Tested on animals:Yes
One of the latest trends in skincare is products claiming to add volume or plump the skin, and L'Oreal jumps on the bandwagon with their Revitalift Daily Re-Volumizing Moisturizer. While it does have some positives going for it, it just can't do what it says, and, surprisingly, it contains some ingredients that work counter to its claims!
The first thing you'll notice about this silky, somewhat thick cream is the perfumey smell, which hits your nose as soon as you open the jar (and that jar is a problem, too, which we'll explain in a little bit). Even though fragrance is the very last ingredient on the list, the scent is alarmingly strong— so strong you'll be catching a whiff of yourself throughout the day, which is not what most people want out of their moisturizer.
This does contain sodium hyaluronate, which functions as a skin-identical ingredient, meaning it can boost skin's moisture content, prevent moisture loss, and reduce inflammation. Boosting your skin's moisture can definitely lead to a more "volumized" appearance, though it won't make your wrinkles disappear. The issue here is that this moisturizer contains more drying alcohol than sodium hyaluronate—alcohol literally breaks down the very ingredients that keep skin soft and smooth. Talk about working against your anti-aging goals!
Then there's the fact that this is packaged in a jar, which means the good ingredients that are in here won't remain stable for very long after you open it. See More Info for details on why jar packaging and high amounts of alcohol are a problem for most skincare products.
With all these factors taken into consideration, this winds up being an overall lackluster product. We encourage you to consider instead one of the much better options on our list of Best Moisturizers.
- Contains sodium hyaluronate, a good skin-identical ingredient.
- Strong fragrance that lingers, and lingering fragrance isn't skin-caring.
- Contains more drying alcohol than wrinkle-plumping sodium hyaluronate.
- Jar packaging means beneficial ingredients will begin to lose effectiveness once it's opened.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.