Pro-Intense Eye and Lip Contour Cream

by Elemis   
Price:
$112 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:
3/12/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This thick-textured moisturizer is meant for use around the eyes and on lips but its lack of proven anti-aging ingredients is telling. No one should be paying this much for such mediocrity. The formula is predominantly thickeners and shea butter, so while this feel smoothing and definitely moisturizes, you don’t need to spend nearly this much for such benefits (nor do you need a special cream for the eye area; your facial moisturizer, assuming it’s well formulated, can be applied around the eyes, too).

Elemis claims that this cream contains active plant stem cells, but here’s what you need to know about the whole concept of using plant stem cells (regardless of which plant they’re from) in skin care: Plant stem cells such as those derived from apples, melons, or rice cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, though being from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant properties. It’s a good thing plant stem cells can’t work as stem cells in skin care products; after all you don’t want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!

There are also claims that because a plant’s stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin and these claims are completely without substantiation. Think of how long you’d last in a desert without shelter or water, yet a plant such as cactus thrives in such brutal conditions. It’s not as though you can rub some cactus stem cells on your skin and suddenly thrive in such a brutal climate!

Another twist on the issue is that cosmetic companies are claiming they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they can work as stem cells would in some way. This approach doesn’t work because stem cells must be complete in order to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.

The Pro-Intense Triple Effect: Redensify, Plump and Firm. This rich eye and lip contouring cream contains active plant stem cells to combat thin dry skin around the eyes and vertical lip lines to reveals a more youthful, renewed and remodeled look. Over 71% of users felt their skin was visibly plumper.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Isohexadecane, Cetearyl Olivate, Polysorbate-60, C12-C15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sorbitan Olivate, Palmitoyl Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Polysorbate-80, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem Cell Culture, Palmitic Acid, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Parfum (Fragrance), Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Citric Acid, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxide)

Elemis products are sold at upscale department stores, such as Nordstrom, and in select spas. The company describes itself as having the most successful professional spa and anti-aging range of products in the world—quite a boast, especially considering that we've never seen Elemis listed on any review or comparison of the financial status of cosmetics companies, and we review that sort of information frequently. I'm comfortable wagering that Aveda, Darphin, Decleor, Sisley, Sothys, or even Yon-Ka have greater sales than Elemis each year, but we suppose they're hoping the fiduciary boast helps establish their credibility stateside. Even if their numbers were accurate, popularity does not necessarily equate to quality; cigarettes and getting a tan are still popular, and both are terrible for skin.

Just like every spa and salon line we've ever reviewed, Elemis uses the exact same approach to skin care that their competition does—touting the miraculous properties of essential oils and the benefits of aromatherapy. Of course, Elemis wants you to believe that their blend of nature and science is the only way to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free for as long as possible. As is true for many lines, Elemis has followers, and some of the customers we overheard at our local Nordstrom store were excited about this line. One woman actually commented to her husband: "Look, honey, these are the products used in that expensive spa we went to, so they must be good!" Although we really wanted to tell her that spa products and price tags have nothing to do with formulary excellence, we kept my mouth shut; we get in enough trouble at cosmetics counters as it is.

On first glance we weren't real enthused about this line, and after extensive review and researching their products, we are even less enthused, plus a bit irritated at the paucity of value represented. For the most part, this is nothing more than an average collection of products whose elitist spa positioning allows them to get away with charging an exorbitant amount of money for products that cannot possibly do what they say. Even worse, they may hurt your skin in the process due to the irritating fragrant plant extracts they contain. As expected, sun protection as part of daily skin care is given little attention (their daytime moisturizers top out at a whopping SPF 7), while there are numerous moisturizers and serums claiming to increase skin's dermal respiration, oxygenate tissues, and make inelastic, sagging skin a thing of the past. If you're the type to fall for such false promises and want plants galore, there's not much else we can say to keep you from exploring this line. But if you're skeptical and concerned chiefly with getting the best possible skin care for your needs (and dollars), then Elemis is a line you can safely and absolutely ignore (if you want to splurge there are far better options).

Falling for the Elemis spa trappings, potent fragrances, and "we're-imported-so-we're-better" philosophy won't provide your skin with the litany of ingredients it needs to function at its peak and to resist signs of aging that can be legitimately addressed with state-of-the-art products.

For more information about Elemis, call (800) 423-5293 or visit www.elemis.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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