Canyon Ranch

Canyon Ranch At-a-Glance

Strengths: Sunscreen that provides sufficient broad-spectrum protection; some good moisturizers, including one for the body; impressive (yet needlessly pricey) serum.

Weaknesses: Expensive; almost every product contains fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation; no products for oily or acne-prone skin; limited options for all but dry skin; jar packaging hinders the potency of some key ingredients.

The only tangible transformation you will notice by using any of these Canyon Ranch products is the transfer of currency from your bank account to Canyon Ranch's till. Although it's not the priciest line around, it's definitely aiming for the high end of the skin-care spectrum, with the only apparent goal being to seem elite to discerning spa clientele.

Canyon Ranch is a chain of U.S. spas based in Tucson, Arizona. They also have spas in Las Vegas; Lenox, Massachusetts; and Miami Beach and Kissimmee, Florida; but you don't need to visit any of these "lifestyle" spas to purchase the Your Transformation products. Looking to attract the spa crowd outside of their terrycloth robes and warm slippers, department stores such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue are now retailing the Canyon Ranch brand.

Outside of the spa experience, which can be a welcome respite, whether you go to Canyon Ranch or another spa, there is nothing that makes this line worth considering. Honestly, nothing. The company and aestheticians who sell the line will tell you otherwise, but Canyon Ranch's products truly offer nothing new under the sun. That's not to say there aren’t some good products because there are, but they don't set a new standard for skin care or offer any special benefit that lots of other lines don’t also provide, and for a lot less money (and that's not to mention better formulations).

The line's claim to fame is an ingredient they call ProNAD, which Canyon Ranch apparently believes can transform your skin. ProNAD, which is nothing more than a marketing term, isn’t an actual ingredient per se; it's simply myristyl nicotinate. Myristyl nicotinate is a derivative of nicotinic acid, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin). It isn't the same ingredient as niacinamide, but it functions in nearly the same manner (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

Just like niacinamide, there is research that shows myristyl nicotinate does have the ability to improve skin barrier function, mitigate signs of sun damage, and reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis, commonly known as dry skin. Niacinamide and myristyl nicotinate are both compatible with several prescription drugs used to treat various skin conditions and they are believed to enhance the efficacy of these drugs and/or to minimize their negative side effects. Myristyl nicotinate is stabilized to prevent the release of, or quick conversion to, nicotinic acid, which can cause facial flushing, particularly in those dealing with rosacea (Sources: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, February 2007, pages 893–899; Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, November 2007, pages 1176–1182; Experimental Dermatology, November 2007, pages 927–935, and June 2007, pages 490–499). While all of this is great for skin, these two ingredients are not by any means the only ones that have research showing they are helpful for skin; there are dozens and dozens of other beneficial ingredients.

Separate from the plethora of beneficial ingredients available, why should you choose Canyon Ranch's products with niacinamide over other products (particularly those from Olay) that also contain this ingredient? According to Canyon Ranch, their version of niacinamide transforms skin to its healthiest, most youthful, and most vibrant state. In reality, however, there is no research to support their claim that their version is superior.

So, Canyon Ranch Your Transformation isn't the only game in town when it comes to niacinamide, and their claims of superiority aren't supported in published studies. You'll very likely see your skin improve by using some of their products, especially if you're dealing with an impaired skin barrier, dryness, and discolorations. However, you're just as likely to reap the same benefits by using less expensive products that contain efficacious amounts of niacinamide. Knowing this, unless you're helplessly taken by the (undeserved) allure of spa-based skin care, why bother?

For more information about Canyon Ranch Your Transformation, call (520) 749-9655 or visit www.canyonranch.com.

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