MAX LS Skin Recharging Water Lotion

Price:
$40 - 6.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Toners > Toners
Last Updated:
6/23/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Although pricey, this is a very good toner for men with normal to oily or combination skin , as well as guys with breakout-prone skin. The formula is said to speed skin cell turnover but it doesn't contain ingredients proven to do that. Lab Series includes acetyl glucosamine, which has some research pertaining to its exfoliating ability, but likely not in the amount this product contains. However, it probably still functions as a water-binding agent and this along with several other ingredients has a repairing effect on skin's barrier (translation: Your skin will look smoother, softer, and healthier).

This toner contains a high amount of green tea leaf extract, which is a rich source of antioxidants, and the various types of alage help hydrate skin without a heavy feel. Men with oily skin could consider this as their sole "moisturizer", which is especially worth considering for those struggling with breakouts.

Fragrance makes an appearance here and while that's not good news for sensitive skin (fragrance can be a skin irritant), the amount is quite low, much more so than a lot of other toners we've seen, where the emphasis seems to be more strongly on scent than actual benefits for skin. All told, well done, Lab Series!

Pros:
  • Gentle, soothing formula.
  • Hydrates and softens skin without a greasy feel.
  • No sting or burn from alcohol!
  • Rich source of green tea, which is a potent antioxidant.
Cons:
  • Despite the impressive formula, this is pricey.
  • Unlikely to encourage new skin cell turnover, though the mechanical action of applying this with a cotton pad can elicit a mild type of "exfoliation".

A weightless hydrating lotion is charged with Aquatron technology, amplifying its ability to speed cell turnover by removing old, dull skin. Leaves skin refreshed and balanced.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Hypnea Musciformis, (Algae) Extract, Gellidiela Acerosa (Algae) Extract Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Caffeine Pantethine, Acetyl Glucosamine, Algae Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Bicarbonate, Caprylyl Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phospate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Yeast Polysaccharides, Lactoperoxidase, Citric Acid Glucose Oxidase, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.

Owned by Estee Lauder Corporation, Lab Series Skincare for Men used to be called Aramis Lab Series for Men. Lauder also has other brands that offer male-specific products, including Clinique Skin Supplies for Men and Aveda Men, but the Lab Series products by far have the better formulas. That's not to say there aren't any missteps to watch out for, because there are plenty, but given that the formulas of most men's products fall far behind those of women's products in terms of basic good skin care, a few good products in a men’s line is something out of the ordinary. Compared with Clinique's soap- and alcohol-laden toner routine and the incomplete, overly fragrant offerings from Aveda, Lab Series is the Lauder-owned men's line most deserving of your consideration.

Originally launched in 1987 (well before the industry was taking the men's skin-care market seriously), the people behind this brand now are described as "an elite team of doctors, scientists, and skin-care specialists" who join forces at the Lab Series Research Center to create advanced products tailored specifically to men. However, lofty descriptions don't necessarily make for great skin care. In fact, all that these "specialists" needed to do was look at the well-formulated products from the best Lauder has to offer. In some cases, it's clear they did just that, but in other cases ... well, it should've been an across-the-board strategy but that's now how it shakes out.

In terms of ingredients, there is nothing in these formulas that you don't also find in products marketed to women. Regardless of gender, skin is skin. Hormonal elements do play a role, such as male hormones making a man's skin thicker and more oily than a woman's skin, just as female hormones make a woman's skin smoother and softer, and, more often than not, with smaller pores than a male. But, in terms of what either gender needs to create and maintain healthy, protected skin, there is no fundamental difference. When it comes to acne, sun protection, free-radical damage, growing older, rosacea, psoriasis, and on and on, there is no research showing that men require products that are different from those women need.

Quality aside, what generally differentiates men's products from women's is packaging, and Lab Series Skincare for Men follows that theme. They offer masculine, no-nonsense packaging and plenty of products to deal with the morning shaving ritual. And considering all the talk about elite doctors and scientists endeavoring to create superior products for men, it's disturbing that these so-called experts formulated several products that contain irritants such as alcohol (which also generates free-radical damage), menthol, sandalwood, and peppermint. Those bracing, invigorating ingredients may seem manly, but it's only sensory perception. The reality is that the amount of these irritants in many of the problematic Lab Series products makes them damaging to skin, especially when applied immediately after shaving, causing "razor burn" (which is not really only about the process of using a razor. Think about women shaving their legs; they don't get red bumps unless they use overly fragrant moisturizers afterward.)

It is worth mentioning that Lab Series offers sensible advice about the best ways to shave skin on their Web site. Some of their other information about men's skin having special needs is off base and not at all rooted in fact, but it works within the context of getting guys to become more interested in keeping up their appearances using a sensible skin-care routine.

For more information about Lab Series, call (866) 316-4819 or visit www.labseries.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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