Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream is said to go "beyond BB cream" and is positioned as a "12-in-1" product that does everything from repair DNA damage to perfect skin. What's in this alleged wonder? First, the "CC" in CC Cream typically stands for color and correct. CC creams are positioned as going one better than a BB cream but they're essentially the same thing, which is to say a variation on a tinted moisturizer.
In terms of the formula, the mostly natural, organic ingredients are a mixed bag. Although broad-spectrum sun protection is assured from the sole active ingredient of zinc oxide, the amount (20%) is far from being cosmetically elegant. In fact, this ends up having a soft matte finish that feels progressively drier over time, because high amounts of zinc oxide are absorbent, not moisturizing.
As with other Juice Beauty products, real fruit juices are front and center. Although that may seem pure and natural, apple and grape juice contain irritating components that aren't good for anyone's skin, and the highly fragrant formula contains citrus oils known to be irritating, so in that regard it doesn't matter if they're organic or not (an irritant is an irritant).
The formula also contains fruit stem cells but stem cells from apples, grapes, and lemons aren't going to be of any use for your skin (see More Info to find out why). This CC cream has a smooth, creamy texture that's easy to blend, and it offers sheer to light coverage from its two colors. We're not sure why the company felt it necessary to include an angled metal applicator, as it's on the small side and the formula contains too many problematic ingredients to make it ideal for use around the eyes.
The bottom line is that this is just another overly fragrant product from Juice Beauty. It's full of natural ingredients, yes, but since not all of them are proven beneficial for your skin (and wow is this ever fragrant) it's not a CC cream we recommend.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Sheer colors work for most fair to light-medium skin tones.
- Amount of zinc oxide keeps this from moisturizing well and can make skin feel progressively drier.
- Formula contains several fragrant plant juices and oils which promote irritation.
- The fruit-derived stem cells cannot help skin look and act younger.
Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.
The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless. It's actually a good thing that stem cells in skin-care products can't work as claimed because one stem cell study has revealed that they present a potential risk of cancer.
Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant properties. It's a good thing plant stem cells can't work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don't want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!
There are also claims that because a plant's stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin, and these claims are completely without substantiation.
Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics companies claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid because stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.
Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream is ideal for all skin types and especially beneficial for skin showing the signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.
Active: Zinc Oxide 20%. Inactive: Juice Beauty Proprietary Blend Of Fruit Stem Cells: Apple Buds, Grape Buds & Lemon Bark. Organic Juices Of Pyrus Malus (Organic Apple Juice)*, Vitis Vinifera (Organic White Grape Juice)*, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Leaf Juice)*, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut Oil)*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Magnesium Sulfate, Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower Seed Oil)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba Seed Oil)*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate (Vegetable Hyaluronic Acid), Malus Sylvestris (Apple Buds), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Buds) & Citrus Limonum (Lemon Bark), Iron Oxides, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) & Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Pure Essential Oils.
As you may have gathered from this line's name, fruit and vegetable juices are their point of difference. Before we discuss why that's not necessarily a good thing for your skin, we want to provide a little background information on the company.
The women behind this California-based brand have years of experience dealing with cosmetic formulations and various wellness-oriented companies. As the story goes, they felt the cosmetic marketplace was missing a line of products that contained organic ingredients, at least inasmuch as it was possible to create skin-care items that capitalize on the enduring trend for all things natural. Unlike other brands touting the organic label, Juice Beauty decided not to use organic ingredients diluted by water (which, by their reasoning would lower the total actual organic content even though water itself can be considered organic), but instead devised an organic juice blend. This blend (which includes various fruit and vegetable juices) serves as the base for every product they sell. Although it may seem intriguing that they're using juice instead of water, it's important to point out that any fruit or vegetable juice contains a preponderance of...water. For example, juice from fresh oranges, organic or not, can contain up to 85% water, while grape juice is typically 80% water. So much for juice being the solution to diluted ingredients; it's already diluted, naturally!
However, what's even more critical for you to know is that some of the juices Juice Beauty chose can be far too irritating to apply to your skin on a daily basis. The biggest offenders along this line are lemon and orange juices, both of which are extremely acidic and, as such capable of causing irritation. Plus, applying lemon juice to your skin can cause a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Sources: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, December 2005, pages 318–321; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
One of the naturally occurring chemicals in lemon juice is the fragrance chemical limonene. Pharmaceutical research has shown that limonene applied to skin enhances penetration of other ingredients, which is not good news if you're using a product that contains not only lemon juice but also other irritants as well (Sources: Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, April 2008, pages 656–661; Journal of Occupational Health, May 2006, pages 480–486; and Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, November 2006, pages 123–126 and pages 369–385). If you've ever gotten orange or lemon juice on a minor cut (even a minor cuticle nick) you know how much it stings, and that's really bad for skin! Although it's true that citrus juices do have antioxidant and even anti-inflammatory actions, the effects of their irritating compounds likely surpasses the effects from the beneficial compounds; not to mention that there are plenty of other ingredients (natural and synthetic) that have potent antioxidant properties without any potential for irritation.
In addition to the problematic natural ingredients, Juice Beauty uses raw sugarcane as a natural form of glycolic acid and willow bark as a natural stand-in for salicylic acid. Although there is an association (albeit distant) to be made for both, the fact is that neither of these natural ingredients on their own is an adequate stand-in for authentic (and, yes, synthetic) glycolic or salicylic acids. We wouldn't expect these natural substitutes to exfoliate skin and reduce blemishes any more than we would expect to be able to print a legible novel on tree bark. In fact, some of the Juice Beauty products contain actual glycolic acid rather than a natural-sounding derivative.
Several Juice Beauty products contain an impressive roster of state-of-the-art ingredients, including several antioxidants, peptides, and even some soothing, non-fragrant plant components. Ironically, removing this line's namesake ingredients (namely the juices) from their products would have made the products a much better choice!
Turning to the organic claims, we applaud the company for acknowledging the lack of regulations on the term "organic" as it applies to cosmetics. They are also refreshingly forthcoming about what the current standards stipulate, and offer all the necessary proof that the organic ingredients they've chosen are from USDA-certified organic farms. Juice Beauty simply states that they offer consumers a "meaningful percentage of organic ingredients." Based on the ingredient lists for their products, it's easy to see that juices and other natural ingredients comprise the bulk of each formula.
Consumers looking for skin-care products with organic ingredients can consider some of the options from Juice Beauty—there are a handful of effective, non-irritating products in this line. Yet, as we stated before, although organic is a strong pull for consumers, it does not always (actually, in most instances it absolutely does not) translate into better or safer cosmetics. Considering the range of ingredients Juice Beauty uses: most of them are indeed natural and certified organic—regardless of that certification, however, a natural ingredient that's irritating for skin is still a problem. Being passionate about organic products and an organic lifestyle need not involve your skin taking a turn for the worse via application of potentially damaging ingredients (particularly camphor, designated/disguised as Ho Wood in many Juice Beauty products), and camphor is a strong skin irritant (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, November 2000, pages 923–929; and Clinical Toxicology, December 1981, pages 1485–1498).
For more information about Juice Beauty, call (415) 457-4600 or visit www.juicebeauty.com.