This combination sunscreen and AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) cream could have been great, but the formula lacks sufficient UVA protection because it doesn’t contain the broad-spectrum active ingredients of avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl (ecamsule), or Tinosorb, so this product leaves your skin vulnerable to the sun’s aging rays
Because this contains 8% of the AHA glycolic acid at an effective pH of 3.6, it functions as an exfoliant. However, all well-formulated AHA products make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage, especially in the absence of sunscreen—one more reason the lack of sufficient UVA protection in this product is a concern.
Looking past the sunscreen issue, should you consider this product? Although it does work as an exfoliant, the overall formula lacks state-of-the-art ingredients that you’ll find in any of the AHA products on our Best AHA Exfoliants list.
Note: This product has an unpleasantly thick, cottage cheese–like texture that pales in comparison with many other AHA exfoliants.
A natural step up from Level 1 for a deeper exfoliation and probably the most widely used concentration as it can be tolerated by the majority of consumers. In addition, it contains a SPF 15 to protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Oxybenzone (5%), Other: Water, Glycolic Acid, Water, Arginine, Glycolic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Triethanolamine, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Stearic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Cholesterol, Shea Butter, Fragrance, Ammonium Hydroxide, Sorbitan Stearate, Bentonite, Xanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Disodium EDTA
NeoStrata Canada is not associated in any way with the NeoStrata brand sold in the United States, and the product selections are completely different. We asked NeoStrata Canada's owner, Canderma Pharma, Inc., why many of the products are completely different, but no one would tell us, so it remains a mystery.
What NeoStrata Canada and the U.S.-sold NeoStrata products do have in common is an abundance of well-formulated AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) exfoliants at effective concentrations and at the correct pH levels. The prices are all over the place, but for the most part you can be assured that any AHA product you purchase from NeoStrata Canada will exfoliate your skin and provide additional benefits such as improved skin texture and tone.
Exfoliants are both lines' key selling point, but they're not perfect. For example, the AHA products with sunscreen do not provide enough critical UVA protection (meaning they lack the UVA-protecting active ingredients of avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Tinsorb, ecamsule, or Mexoryl SX). That lack is a disappointment for those who were hoping that an AHA plus sunscreen would be a convenience.
NeoStrata Canada has several other intriguing products that include impressive ingredients such as peptides, retinol, vitamin C, and the company's patented AHA alternative, the polyhydroxy acid known as gluconolactone. Despite including some great ingredients, the formulas suffer from the inclusion of irritants (alcohol is a big one) and/or packaging that won't keep the beneficial ingredients stable during use.
The serums with vitamin C are worth a look, if you're curious about vitamin C. However, you'd do better looking for vitamin C in a product that also treats your skin to a variety of beneficial ingredients because one antioxidant is never enough; your skin requires much more (just like your diet) to be healthy so it can look and act younger.
Because NeoStrata Canada's products are not associated with the NeoStrata brand sold in the United States, our team called NeoStrata Canada's customer service to get additional consumer information about their products. Unfortunately, NeoStrata Canada's customer service phone number was perpetually set to voicemail, and our numerous messages (all left as regular customers, not as investigators) were never returned. After two weeks, the one email reply we did get in response to a question concerning active ingredients said simply that they couldn't give us any information. Their solution was to tell us that we would have to locate the product on store shelves to answer our own question. Either our question was too probing or NeoStrata Canada's strength is not customer service.
For more information about NeoStrata Canada, call (800) 636-3664 or visit www.neostrata.ca.
Note: All prices are in Canadian currency.