Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Crème Riche

by Chanel  
Price:
$165 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizers/Anti-Aging
Last Updated:
11/26/2014
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Crème Riche is the only Le Lift moisturizer worth considering, but even then we urge you to think twice, especially before spending this much money or believing the claims. Unlike the other Le Lift moisturizers, this formula omits the kind of alcohol damages skin. True to its name, this has a rich, emollient texture that feels great on normal to dry skin—and it's less fragranced than the other Le Lift moisturizers.

The formula contains some very good ingredients to improve dry skin, but it cannot lift sagging skin or do any sort of re-contouring of facial features. See More Info to find out why products claiming to lift sagging skin cannot do this, and to find out how skin care can help.

The reason this moisturizer is rated AVERAGE is primarily due to the jar packaging. This rich cream contains a bevy of plant-based ingredients, all of which will begin breaking down from the first exposure to light and air—exactly what happens each and every time you open the jar. See More Info to learn why jar packaging isn't the right way to go for anti-aging skin care.

Turning to the claims, Chanel touts their ultra-powerful ingredient "3.5-DA" as being the key to promoting skin's elasticity and re-contouring a sagging jaw line. Hasn't anyone noticed that Chanel keeps making this claim yet women are still bemoaning their sagging jaw lines? If any of the prior Chanel products (including many they still sell) worked as well as they claimed, why would Le Lift be needed? And who'd be getting a face-lift or procedures such as Thermage or Ulthera when lifting sagging skin is as easy as applying a moisturizer? It all gets so ridiculous, but we got off topic…

Supposedly, this powerful ingredient is isolated from the edulis plant, which Chanel says can boost the production of key proteins responsible for skin's elasticity. Although there's no scientific research proving this, let's assume Chanel did their own research that they've chosen to keep private. Shall we believe them? Well, a big red flag is the fact that this moisturizer does not contain any ingredient from the edulis plant! So, what's supposedly doing the elastin-stimulating work isn't actually in the product to help—but even if it were, skin needs more than one plant, miracle or not, to repair and fortify itself against signs of aging. And the reasons skin sags are only partly due to elastin degradation; helping in that one area is like building a house with a floor but no walls or a roof—you could live in that, but it won't protect you from the elements. This moisturizer has merit for dry skin, and applying any rich moisturizer over wrinkles will make them less apparent, but none of that is about lifting sagging skin, which is why this is a tough sell.

Pros:
  • Contains some excellent ingredients for dry skin.
  • Rich, creamy texture feels wonderful.
  • Minimally fragranced—a rarity for Chanel skin care!
Cons:
  • Ridiculously overpriced, given this isn't a face-lift in a jar.
  • Jar packaging will render the most beneficial ingredients less effective shortly after opening.
More Info:

Why Jar Packaging is a Problem: The fact that this moisturizer is 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).

What You Can do For Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

This rich, nourishing formula, part of the innovative LE LIFT Skincare range--precisely targeted, individualized skincare with the pure and ultra-powerful ingredient, 3.5-DA, a highly effective molecule that promotes skin elasticity--recontours, tones and refines the complexion to reveal skin's optimal firmness. Envelops skin in velvety-smooth softness.

Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isotearyl Neopentanoate, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Dimethicone, Butylne Glycol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isododecane, Jojoba Esters, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phytostearyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Ipomoea Batatas Root Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Actrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol, Arginine, Hydrolyzed Silk, Polyquaternium-51, Hydroxyethlcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Sodium Carbomer, Phytic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Hydrochloric Acid, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Citric Acid, CI 14700, CI 19140

The history of this Paris-bred line is steeped in fashion, jewelry, and fragrance firsts. The image-is-everything fashion sensibility and fragrance know-how have been loosely translated to Chanel’s ever-imposing skin-care collection, now divided into several categories, although most of them have overlapping, overly exaggerated claims and over-the-top pricing. The company likes to mention its research facility, referred to as C.E.R.I.E.S. (Centre de Recherches et d'Investigations Epidermiques et Sensorielles) as a way to give credibility to its products and the formulary expertise of Chanel's team of scientists, but its studies are not necessarily the kind of independent research that shows up in medical journals.

Founded in 1991 and funded by Chanel, the goal of this research facility is "to help provide a scientific foundation for the design of skin care products and to promote public awareness of the principles underlying maintenance of healthy, attractive skin." Examining Chanel's often lengthy ingredient lists reveals that they believe healthy, attractive skin requires mostly standard, banal ingredients coupled with lots of fragrance and just a smattering of anything resembling state-of-the-art ingredients. Designing skin-care products whose purpose is to reinforce healthy skin doesn't involve strong scents, irritants such as alcohol, or sunscreens whose SPF ratings fall below the standards set by major health organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology and corresponding international academies as well. Furthermore, their Nº 1 products claim to increase skin's oxygen uptake, something that essentially puts skin on the fast track for more free-radical damage, and no one at C.E.R.I.E.S. seems to have any idea about how to treat acne-prone skin. (Well, let's face it, acne is never fashionable.)

Just like most Chanel skin-care products, the research facility and its ties to the dermatology community make it sound more impressive than it really is. Chanel's influence on fashion and luxury accoutrements is legendary and ongoing; but their skin-care products simply cannot compete with what many other lines are doing, including Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Olay, Dove, Neutrogena, and many others. Considering the couture-level prices, too much of Chanel's skin care is average, and that doesn't look good on anyone.

For more information about Chanel, call (800) 550-0005 or visit www.chanel.com.

Chanel Makeup

Chanel pulls out all the stops to present their makeup in the most flattering light. Many of their products are deserving of the best status, but, frustratingly, an equal number disappoint, seeming to coast on Chanel's name and attention to upscale, designer-influenced packaging rather than providing true quality. For example, few companies have foundations with textures as varied and state-of-the-art as Chanel. However, most of their foundations with sunscreen are formulated without essential UVA-protecting ingredients, even though Chanel clearly knows about this issue, as evidenced from their numerous skin-care products that do contain avobenzone or titanium dioxide. Neglecting adequate UVA protection while going on about how the product creates younger-looking skin is not only inaccurate, it's harmful to your skin's health and appearance.

Beyond inadequate sunscreen, Chanel's eye and lip pencils have extraordinary prices, but ordinary to poor performance, and most of their "we're trying to be unique and clever" products don't do much to prove they're worthy of purchase. It's hard to ignore that much of what Chanel does well other lines do just as well (and sometimes better), and with a more realistic price range to boot. However, the overall situation is better than standard but well-dressed formulas with shamelessly affluent prices, because although it's not inexpensive, the best of Chanel's makeup is truly outstanding. What's needed to establish consistency is an overhaul of the many products that have fallen behind formula-wise. We doubt Chanel will reevaluate their pricing for the better, but given that, the least you should expect is stellar performance from everything you buy that bears the iconic double C logo!

Note: Chanel is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Chanel does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

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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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