheartedly agree with. Avon may be viewed as a skin-care innovator, but when it comes to makeup they're more follow-the-leaders than trail blazers. Admittedly, their foundations, powders, blush, and lipsticks have smoother, more state-of-the-art textures than ever, but with few exceptions none of them are setting a precedent that other, more innovative companies are likely to follow.

You will find some outstanding Avon makeup products to consider, but perhaps due to the sheer size of the collection there are far too many mediocre products, especially among the eyeshadows, pencils, and mascaras. Given that Avon isn't as easy to obtain as comparable products at your local drug or department store, many of the makeup items end up being a tough sell. After all, who wants to go out of their way for average products? Turning to what Avon does really well, you'll find their loose and pressed powders have amazingly silky textures and natural finishes. Their blushes are wonderful, and a few of the lipsticks and foundations are definitely worth talking about with enthusiasm. Another positive point is that Avon regularly discounts their makeup, often upwards of 50% during any given campaign (Avon's campaigns run for two weeks and the specials change each time). If you shop at the right time, the best of Avon color can be yours for less than you'd pay for most low-cost drugstore makeup.

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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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