Visible Difference Skin Balancing Night Cream

Price:
$42 - 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 silky moisturizer's main disappointment is the choice of jar packaging because it won't keep the numerous light- and air-sensitive ingredients in the formula stable once opened (see More Info for details).

This also contains some problematic plant extracts, including narcissus. This flowering plant has no known benefit for skin, but its fragrant components put skin at risk of irritation. It also contains several other fragrant ingredients, and although they're present only in small amounts, it would have been better had they not been included at all. It's too bad Arden's revamping of their Visible Difference line didn't result in fragrance-free products that weren't packaged in jars.

See our list of Best Moisturizers Without Sunscreen for today's top options for normal, dry, and combination skin.

Pros:
  • Contains a good mix of skin-repairing ingredients and antioxidants.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won't keep key ingredients stable once opened.
  • Contains a potentially irritating amount of the fragrant plant narcissus.
  • Contains fragrance ingredients known to be irritating.
More Info:

Why Jar Packaging is a Problem: 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).

Why Daily Use of Highly Fragrant Products is a Problem: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

This lightweight yet highly effective cream delivers balanced hydration all night while working to restore and firm the look of your skin. Skin is left relaxed, revitalized, and ready for a beautiful new day.

Water, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Tridecyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, PEG-100 Stearate, Isododecane, Cetyl Alcohol, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Linoleate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Stearate, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Urea, Lecithin, Laureth-7, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyquaternium-51, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Polyacrylamide, Polyethylene, Disodium EDTA, Mica, Tin Oxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Titanium Dioxide.

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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