bareMinerals Extra Firming Neck Cream

Price:
$39 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizers/Anti-Aging
Last Updated:
7/19/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

Although there are some very good emollient ingredients in this product, the truth is you don't need a special cream for the neck. Yes, skin on the neck can be thinner and can show sagging sooner than skin on the face, but that doesn't mean a special cream is needed—and no neck cream can change what really bothers most people when the neck begins to age (namely, deep, horizontal grooves, banding, and sagging).

What we typically observe with neck creams versus facial moisturizers is that neck creams tend to be more emollient; that's nice if your skin is dry, but that generally isn't the problem for skin on your neck. Even so, there are rich facial moisturizers that would easily do the job. What is most important to realize is that there are no special ingredients skin on the neck needs that skin on the face (or chest) does not.

If that isn't reason enough to skip this neck cream, here are two more: The jar packaging won't keep the most beneficial anti-aging ingredients (of which there are many) stable once you open it and the lavender oil this contains may smell great, but fragrance isn't skin care. In fact, lavender oil is among the most problematic ingredients for skin. See More Info for details about jar packaging and lavender oil.

In the end, despite its rich formula and impressive mix of antioxidants, plant oils, and skin-repairing ingredients, this neck cream cannot address the "special needs" of skin on the neck. This is due not only to the limitations of skin-care products when it comes to how the neck ages, but also because skin on the neck doesn't need different ingredients than skin on the face. You can (and should) apply your facial skin-care products, including sunscreen, exfoliants, serums, and other treatments, to your neck—not this unnecessary product!

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging reduces the effectiveness of the best ingredients in this neck cream.
  • Contains fragrant lavender oil, a potent skin irritant that's the opposite of anti-aging.
  • Doesn't contain anything unique or special for skin on the neck.
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, 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).

Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).

This clinically proven, all-in-one cream targets the special needs of the delicate skin around the neck and décolleté, locks in moisture to restore a youthful, lifted look and helps defend against environmental stressors.

Water(Aqua/Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/ Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Soil Minerals, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Castoryl Maleate, Chlorphenesin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Algin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Sea Water, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ns, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eos, Ceramide Eop, Caprooyl Phytosphingosine, Caprooyl Sphingosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Leucojum Aestivum Bulb Extract, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Disodium EDTA, Behenic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Cholesterol, PEG-75 Stearate, Ceteareth-25, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Sodium Benzoate, Carbomer, Limonene, Linalool, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxide.

Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. The self-proclaimed "healthiest, purest makeup in the world" was founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s, and is now run by Leslie Blodgett, who appears regularly on QVC and the company's own infomercials to support and demonstrate her products. Blodgett is largely credited with turning the line she began into a $150 million business—no small feat. The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skin-care products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.

Supporting the company's portrayal as a leader in purity are the corresponding claims that the bareMinerals makeup does not contain fragrance, oil, binders, preservatives, emulsifiers, or any other harmful chemicals. Although this line does have its advantages for someone with sensitive skin, as it turns out, bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it's similar to arsenic, a fact you won't see in any advertising for bareMinerals. However, just as cosmetic-grade mineral oil is not identical to the petroleum from which it originated, neither is bismuth oxychloride identical to bismuth. The bismuth oxychloride used in cosmetics is non-toxic, but this background offers a good example of how skewed a company's definition of "natural" can be.

Aside from the health and purity claims, loose powders are as messy as it gets in terms of your vanity (countertop, not ego) and your makeup bag. The powder just gets all over the place, and the very basic packaging does not do much to minimize the mess. Additionally, while there are softer neutral shades, and some fairly exotic shades as well, most are mildly to extremely shiny and make any amount of crepey skin look more so. The face powder does provide some amount of opaque coverage, but the shine and the thickness can be a bit much. The loose powder eyeshadows and blushes apply in a somewhat lighter way, though they still provide significant coverage. Many women ask me about mineral makeup and whether or not it really is better for skin. The answer to that question is "No."

Although most mineral makeup is innocuous, the texture, appearance, and application have difficulties that make it not comparable to today's best liquid or pressed-powder foundations. We agree with bareMinerals' stance that foundation shouldn't look or feel like a mask, nor should there be a line of demarcation where the application stops. However, their foundations are not the only ones able to achieve this, and there is no inherent benefit to this type of foundation over numerous other options.

There isn't much to say about the skin-care products, but what's worth paying attention to is noted in the At-a-Glance section.

For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.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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