Crema Nera
1.7 fl. oz. for $280
Last Updated:04.06.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

In an attempt to justify the outrageous price for this product, Armani’s marketing team has concocted a story of heroic proportions. This “cell regenerating cream” was supposedly inspired by Giorgio Armani’s trips to Pantellaria, an Italian island between Sicily and Tunisia. Somehow Armani discovered that the petrified lava from this island’s volcanoes contains everything needed to “nearly perfectly recapture the earth’s rejuvenating secrets.” (Ah, so the fountain of youth is really in Italy). So basically what they’re asking you to swallow is that fossilized lava can somehow generate new skin cells and restore radiance to aging skin. According to an article in the August 2007 issue of fashion magazine W, L’Oreal (Armani’s owner) researchers studied obsidian (volcanic rock) on this island and worked with experts on volcanoes at Naples’s Vesuvian Observatory. The minerals sodium, potassium, silica, and iron are claimed to be collectively responsible for oxygenating skin (which by the way generates free-radicals) and helping skin to absorb water (something the top dead layers do exceptionally well all on their own if there is enough moisture in the environment). In short, those minerals or any lava are useless topically on skin and absorbing water is only a small part of what makes skin healthy.

This water- and silicone-based moisturizer does contain all of those minerals, but none of them are capable of achieving skin-perfecting results, including regenerating cells. There is a tiny amount of salicylic acid, but certainly not enough to prompt exfoliation (now that would have been really helpful for skin).

Beyond all of the nonsense claims and useless input from volcanic experts, this is a shockingly boring formula whose only redeeming value is a silky, elegant texture. The fifth ingredient is paraffin, as in paraffin wax, and the other thickening agents that make up the bulk of this product are as inexpensive as it gets. There are a few token antioxidants in here, but whatever slight benefit they may have provided is lost because of jar packaging. Armani stated that his goal was “to have one cream for a lifetime … We want one product that does everything.” Lots of women feel that way, too, but there is no product that can fill that bill (who knows what new discoveries lay around the corner?) and this product doesn’t even come close to making a valid attempt.

Crema Nera falls drastically short of being an all-encompassing product for anyone’s skin: it does not contain sunscreen, is inappropriate for blemish-prone skin, won’t be emollient enough for very dry skin, and lacks ingredients that reinforce skin’s structural components. On top of all that, the fragrance and fragrance components can be problematic for sensitive skin. When all is said and done, Crema Nera is the skin-care version of a red carpet fashion faux pas.


A unique cell regenerating cream inspired by the Italian island of Pantelleria. Containing a unique formulation of obsidian, a natural mineral compound extracted from the petrified lava on Pantelleria, Crema Nera perfectly captures the Earth's rejuvenating secrets. This exceptional, patented formula is scientifically proven to actively restore and revitalize skin's natural radiance and regenerate surface cells. The immaculate white cream helps to uncover your skin's beauty, life and youth. Boosts skin radiance. Helps refine and perfect skin texture. Nourishes and hydrates.


Water, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Glycerin, Paraffin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Silica, Nylon-12, Polyethylene, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Octyldodecanol, Sodium Lactate, Potassium PCA, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Ferrous Gluconate, Perlite, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Sodium Citrate, Propylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Adenosine, Pentasodium Pentetate, Linalool, Fragrance

Brand Overview

Giorgio Armani At-A-Glance

Strengths: Outstanding foundations; superb powder textures; a brilliant shimmer fluid; perfect bronzers; some excellent lip color options; a neutral palette makes this line a must-see.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the skincare is underwhelming, especially given the cost (though the claims sound good!); some of the SPF-rated products do not supply adequate broad spectrum protection; most of the mascaras aren't as impressive as they should be.

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is credited with giving tailored elegance, power, and sex appeal to standbys like men's suits, and turning Hollywood's A-list stars into fashion icons as they parade through countless award ceremonies adorned in his simple yet elegant creations. According to Armani, "Elegance doesn't mean being noticed, it means being remembered." That statement has been parlayed into the designer's makeup collection, where the products are replete with the textures, colors, and flawless application that assure your natural beauty will be memorable rather than masked.

Because Armani has always been passionate about textures, it's no surprise that his makeup (which is the main reason to check out this line) presents an impressive collection that features some of the smoothest, lightest textures you're likely to find. From foundations to powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras—even pencils—the makeup selection includes some truly stellar products. According to the brochure for Armani's makeup, the supreme textures and silky application are the result of Micro-fil technology. This supposedly allows for a precise blending and layering of select ingredients, offering a heightened sense of color that fits like a second skin.

Regardless of how that technology is labeled, almost all of the makeup contains standard silicone polymers along with ordinary ingredients like nylon-12. Of course, many cosmetics companies have their equivalent version of Micro-fil, but Armani seems to have taken it one step further, though not always toward desired results. For example, the eyeshadows, while very smooth and easy to blend, aren't much for intensity, a point the counter personnel made clear.

There are a few other instances where the pricey products aren't all they're made out to be, but this is the world of cosmetics, and although the fantasy is for every product to be perfect, that's hardly ever the reality. Still, there are many compelling reasons to explore this collection. Although not fully distributed across the United States, it has a presence in most major cities and the products may be purchased on Armani's Web site. Makeup is where it's at for Giorgio Armani's cosmetics line. The skin care was a blatant, exceedingly overpriced afterthought and is not worth considering.

For more information about Giorgio Armani, owned by L'Oreal, call (877) ARMANI-3 or visit www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Best eye cream for under eye bags

I have tried a lot of eye creams and this one is hands down the best for bags under your eyes.I have sensitive skin and this cream didn't make me break out or cause any issues. The fragrance is pleasant. You should be wearing moisturizer with SPF anyways so why do you need SPF in your eye cream. SPF in make up causes me to break out. Bravo Giorgio Armani!

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