This exceedingly overpriced, daytime moisturizer with sunscreen for normal to dry skin gets the important issue of UVA protection right thanks to the inclusion of stabilized avobenzone, and the base formula is creamy and provides enough emollients to keep those with dry skin happy.
In addition to the problem expensive moisturizers with sunscreen presents—that is, given the cost, you're not likely to apply it liberally enough to get the rated protection—the antioxidants this contains, including the publicized idebenone, won't remain stable because this is packaged in a jar, which is ludicrous. Please see More Info for details on the problems jar packaging presents.
As for the claims, there is no published, substantiated research proving that idebenone (listed as hydroxydecyl ubiquinoyl dipalmitoyl glycerate) is the best antioxidant. Even the concept is silly, because there are hundreds of brilliant antioxidants for skin, and comparisons among different antioxidants are few and far between.
The few comparative studies that have been done refute the "idebenone is best" claim, demonstrating instead that other antioxidants such as L-ergothioneine (also present in this product, but not promoted like the idebenone) and resveratrol (not in this product) are in fact more potent than idebenone (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 2–7; and September 2007, pages 183–188). Another published study compared the photo-protective (i.e., sun-protective) effect of idebenone with that of other antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. Although the study was paid for by Skinceuticals (which sells an antioxidant-laden product that competes with Prevage products), it was well designed and ably proved that idebenone does not offer much photoprotection in comparison to other antioxidants (Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, March 2006, pages 1185–1187).
Bottom line: Idebenone is one of many good antioxidants to look for in skin-care products, but it isn't the best or the most potent. No single antioxidant is the best, which is why many researchers believe that a cocktail approach is best when applying antioxidants topically.
This product contains fragrance chemicals that pose a slight risk of irritation (see More Info for details), and it also contains cosmetic pigments that lend a soft shine to skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Silky, emollient formula eases dryness and makes skin feel smooth.
- Contains several antioxidants.
- Overpriced, and the cost may discourage the liberal application that is necessary to ensure you're getting the amount of sun protection stated on the label.
- Jar packaging won't keep the antioxidants, including idebenone, stable during use.
- Contains a small amount of fragrance chemicals that pose a slight risk of irritation.
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.
Irritation from Fragrance
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).