Hyaluronic SeruGel

Price:
$45.95 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
8/15/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

There are a number of reasons Hyaluronic SeruGel is not a product to consider, but the most notable is that the ingredient list appears to be sheer fiction—at the very least, it doesn't meet FDA or (global) INCI regulations. As a result, neither you nor we can tell what this product really contains, and, therefore, what you really are putting on your face.

DeVita claims their Hyaluronic SeruGel contains a "65% solution" of hyaluronic acid, which is actually a meaningless statement. A 65% solution of what isn't clear—does this mean it contains 0.5% hyaluronic acid and 64.5% water? We know it couldn't possibly mean a 65% concentration of pure hyaluronic acid because that would be an aesthetically unpleasant, viscous thick glob of product (not to mention very expensive).

SeruGel doesn't appear to contain any broad-spectrum preservatives—at least they aren't on the ingredient list. We contacted DeVita about this concern and they responded with the explanation that "Vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract" is their preservative and that it works "with the other ingredients" to become a "self-preserving" system. That isn't accurate, to say the least—there isn't any research to substantiate the claim that grape seed extract is an effective, or even an acceptable, broad-spectrum preservative against bacteria or mold. The same holds true for aloe or any other ingredient in this product.

Ordinarily, for a product that contains antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, and anti-irritants, like this one, we would note that it still provides some benefit. In this case, however, given the extensive information gaps, the apparent lack of proper ingredient labeling, and the lack of a legitimate preservative system, we can't be certain what you're really getting (or how long it will remain bacteria- and mold-free). Skip the Hyaluronic SeruGel and consider any of the alternatives from other brands in our list of Best Serums.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Confusing, implausible ingredient claims.
  • Questionable preservative system.
  • Ingredient label doesn't comply with FDA or (global) INCI cosmetics regulations, so you really don't know what you are putting on your face.
More Info:

The ingredient list isn't compliant with FDA or (global) INCI cosmetics regulations and standards. DeVita provides only partial (and sometimes incorrect) ingredient names. For example, "NaPCA" isn't a recognized ingredient name (presumably, they are referring to Sodium PCA). The same for "Aloe barbadensis"—do they mean the leaf, flower extract, leaf juice, or leaf juice extract? You don't know because DeVita doesn't list the name of the full ingredient.

This lack of ingredient transparency is important to mention, as DeVita goes to great lengths to indicate their compliance with INCI regulatory requirements (INCI is the ingredient labeling standard used in Europe), and, of course, because you reasonably want to know what's ingredients are in (or not in) your skin-care products.

Thirsty? Give your skin a deep drink... of Hyaluronic Acid. As one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving!) molecules in nature, it can be considered nature's best anti aging moisturizer. DeVita's oil-free SeruGel will quench your thirsty skin cells by helping to deliver maximum amounts of Hyaluronic Acid (65% solution!) Helps to prevent premature signs of aging, soften facial lines and nourish collagen.

Aloe Barbadensis (Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel), Hyaluronic Acid (Vegan Source), Glycerin (Vegetable), Fucus Vesiculosis (Seaweed) Extract, NaPCA, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract.

It seems strange that the tagline for the Arizona-based DeVita Skin Care is "Guided by Nature, Driven by Science" because they take a decidedly unscientific route to promote their products, using consumers' fears of chemicals (describing them as "poisons and toxic" on their website) to the fullest degree. If this company was driven by science, we would expect more than just the same old scare tactic—"all chemicals are bad but all plants are good." In fact, all the ingredients in any cosmetic, including water, are chemicals.

DeVita makes the claim that their products are "all natural," vegan, and paraben-free, despite the fact that parabens come from natural ingredients and there is no research showing they are a problem for the body. Their all-natural claim is easy to debunk because their products contain decidedly synthetic ingredients, such as retinol, l-carnosine, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, and polymethylsilsesquioxane, to name a few.

Regarding the l-carnosine and retinol, they are found naturally in animals, but they do not occur in plants. However, because the natural, animal-based versions aren't very stable or effective in skin-care formulas, l-carnosine and retinol in cosmetics are (with rare exceptions) synthetic. Therefore, either DeVita isn't being straight about being a vegan line, or they have their own definition of what "all-natural" means. That may very well be the case, because the "all natural" claim is not beholden to any sort of cosmetic regulation anywhere in the world.

All of this natural, chemical-free posturing gets so tiring—the truth is that there are good and bad natural ingredients, just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients. Natural isn't inherently better and synthetic isn't inherently evil. One problem with DeVita products is that you can't be sure what you're really putting on your skin because DeVita takes liberties with how they list product ingredients, which is a regulatory no-no. For all the DeVita products we reviewed (without exception), not a single one had an ingredient list that complied with FDA or (global) INCI standards.

For example, "De-Ionized Water" isn't a recognized name, nor is "Aloe Barbadensis." In the latter case, the designation doesn't tell you if they're using aloe leaf, aloe flower extract with alcohol, aloe leaf juice diluted with water, or just a plain aloe extract. Listing the full ingredient is important information because different forms of an ingredient can mean different things to a formula and can have different effects on your skin.

We admire DeVita in that they don't resort to alcohol-based formulas (a rare quality for a natural brand); unfortunately, it seems they ignored, or simply overlooked, the research on the potent irritant potential of essential oils and fragrances.

They also seem to ignore the risks inherent in not using an effective preservative system. Many of the products we reviewed had questionable preservative systems (see individual product reviews for details), which is bad news (for you and your skin) because you won't know how long you can safely use a product before it's overrun by bacteria and mold. We raised our concern about the preservatives with a representative from DeVita and were told that their products were preserved by the use of aloe, allantoin, grape seed extract, grapefruit seed extract, and "others," depending on the product. To be clear, none of these ingredients has any research demonstrating an ability to work as broad-spectrum preservatives; that is, they won't keep your product free of mold, fungi, or bacteria.

It is true that some ingredients have natural antibacterial benefits, but that doesn't mean they are a good substitute for tried-and-true preservatives. For example, vitamin C has antibacterial and antioxidant benefit, but are you willing to drink from a container of 100% fruit juice that's been sitting on the counter for a month or two? There are plenty of options for effective preservatives, no matter if your preference is for natural skin care or not, but aloe, allantoin, grape seed, and grapefruit seed extract aren't counted among them.

We understand the appeal of DeVita as a brand for those who are enamored with the concept of 100% natural products. However, the reality is that DeVita presents this appearance of "all natural" by fudging the details, devising their own definitions of "all natural," and providing inaccurate information about the source of their ingredients (vegan plant-based l-carnosine and natural silicone—Really?). In many of the products we reviewed, DeVita either omits the source of their preservatives, or (more dangerous to imagine) uses ineffective preservative systems. We are not against naturally derived ingredients by any means, but if you're looking to use natural products, you can do better than this brand, which ultimately leaves you questioning what exactly it is you're putting on your skin.

For more information on DeVita, visit www.devitaskincare.com or call 1-877-233-8482.

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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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