Anew Ultimate 7S Eye System is a two-part product packaged in one jar (sigh, another jar package—cosmetics companies just hope women don't know any better; thankfully our readers do), and it's made out to be nothing short of an eye-area miracle (Avon sells lots and lots of miraculous products if you believe even a portion of their claims). If you need to give your eyes a lift, or get rid of dark circles or wrinkles, Avon insists you should look no further than this product, yet what about all of their other eye-area products making the same claims? If those worked to eliminate wrinkles, under-eye bags, and dark circles, then why add this one?
In any event, the top portion of this product is labeled as Elixir. It has a thick yet silky texture and is quite emollient. Several antioxidants and peptides are included as well as a type of retinol known as retinoxytrimethylsilane, but none of these will remain stable because Elixir's jar packaging will routinely expose these delicate ingredients to degrading light and air (see More Info for details).
Elixir also contains a problematic plant oil known as perilla. Related to the mint family, perilla oil is irritating (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). It has some beneficial components, such as fatty acids and antioxidants, but there are other plant oils that offer these benefits without putting skin at risk of pro-aging irritation. This would be less of an issue if Avon had used a tiny amount of this plant oil, but it's one of the main ingredients.
Last, like many eye-area products (see More Info to learn why you don't need an eye cream), this contains the mineral pigments titanium dioxide and mica for a brightening and shine effect. That can look good, but it's a makeup effect, not skin care, and has no lasting impact on dark circles.
Housed underneath Elixir is the Cream, whose texture is lighter than Elixir yet the formula has the same issues due to its jar packaging and inclusion of a fair amount of perilla seed oil. The Cream also contains fennel extract, a plant that poses an additional risk of irritation. See More Info to learn why daily use of products with irritating ingredients is a problem.
In the end, despite the dual-product concept and claims of vanquishing every eye-area concern, this duo is not among the "ultimate" options for improving signs of aging anywhere on the face.
- Both Elixir and Cream contain an exciting mix of peptides and antioxidants.
- Both Elixir and Cream hydrate and smooth dry skin anywhere on the face.
- Both Elixir and Cream contain irritating perilla seed oil.
- Nothing in either formula can improve under-eye bags or dark circles.
- Jar packaging won't keep the numerous antioxidants and peptides stable during use.
Why Jar Packaging is Problem:
The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so 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 which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Why You Don't Need an Eye Cream:
We know it's hard to believe, but the truth is you don't need a special product for the eye area, whether labeled eye cream or something else. Although there is much you can do to improve the skin around your eyes, the ingredients capable of doing that don't need to come from, and often aren't even included in, an eye cream. For example, most eye creams (such as this one) don't contain sunscreen, and that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage, which will make dark circles and wrinkling worse!
You can save money and take superior care of your eye area by using your face product, if it is well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes!
How Daily Use of Irritating Ingredients Hurts Skin:
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
New formula with Ultimate 7S technology targets under-eye bags and wrinkles. Instantly, the eye area looks firmer, more resilient. In 4 weeks, wrinkles under the eye look virtually erased.
Cream: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Petrolatum, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Cell Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Palmitoyl Lysine Aminovaleroyl Lysine, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-10, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Melicope Hayesii Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Thiazolylalanine, Mesyloxybenzyl Isobutylbenzenesulfonamide, Phytol, Thiodipropionic Acid, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ceramide 2, Crataegus Monogyna Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Behenyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Glucoside, Ozokerite, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Isomalt, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tribehenin, Xanthan Gum, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Lecithin, Steareth-20, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Caramel, Yellow 5, Red 40
Elixir: Isononyl Isononanoate, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ozokerite, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Retinoxytrimethylsilane, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Cell Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Palmitoyl Lysyl Aminovaleroyl Lysine, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-10, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Melicope Hayesii Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Thiazolylalanine, Mesyloxybenzyl Isobutylbenzenesulfonamide, Phytol, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ceramide 2, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Isomalt, Xanthan Gum, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Steareth-20, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
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.
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.