Tested on animals:Yes
The Enlighten line from Lauder is supposed to be for correcting uneven skin tone, and to that end the products, including this creamy moisturizer, contain a mix of novel and proven ingredients to do that, to varying degrees of success. The problem here is jar packaging, as it quickly hinders the effectiveness of this moisturizer’s best ingredients.
We explain the details behind why jar packaging is problematic in the More Info section of this review, but the other issue present is the fragrance of this product, which tends to linger. A nice scent makes your nose happy, but poses a risk of irritation for your skin—so this isn’t as soothing as the claims state.
On balance, though, this has the makings of a very good moisturizer for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts. With less (or, preferably no) fragrance and in better packaging, this would stand a good chance of not only hydrating and smoothing skin but also helping to create a more even skin tone. Now that really would be enlightening!
Note: The majority of interesting, beneficial ingredients in this moisturizer appear in many other Estee Lauder moisturizers, too, even though those aren’t sold as being for improving an uneven skin tone. Go figure.
Creamy texture ably moisturizes skin, leaving it smooth and hydrated.
Loaded with plant-based antioxidants.
Contains a decent mix of ingredients to create a more even skin tone.
Jar packaging won’t keep this product’s best ingredients stable once opened.
For a formula claiming to soothe irritated skin, the lingering fragrance is disappointing.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, 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 that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)