03.12.2015
0
4
Youth Surge Night Age Decelerating Night Moisturizer–Combination Oily to Oily
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $52
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:03.12.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Just like Clinique’s Youth Surge daytime moisturizers with sunscreen, the nighttime version is sold around the concept of sirtuin technology. This technology is said to enhance your skin’s ability to repair itself, but is there anything to it?

Sirtuins are proteins that are involved in regulating biological processes by controlling the chain of events that cause these processes to occur, which is why they’re often referred to as information regulators. The anti-aging connection has to do with their potential to regulate cellular processes responsible for aging. It is believed that if certain sirtuins can be modified to work against the mechanisms of aging that the results might be visible on skin: think fewer wrinkles, less sagging, and greater resiliency.

Although there is no research showing that skin-care products can change or manipulate sirtuin production or affect wrinkles in anyway Clinique’s advertising for this product subtly suggests otherwise implying that the research about sirtuins and degenerative disease is somehow related to wrinkles. More to the point is what about all of Clinique’s other “de-agers” that don’t contain sirtuins? Do those not work as well because they lack this technology?

What seems promising is that topical application of specific sirtuins derived from yeast and the antioxidant resveratrol (in this case from the root of the plant Polygonum cuspidatum) seem to have a protective effect on skin in the presence of oxidative and ultraviolet light stress. However, more research is needed before we’d suggest anyone run out and look for products that increase sirtuin activity in their skin. Plus, we don’t know the risks associated with manipulating sirtuins; doing so might have negative side effects.

The problem is twofold. First, there is limited research showing how much and what type of sirtuin is needed topically to cause desirable cellular changes that might lead to younger-looking skin. Plus, the bioavailability of a topically applied source of sirtuins is questionable given that we don’t know how efficiently they penetrate intact skin. (Testing skin cells in a lab setting with concentrated doses of ingredients that stimulate sirtuins is an entirely different story from using moisturizers on intact skin.)

Second, and an even bigger concern, is that whenever normal cellular processes are manipulated, you run the risk of causing a potential overproliferation of cells. In other words, how would the sirtuin-influenced cells know when too much of a good thing becomes a problem? How long is too long to keep skin cells active? You also must consider how much manipulation of biological processes is enough to start a cascading negative chain of events, of which one of the consequences might be cancer (Sources: Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, pages 1887–1899; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, June 2007, pages 14–19; and Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery, June 2006, pages 493–506).

Aside from the marketing nonsense about sirtuins, this moisturizer is a step in the wrong direction. Although it contains plenty of beneficial ingredients (including antioxidants, although the jar packaging won’t keep them stable), they’re trumped by the amount of skin-damaging alcohol. Alcohol is an irritant that causes free-radical damage, collagen breakdown, and hurts skin’s ability to heal and repair damage. The lightweight texture of this moisturizer will please those with combination to oily skin, but the amount of alcohol makes it impossible to recommend. If the alcohol weren’t bad enough, this is also packaged in a jar, which won’t keep the good ingredients stable after opening. See More Info to learn more about why jar packaging is a problem.

Pros:
  • Contains a good mix of beneficial anti-aging ingredients, including several antioxidants.
  • Lightweight texture will please those with combination to oily skin.
Cons:
  • Sirtuin technology holds promise, but is not without its share of concerns (see full review for details).
  • Amount of alcohol (the third ingredient) makes this too drying and irritating for all skin types.
  • Jar packaging means the many light- and air-sensitive ingredients won’t remain stable once this moisturizer is opened.

More Info:

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.

Claims

Building on Sirtuin technology, Clinique science uses youth-extending agents to create a nightly moisturizer that helps intensify the nightly cycle of natural repair. Plumped with natural collagen, lines and wrinkles appear to evaporate. Skin gains that energized "8-hour effect" come morning.

Ingredients

Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Alcohol Denat, Silica, Polyethylene, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul's Wort) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Inonotus Obliquus (Mushroom) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Yellow Tea) Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Morus Bombycis (Mulberry) Root Extract, Caprylyl Methicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Coffea Robusta Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Caffeine, Creatine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, PEG-150, Algae Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Coleus Barbatus Extract, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Jojoba Esters, Sorbitol, Betaine, Trehalose, Sucrose, Sodium RNA, Linoleic Acid, Squalane, Cholesterol, Arginine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Yeast Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Artemia Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Isoniacinamide, Disodium NADH, Adenosine Phosphate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Potassium Sulfate, Glycine, Sodium DNA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydroxyproline, Proline, Micrococcus Lysate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates Copolymer, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Phytosphingosine, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the best selections of state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums loaded with ingredients that research has shown are of great benefit to skin; excellent sunscreens; several Redness Solutions products excel; an outstanding benzoyl peroxide product; good selection of self-tanning products; some very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; some unique mattifying products; a large and wholly impressive selection of foundations, many with reliable sun protection (and shades for darker skin tones); good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows; loose powder; blush products; some brilliant lipsticks and lip gloss; gel eyeliner; priced lower than most competing department-store lines.

Weaknesses: The three-step skincare routine, because of the bar soaps and irritant-laden clarifying lotions; jar packaging downgrades several otherwise top-notch moisturizers; incomplete routines for those prone to acne; skin-lightening products with either unproven or insufficient levels of lightening agents.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique's tremendous success (the company's products are sold in over 13,000 department stores and in 110 countries) reshaped the way cosmetics lines identified themselves, sending the concept of line loyalty out to pasture. Today, cosmetics companies expand their market either by buying already established companies or by creating new ones, and Lauder has been adept at doing both. Of course, cosmetics companies keep this multiple-personality identity hidden from the consumer. If the general buying public realized that these apparently different companies were so intertwined with each other, how could they flaunt their independence and claim that their unparalleled formulations are secret or the best? It's hard to think Lauder (or any company) would, even if they could, keep secrets from one branch separate from the others. And as evidenced by the formulary similarities between brands, they don't!

The niche Clinique built launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Regarding allergy testing, unless you can see the results, what difference does it make if a product makes that claim? What if the test showed 20% of the women who used it had a sensitizing reaction, dryness, or irritation? Would Clinique highlight this, or is it just easier to default to the generic allergy-tested claim and leave such details out, figuring consumers won't ask for more? 

Moreover, "hypoallergenic" is a term not regulated by the FDA, so any product can use the word without having to substantiate the claim. "Dermatologist tested" is also bogus, because without published test results the term can easily mean nothing more than that a dermatologist picked up the product, looked at the container, and said "This looks good." And what about the dermatologists on Clinique's payroll? How do we know they're not the ones involved in testing, rather than sending the products out for independent, impartial evaluation (though how impartial can any study be that's paid for by the company making the product)?

Clinique declined any participation for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. We find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, we genuinely like most of their products. In fact, more than any other department-store line except Estee Lauder, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup. They also have their act together for sunscreens and have expanded their decades-old three-step skin-care routine to include water-soluble cleansers instead of bar soap. They also now have a second "Dramatically Different" moisturizer that's well-suited for those with normal to oily skin and FINALLY reformulated their longstanding water-and-wax yellow lotion.

The Clinique consultants, dressed in medical-looking white lab coats (Clinique's image in that sense was ahead of the times given today's plethora of doctor-designed skin-care lines), do their best to speak intelligently about skin-care routines, but for the most part they're trained to sell the products rather than to provide information about what substantiated research has shown about the skin's needs to look and feel its best.

The good news for you is that the chemists behind Clinique's arsenal of products have been keeping up on this exciting information, and formulating superior products in response. We wouldn't blindly and solely bank on Clinique as your skin-care solution, but more than ever what they offer is, despite some far-out claims and problematic products, what epitomizes advanced skin care for all ages. Shop carefully and you'll leave confident that you are purchasing products with solid science, not just marketing hype, behind them.

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially in their huge and imposing selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. In fact, this category has become the most compelling reason to shop Clinique's makeup collection. Without a doubt the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color. The shade selection has improved considerably, with more neutrals and a broader range than ever before. You still need to use caution and watch out for peach-toned duds, but for the most part finding a natural-looking match shouldn't be a frustrating experience, and the counter personnel are happy to provide samples.

Although the foundation and powder shades take darker skin tones into account, the blush, eye pencil, and most of the lipstick shades do not. Perhaps that will change in the future, as Clinique beautifully updated their eyeshadow collection with ultra-smooth textures and deeper colors that show up on darker skin.

Compliments are also due for Clinique's updated makeup tester units. They are well-organized, labeled with product name and price, and easily accessible without a salesperson's help. And speaking of salespeople, most of the Clinique consultants we encounter go above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions we had (even if we didn't always agree with their responses). Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but we'll take outstanding customer service over pseudoscience any day!

The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.

Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their 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 brand’s 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 Beautypedia Team.

For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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