Smoothing Cream Level 3

by NeoStrata Canada  Exfoliating
Price:
$36 - 50 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > AHA Exfoliants > AHA
Last Updated:
11/29/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Other than containing a higher amount of glycolic acid (Level 3 offers 10%), this product is nearly identical to NeoStrata Canada’s Smoothing Cream Level 2, which contains 8% glycolic acid. As such, the same review applies: This is a basic, but effective, AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) exfoliant for normal to dry skin.

We would love to rate this AHA exfoliant higher, but the overall formula lacks an impressive range of beneficial extracts your skin needs, such as skin-repairing ingredients and antioxidants.

Even if those types of ingredients were present, the jar packaging won’t keep them stable. Ingredients such as antioxidants break down when exposed to air and light, and the jar packaging means they’ll be exposed to both after it’s opened. Plus, it isn’t sanitary to repeatedly stick your fingers into a product because doing so introduces bacteria, which adds to the breakdown of these ingredients.

Suited for the dry and normal skin types that require the maximum exfoliation to even out skin complexion, while moisturizing.

Water, Glycolic Acid, Water, Arginine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Triethanolamine, Isopropyl Palmitate, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cholesterol, Isostearic Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium 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.

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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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