Firming Cream, Intense

by NeoStrata Canada  NeoStrata Intense Firming
$72 - 30 ml
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Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
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In many ways this overpriced moisturizer is a complete disappointment, and it is not the least bit intense. Loss of firmness is a common concern when skin begins to show signs of aging, but this lightweight product doesn’t contain a range of ingredients proven to make skin firmer.

The peptides present are overhyped when it comes to improving signs of aging. Although peptides are helpful ingredients (especially for improving skin’s barrier function and potentially functioning as cell-communicating ingredients), they cannot repair damaged elastin, which, along with other factors (such as bone loss, fat pad shifting, gravity, and sun damage) contribute to skin sagging (read: loss of firmness).

Where peptides may play a helpful role in making skin firmer is via collagen synthesis. With age and cumulative sun damage, healthy collagen synthesis and repair slows down or becomes faulty. Although peptides may play a role in counteracting this, you must keep in mind that they aren’t the only ingredients that do this.

Antioxidants, retinol, niacinamide, barrier repair ingredients, exfoliants, and sunscreen all improve collagen production. Treating your skin right always requires more than one type of ingredient, and no matter what the claim, all cosmetic ingredients have limitations, which is a major reason why there is such a demand for cosmetic corrective procedures.

This fragranced moisturizer would receive a higher rating if it contained an appreciable range and amount of proven anti-aging ingredients. As is, for what it costs, you should know that there are less expensive and more effective options on our Best Moisturizers list.

Targeting loss of firmness, a major aging concern, this cream containing a blend of peptides provides long-term benefits by improving skin elasticity and appearance and can be used on face and neck.

Water, Glycerin, Water, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Vp/Polycarbamyl Polyglycol Ester, Hydrolyzed Sesame Wheat Protein PG- Propyl Methylsilanediol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Water, Glycerin, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Hexyldecanol, Hexydecyl Laurate, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Nasturtium Officinale (Watercress) Extract, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Oat Kernel Extract, Water, Glycerin, Acetyl Tetrapeptide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Dimethicone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Propylparaben, 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

Note: All prices are in Canadian currency.

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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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