The best thing about this lightweight, silky daytime moisturizer with sunscreen for normal to oily skin is that it provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection. It also provides light hydration without a greasy feel, and works well under makeup.
Sadly, the formula contains more fragrance than state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients—but, given the relatively low price, the lack of beneficial ingredients is almost forgivable. What we can't forgive, however, is the inclusion of fragrance, although it doesn't contain as much as other Avon Elements products. Still, it may pose a risk of irritation, which we explain in the More Info section.
What about the "hypoallergenic" claims? Sadly, they are meaningless, as the use of this term is not regulated, so anyone can slap this on their label, but that does not guarantee you're getting a product that's better for sensitive skin—find out the details in More Info.
Although this product is suitable for oily skin, it cannot make good on its claim to target both oily and dry areas so that the skin is balanced. Skin can be balanced with the right routine, but no moisturizer can determine where skin is dry and deposit more moisturizing ingredients there, while holding those same ingredients back when it "senses" where skin is oily. This claim has been around for years, and anyone with combination skin (areas of oily skin and areas of dry skin) who has tried such products knows it's a joke.
Turning to the packaging; the fact that this formula is packaged in a jar isn't good news for the light- and air-sensitive ingredients it contains, as we explain in the More Info section.
Your skin deserves more than this product can provide, so if you can extend your beauty budget a little bit, there are lots of daytime moisturizers whose formulas are significantly better.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- The hypoallergenic claim is bogus.
- Contains more fragrance than state-of-the-art ingredients.
- Unable to improve both oily skin and dry skin (the formula is best for oily skin).
- Jar packaging won't keep the tiny amount of beneficial ingredients stable once opened.
Products that contain a high amount of fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (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).
Why jar packaging is a problem: The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most 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 present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you're introducing bacteria that causes further breakdown of key 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; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Products Labeled "Hypoallergenic": "Hypoallergenic" is little more than a nonsense word meant to make products sound safer or somehow better for sensitive skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. Any company can label any product "hypoallergenic" because there is no regulation that says they can't, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category, which was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled "hypoallergenic" that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word "hypoallergenic" gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren't putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).
Oil-Free for Combination Skin. Formulated with Camellia Tea Leaf. Targets oily and dry areas so skin stays in perfect balance. Suitable for sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.11%), Octisalate (4.75%), Avobenzone (2.00%) Other Ingredients: Water/Eau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, DI-C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Parfum/Fragrance
Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Polysorbate 60, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, Sodium Hydroxide, Pyridoxine HCL, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zinc PCA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, DNA
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.