Tested on animals:Yes
Other than having a slightly thicker texture and containing a bit less vitamin C, this night cream is very similar to Jurlique's Purely Bright Day Moisturizer. As such, the same comments (and concerns) apply:
This moisturizer is said to lighten dark spots while hydrating skin. The formula contains satsuma (listed by its Latin name of Citrus unshiu) and a form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl glucoside. Of these two, more research has been done on ascorbyl glucoside, but this moisturizer's alcohol content is a potential problem for all skin types (see More Info to learn why alcohol in this amount is a likely problem).
The satsuma has limited in-vitro and animal research demonstrating that it has melanin-inhibiting (skin lightening) properties. Whether or not that benefit can be parlayed to human skin is unknown, so this citrus fruit isn't one to bank on for improving discolorations (Source: Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, February 2007 pages 91-98).
Getting beyond the lightening ingredients, this night cream contains a mix of helpful and potentially problematic plant extracts. For the money, it may work OK for dark spots, but you'll likely get better results from hydroquinone (widely considered the gold standard) or products with niacinamide and acetyl glucosamine (both of which are natural, if that's what you prefer).
Ultimately, despite the potential for some efficacy, this moisturizer is one we cannot recommend due to the aforementioned amount of alcohol and also because of the fragrant plants and several fragrance ingredients known to be irritating. Among them, eugenol and Isoeugenol are strong irritants. Eugenol is often part of the fragrance in cosmetic products, and is known to cause irritation that may include redness, dryness, scaling, and swelling (Sources: Toxicological Sciences, October 2011, pages 501-510; Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, July 2011, Epublication; Collegium Antropologicum, March 2011, pages 83-87; Toxicology In Vitro, August 2009, pages 789-796; and Toxicologic Pathology, August 2007, pages 693-701). It is a major component of clove oil, and research has shown the eugenol content of clove causes skin cell death, even when low concentrations of clove (0.33%) were applied to cultured skin cells (Source: Cell Proliferation, August 2006, pages 241–248). It is best to avoid products that contain eugenol, and it's definitely a fragrance ingredient to check on before buying cosmetics.
- Contains enough vitamin C to potentially improve brown spots.
- Little research lies behind the citrus plant said to help lighten discolorations.
- Amount of alcohol may put skin at risk of irritation.
- Numerous fragrant ingredients promote further irritation.
- Eugenol is a problem for all skin types.
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).