Tested on animals:Yes
If you can look past its abundance of confusing marketing language, Nutritious Vitality Night Radiant Overnight Detox Concentrate is a good lightweight serum that contains a several antioxidants, sheer emollients and skin-repairing ingredients. Best for combination to dry skin (it may be too moisturizing for those with oily skin) it does contain a fragrance extract and added perfume, which is enough of an issue here that we wouldn't recommend this for those with sensitivity concerns like rosacea.
Lauder definitely knows antioxidants, and they're used wisely here. From barley to coffee and cranberry, what's present can work to offset skin-aging free-radical damage.
The marketing call-out ingredient pomegranate extract is present as well, and it is an excellent source of antioxidant and reparative benefit for skin (Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2011 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2007). For comparisons' sake, these benefits are similar to those seen from green tea extracts like epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG for short, but with EGCG having much more research demonstrating its anti-aging potential for skin (Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2010).
Lesser known ingredients include the brown algae derivatives, Laminaria saccharina and Cladosiphon okamuranus extract—which have some antioxidant and anti-irritant benefit, but with little research in topical applications (Glycobiology, 2007). Once again, algae just isn't all that impressive when it comes to skin care.
Soapberry (Sapindus mukorossie fruit extract) and mangosteen (Gercinia mangostana) both have limited research demonstrating their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects (Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, 2012 and Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2005). These have more allure in name than research supporting their actual benefit for skin—but the good news is they do have potential benefit rather than documented potential to harm skin!
The claim that this formula is more beneficial for nighttime use harkens back to the old cosmetics counter sales tactic of skin being "more receptive to repair" while you're sleeping. There is no research showing skin being any more receptive to some ingredients at night than the day, and we do know that skin absolutely benefits from antioxidants during the daytime, either in combination or under your sunscreen (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2012). Moreover, healthy skin is in repair and preservation mode day and night.
What about the detox claim? Simply put, skin doesn't need to be "detoxed" as it does not have the ability to store or release toxins of any kind. We could go on and on about that one, but instead, check out the More Info section for the details on why "detox" claims made about cosmetic products are nothing more than marketing fancy.
Bottom line: You do not need a special antioxidant treatment just for nighttime—your AM and PM products should be equally as robust with such ingredients as skin needs these benefits 24/7. With that in mind, Nutritious Vitality Night Radiant Overnight Detox Concentrate is a good option for a serum that contains a nice array of antioxidants and anti-irritants. It missed our top rating due to its degree of fragrance ingredients—which for the money and what you get in return doesn't rise to the four-star level for us.
Note: Estee Lauder makes the claim on the product box that this is, "Created exclusively for and tested on Asian Skin." Estee Lauder never explains what these special needs are—nor do they explain what "Asian" means, because India, Saudi Arabia and parts of Russia are all technically in Asia as well. We'll assume they mean East Asian countries, like South Korea, but wherever they intended, there isn't any research anywhere that demonstrates skincare need be tailored by race, just as medications aren't tailored by race.
To underscore the silliness of it all, Lauder has multiple languages on their packaging for this product (German, French, Dutch and Castilian Spanish), but no Korean or other East Asian language. What an oversight!
- Contains a beneficial array of antioxidants and anti-irritants.
- Sheer, lightweight moisturizing formula.
- Cannot detox skin (nor is it "specially made for Asian skin").
Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many a cosmetics company, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify which substances their product supposedly banishes—which makes sense, as your skin isn't capable of storing any sort of toxin. An actual toxin is a poison, and we're talking REAL poisons, such as those produced by plants, animals, insects, ¬or reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings) or other organisms.
So-called toxins cannot leave your body through the pores or through your skin, whether via sweat or other means—they're filtered, broken down, and removed by the kidneys and liver. Heavy metal toxicity, for example, can't be "sweated" or otherwise drawn out of skin; this requires medical treatment to remove them from the body.
Regardless of the skin concern you're battling, "toxins" aren't to blame—and if you're serious about wanting results, stick to what the research says really works (and ignore fantasy claims about "detoxifying" cosmetic products).