Elizabeth Grant

Elizabeth Grant At-A-Glance

Strengths: Very good emollient lip balm; effective and gentle water-soluble cleansers.

Weaknesses: Expensive; repetitive selection of moisturizers and serums, all making similar claims and featuring similar formulas despite wide swings in price; no products to address skin discolorations or acne; no AHA or BHA product.

England-born former makeup artist Elizabeth Grant started her skin-care company over 40 years ago after a secret mixture of ingredients being used at the time to treat war wounds changed the way her injured skin looked. Or at least that's how the story goes. From there the tale continues that her makeup clients began commenting on how young her skin looked, and before long, products with this secret ingredient complex were being sold. Grant named her formulation Torricelumn, and dozens of products in her line contain it. Yet that should give you pause, because if it's the best thing since sliced bread, why not just put a strong dose of it in a single all-purpose product and watch it go to work? It turns out there is no such thing as "Torricelumn" or "Torricelumn Pur." These are just marketing terms the company uses to represent a previously unlisted assortment of plant extracts that includes Pikea robusta (algae), Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce), aloe vera juice, and chamomile.

Pikea robusta is a type of sea algae that Arch Chemicals (a raw material supplier) indicates can scavenge free radicals and reduce inflammation. They supply the ingredient complex that contains this substance, but their own research (which is hardly impartial) only examined this effect in vitro, making it a leap of faith to assume it will have the same effect on human skin (Source: www.mattek.com/pages/abstracts/335). The unidentified algae extract likely has antioxidant capability, the aloe has mild soothing properties, and chamomile is a potent anti-irritant. That's good and assuredly helpful for skin, but it's worth neither the expense nor the lofty claims Grant assigns to her Torricelumn complex. Furthermore, countless other skin-care products contain the same ingredients (with the exception of Pikea robusta) and many contain antioxidants that have substantially more research about their effectiveness than do the ingredients in these products. Above all, you need to know that none of these allegedly advanced ingredients are backed by a shred of evidence showing they can get rid of wrinkles, revive aging skin cells, or create any degree of firmness.

I found it both flattering and unsettling that Elizabeth Grant's Web site plagiarized information I wrote about how skin ages (and I mean verbatim) in my publications. On one hand she must believe my research and reporting to be valid, but what is truly ironic is that the claims she makes for her products don't at all match up with the information she usurped. How strange! She uses my material to give her products and Web site credibility, and yet the formulas her company sells are hardly state-of-the-art, there are no sunscreens, and the excessive prices are ludicrous.

For more information about Elizabeth Grant, call (877) 751-1999 or visit www.elizabethgrant.com. The products are available primarily through Grant's Web site.

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