This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen has its strong points for those who are trying to diminish the signs of aging and prevent more wrinkles. Its in-part avobenzone sunscreen helps shield your skin from the sun, and its lightweight, silky base formula is suitable for normal to oily or slightly dry skin.
The repairing claims run the gamut, from firming skin to exfoliating, reducing discolorations, and plumping wrinkles. Can it do all of that? To some extent, yes, but it’s not quite as miraculous as the marketing language makes it sound.
This formula contains several notable anti-aging ingredients, including retinol, potent antioxidants, and peptides with theoretical cell-communicating ability. Acetyl glucosamine has excellent water-binding (read: plumping) properties for skin, but there’s limited research pertaining to its value as an exfoliant. Acetyl glucosamine is a better bet for addressing discolorations because it inhibits the enzyme that triggers excess melanin production. Doing so can help lighten skin discolorations, although the research on this typically pairs acetyl glucosamine with niacinamide, an ingredient that is not present in Age Reverse Day Repair SPF 20 (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, February 2010, pages 435–441; Journal of Cosmetic Science, July-August 2009, pages 423–428; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2007, pages 232–238).
It is possible that the combination of sunscreen, acetyl glucosamine, and the antioxidants in this product will help reduce inflammation and, to some extent, lighten hyperpigmentation, but a mineral-based sunscreen blend would’ve made this even better due to the way the mineral sunscreen actives literally shield skin against the sun.
There’s also room for improvement in the number of fragrant additives, including fragrance chemicals such as ethylene brassylate. Those aren’t going to help your skin, nor are the artificial coloring agents. If you’re looking for a better moisturizer with sunscreen that also includes retinol, check out the SPF 30 Neck Defense Day Cream UVA/UVB from Dr. Denese New York. You can use it on your face and it costs half what Exuviance is charging for this Age Reverse product.
A potent solution to help reverse all the signs of skin aging during daylight hours. First, UV filters and a triple antioxidant complex fend off free radicals and shield skin from daily environmental aggressors, allowing the repair cycle to begin. A triple firming complex boosts collagen and its surrounding support matrix, maximizing skin filling and plumping benefits. Skin appears firmer, lifted, and deep wrinkles are smoothed from the inside out. At skin’s surface, an effective level of retinol and NeoGlucosamine™ lightly exfoliate, increase cell renewal, diminish the appearance of uneven pigment and age spots, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. The result is visibly refined skin texture and a more even, luminous and youthful complexion.
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone) (3%), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate) (6%), Ethylhexyl Salicylate (Octisalate) (3.5%), Other: Water, Acetyl Glucosamine, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Butylene Glycol, Corn Starch Modified, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Silica, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth-2, Retinol, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Coffea Arabica Fruit (Coffee Bush Berry) Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Arginine, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Cetyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, BHT, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-75 Stearate, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Polysorbate 20, Triethyl Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Ethylene Brassylate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 5, Red 33
Exfoliation is the name of the game for this line! The original NeoStrata and Exuviance brands were created by Drs. Eugene Van Scott and Ruey Yu, the two researchers who own the original patent (actually, they hold over 80 patents) for the use of glycolic acid (AHA) in relation to its ability to diminish wrinkles, among other capabilities. Few lines offer reliable and effective formulations for exfoliation, so those that do deserve your attention. Well-formulated AHA products are those that have an effective concentration of AHAs and a base with an acidic pH that allows them to have maximum benefit. The exfoliation that AHAs provide reduces the thickness of the skin's outer layer, helping skin to quickly look smoother and feel softer, which in turn can solve many skin problems, including dryness, blemishes, sun damage, and skin discolorations. A good deal of research also shows that AHAs can help increase the thickness of the underlying layers of skin, improve skin structure, increase collagen production, and allow penetration of other skin-care ingredients. Moreover, NeoStrata is one of the only companies to sell a range of reliable sunscreens that also contain effective AHA formulations.
Both the NeoStrata (these products are reviewed separately) and Exuviance lines contain glycolic acid (AHA), but even more of these products contain a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) called gluconolactone (also patented by Scott and Yu), and for which similar claims are made. Gluconolactone is supposed to be gentler and longer acting than glycolic acid, and its delayed penetration is attributed to its larger molecular size. However, according to an article in Cosmetic Dermatology (July 1998), the skin can't tell the difference between the various effective AHAs, and the possibility of gluconolactone staying on the surface of skin longer than other AHAs did not prove out. So in terms of exfoliation and potential side effects, PHA ends up being as good as AHA. Gluconolactone may be slightly less irritating for some skin types, but this isn't quite the magic bullet for exfoliation NeoStrata claims, though it does indeed work when properly formulated (but so do glycolic and lactic acids). Another PHA NeoStrata uses is lactobionic acid. However, there is no definitive, published research establishing it as an effective alternative to (or partner for) other AHAs or BHA.
Beyond the numerous products that exfoliate (which is NeoStrata's main selling point) there's not much to get excited about, especially for what the company is charging. And it's upsetting that a dermatologist-driven, physician-sold line still has weak spots such as the occasional inclusion of irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin and, believe it or not, a sunscreen that leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage. NeoStrata has their act together when it comes to AHAs and PHA, but that tunnel vision has, in some respects, kept them from branching out to offer a better assortment of state-of-the-art products.
For more information about Exuviance, call (800) 225-9411 or visit www.neostrata.com.
Caution: Keep in mind that skin needs only one reliable exfoliant at a time. Exuviance sells so many good ones, you may be tempted to double (or triple) up, but doing so can backfire and be more irritating than helpful.
NeoStrata Exuviance Makeup
The small assortment of Exuviance makeup products takes the "makeup as skin-care" approach by including gluconolactone in all the makeup products. Although Exuviance makes much ado about gluconolactone being a gentler AHA alternative with advanced hydrating and antioxidant ability, information presented in Cosmetic Dermatology (July 1998) doesn't bear this out. That is, it's hard to see any better possibilities for gluconolactone than for the older, mainstay AHAs such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. What's not discussed are the effects on skin when multiple products containing gluconolactone are used. Although its reduced rate of penetration might make it less irritating, the fact remains that skin does not need multiple products for sufficient exfoliation.
The most encouraging news is that each Exuviance makeup product includes an effective sunscreen. As far as anti-aging goes, that feature is far more essential than the next AHA alternative. Exuviance makeup has changed hardly at all since it was last reviewed. The three foundations still do not offer a middle-of-the-road option when it comes to coverage. You're left to choose between the opaque CoverBlend makeups or the sheer Skin Caring option. The CoverBlend Concealing Treatment Makeup SPF 20 is truly in a class by itself when it comes to traditional full-coverage makeup, and it's highly recommended if you need significant coverage for discolored areas on the face or body. The tube concealer also offers full coverage (though the colors are not the most neutral around), and the loose powder is a fine, albeit overpriced, option.