Elizabeth Arden
Prevage White Concentrated Brightening Serum
1 fl. oz. for $125
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
Last Updated:03.23.2012
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

The combination of soy, stabilized vitamin C, and one other infrequently used potential skin-lightening agent (explained below) in this serum may indeed produce a satisfactory level of lightening with diligent use (and religious daily use of a sunscreen). This water-based serum has an elegant texture and its packaging is airtight, which is exactly what you want to see because it will keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.

A small part of this formula is devoted to the potential skin-lightening ingredient octadecenedioic acid. This ingredient has some research indicating it has a secondary effect in interrupting melanin (skin pigment) transfer, and it also is an anti-inflammatory. The research is limited, appears to have been done by companies with a vested interest in the ingredient, and no concentration protocols were established (Sources: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2006, pages 263–267, and April 2005, pages 123–132). However, paired with the soy and vitamin C, both of which have more convincing research than octadecenedioic acid, the combination is likely to produce more promising results. However, it is not necessary to spend this much money for an effective skin-lightening product. If anything, those considering a lightening product in this price range should also speak to their dermatologist about a prescription for hydroquinone (4% strength), especially if you have stubborn discolorations that haven’t responded well to over-the-counter lighteners. Alternatively you could buy an over-the-counter hydroquinone-based product (2% strength) because hydroquinone has a huge amount of research showing it to be effective in improving skin discolorations.


Now Prevage takes high performance anti-aging skincare into brightening. The newest Prevage formula combines the proven benefits of Idebenone, the most powerful antioxidant, and skin brightening Soy Ferulate-C to help banish age spots and dullness and restore skin's uncompromised radiance and youthful looking glow. Sun damage and imperfections that can mar skin's clarity and glow look reduced with clinically proven Idebenone. It helps neutralize free radicals from environmental assaults that can lead to dark spots and discolorations. Age spots, freckles and discolorations look reduced with Soy Ferulate-C. This advanced blend gently and effectively works to help reduce the look of existing age spots and intercept the appearance of future skin discolorations.


Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Feruloyl Soy Glycerides, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylene Diamine, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydroxydecyl Ubiquinone, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Petasites Japonicus Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic Acid, Cetyl Palmitate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, Isohexadecane, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Pca, Trehalose, Urea, Octadecenedioic Acid, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Peg-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polyquaternium-51, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Mica, Cyclopentasiloxane, Fragrance, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Iron Oxides, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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