The only anti-aging element of this daytime moisturizer for dry skin is its in-part avobenzone sunscreen. The slightly creamy base formula doesn’t contain anything spectacular for skin, and absolutely nothing that justifies the price. Lancome’s Reconstruction Complex is built around the premise that stem cells from a certain species of apple tree can protect stem cells in human skin, thus bringing skin to “a denser quality.” There isn’t any convincing research proving apple stem cells are the answer for aging skin; it’s just one of many so-called answers Lancome promotes given the number of products they sell claiming to be anti-aging and antiwrinkling. In reality, there are more synthetic coloring agents and Vaseline in this moisturizer than ingredients that could influence stem cells, or any cells, for the better.
From a formulary point of view Lancome supposedly is including plant stem cells from a species of apple tree that is reputed to be capable of regenerating itself when needed (and, of course, they want you to believe that if it works for a plant then it should work for human skin). Their hypothesis is that these plant stem cells can stimulate human cells to regenerate despite the fact there isn’t a shred of research showing this to be the case. Even if there were some remote possibility that plant stem cells could affect human skin, the fact that stem cells of any kind can have an impact only when they are alive, and if they are added to a cosmetic they will be long dead by the time the product gets to the store. Taking it a step further, this comes in jar packaging, which wouldn’t keep anything stable long enough to help skin over the long term; plus, even if apple stem cells were brilliant for skin, Lancome included only a paltry amount in this product. Buying this product is buying into a very good marketing campaign with a disappointing product in tow.
Restores Density – Reduces Wrinkles – Regenerates Radiance. Our research has made a decisive breakthrough by revealing the crucial role of stem cells' environment on its ability to improve skin's youthful quality. A powerful combination – the Reconstruction Complex and Pro-Xylane – has been shown to improve the condition around the stem cells, and stimulate cell regeneration to reconstruct skin to a denser quality.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Other: Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-20, Petrolatum, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Corn Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Red 4, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylparaben, Triethanolamine, Polyacrylamide, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture, Yellow 5, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Limonene, Xanthan Gum, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Linalool, 2-Oleamindo-1, 3-Octadedecanediol, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Chestnut Seed Extract, Shea Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Methylparaben, Citronellol, Apricot Kernel Oil, Laureth-7, Coumarin, Rice Bran Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance
French flair, free gifts with purchase, constant magazine ads, and attractive packaging impel women to seek out the Lancome counter. Once you're there, though, unless you're captured by the enticing claims, the skin-care products are resoundingly dull, and we mean really, really dull (the makeup is a different story). With new research and developments in skin care many cosmetics companies typically improve their formulas, even if just in a small way. That’s not the case with Lancome, which tends to raise their prices while producing lackluster, ordinary formulas with little benefit for skin.
Even more shocking is that their most expensive skin-care items tend to be the most disappointing, usually for what they lack rather than for what they contain. It's startling to realize that their priciest moisturizer is remarkably similar to dozens of other Lancome creams priced more reasonably (but still too high when you consider what you're getting for the money). It seems that all it takes to justify the excessive prices is a good story based around a rare ingredient and claims of delivering a younger look. What a shame so many consumers are taken in by this kind of marketing mumbo jumbo.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome, along with L'Oreal's own skin-care products sold at the drugstore, has fallen well behind their competition. For all their lofty claims and beautiful models, many other companies leave them in the dust. Most of the Lauder companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder), along with Dove, and Olay have skin-care formularies that consistently outperform those of Lancome and L'Oreal in terms of what substantiated research has shown is necessary to have healthy, more wrinkle- and age-resistant skin. Lancome claims to understand women, and they certainly know how to entice them with pretty packaging and scientific-sounding claims. It would be far better if they had an intimate understanding of what it really takes for skin to look its best and function optimally.
The biggest improvement Lancome has made is that almost all of their sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients. Who knows why it took them so long to get this straightened out (L'Oreal is no stranger to this issue, as they have developed and patented new UVA filters throughout the years), but it is now easier than ever to find a reliable sunscreen from Lancome. Given their prominence and presence in department stores around the world, Lancome isn't easy to ignore. My suggestion is to look beyond most of the skin care and focus on what they do best: makeup (especially foundations and mascaras).
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all Lancome products contain fragrance.
For more information about Lancome, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 526-2663 or visit www.lancome.com.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome is a stellar, French-bred collection of makeup that remains the best reason to shop this line. Because most of Lancome's skin-care products have problematic elements (be it jar packaging, insufficient sun protection, or dated formulas), it is a relief to find that, for the most part, the colorful side of their business has more than its share of innovative products. We enjoyed the fact that no matter where we shopped, Lancome's counter personnel were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There's a lot to keep track of, and Lancome deserves credit for keeping their salespeople so well informed.
If you're looking for a force to reckon with for foundations, Lancome is a must-see. They continue to offer some of the most elegant, silky formulas anywhere and in a color range that is overwhelmingly neutral, whether your skin is porcelain or ebony. The only troubling aspect is that most of Lancome's foundations with sunscreen do not contain adequate UVA protection or the SPF rating is too low. Lancome obviously knows about the risks with these issues (after all, they market ecamsule, their version of the UVA-protecting ingredient Mexoryl SX, and brag about its UVA range). And considering that, we are not recommending as many of their foundations as we have in previous editions of this book. Beyond this major gripe, you will discover that Lancome has a well-deserved reputation for their fantastic mascaras, and that their latest powders and eyeshadows apply with a silkiness that makes them gratifying to work with. The rest of the makeup encompasses many valid choices, but before you commit to Lancome, consider the similar options available for less from sister companies L'Oreal and Maybelline New York. Striking a balance among the best of each of these lines will give you first-class makeup that beautifies without breaking the bank.
Note: Lancome is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Lancome does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.