Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Cream

Price:
$39.50 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
5/28/2014
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This moisturizer contains a wide assortment of beneficial ingredients for dry to very dry skin, which is why it's disappointing that jar packaging was chosen as the container (see More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem for state-of-the-art formulas).

The packaging isn't the only letdown this Visible Difference moisturizer has in store for you. Also a problem is the amount of melissa (balm mint) and sage, two plant extracts that pose a risk of irritation. These and the inclusion of several fragrance ingredients known to be irritating make this moisturizer a far cry from gentle. What a shame, too: In better packaging and without the problematic ingredients Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Cream would be a slam dunk for improving dry skin, including around the eyes.

Pros:
  • Contains a broad range of beneficial ingredients for dry skin.
  • Creamy, emollient-rich formula.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won't keep key ingredients stable during use.
  • Contains a potentially problematic amount of melissa (balm mint) and sage extracts.
  • Inclusion of several fragrant ingredients means this isn't gentle.
More Info:

The fact that it's 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).

Hydrates gently yet continuously while helping to slough away dead skin and reveal your own smooth, healthy looking skin. Helps your skin maintain its own ideal moisture level and leaves your face feeling fresh and smooth with no tightness.

Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Glucoside, Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate/Tetracaprate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Squalene, Ceramide 6 II, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Pollen Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Arginine, Glycine, Lysine, Proline, Behenyl Behenate, Cetearyl Methicone, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Isohexadecane, Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Anhydroxylitol, Butylphthalimide, Hydrolyzed Hazelnut Protein, Isopropylphthalimide, Oligopeptide-4, Oligopeptide-5, Panthenol, Phospholipids, Xylitol, Xylitylglucoside, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 80, PEG-8, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Triethanolamine, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Cyclohexasiloxane, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin.

Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empire—one that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.

Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.

Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit, we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of the early 2000s may have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.

For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.

Elizabeth Arden Makeup

Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked. Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way, only one of the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.

In contrast to the mostly disappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile. A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.

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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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