Anti-Aging Booster Serum (Discontinued)

by Neutrogena  Clinical
Price:
$20.99 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
9/20/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This serum is the exact same one you get when you purchase any of the kits from Neutrogena Clinical. It seems Neutrogena decided to sell this separately even though this serum was never all that great.

This has a silky texture, but if you believe the claims, it's supposed to combine with your anti-aging moisturizer to "activate" and improve every sign of aging you can think of. It doesn't do anything but make your skin feel smoother and softer.

Anti-Aging Booster Serum contains copper and zinc. There is research pertaining to copper and its dual role in skin: wound healing and altering the matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) that contribute to collagen depletion. Applying ingredients that work against this damage is helpful, but this is not the only way to improve aging skin.

Zinc is believed to play a co-factor role with copper when it comes to repairing damaged elastin in skin. However, it's not the only game in town, it can't provide anything that other skin-care products can't provide, and it's not a substitute for what a cosmetic dermatologist can do to improve skin. (Sources: Connective Tissue Research, January 2010, Epublication; Experimental Dermatology, March 2009, pages 205–211; and Veterinary Dermatology, December 2006, pages 417–423). There is no solid research proving that topical zinc or copper can stop or reverse sagging skin that results from elastin damage.

For further details on this serum and how it's supposed to work, please see the reviews for Neutrogena Clinical, Aveeno Ageless Vitality, or RoC Brilliance products on this site. All three brands are owned by Johnson & Johnson, and each includes the same serum Neutrogena now sells separately in their nearly identical anti-aging kits.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Makes skin feel silky-smooth.
  • Copper and zinc have anti-aging benefits, but they're far from the only ingredients that do.
Cons:
  • Expensive considering the small amount of product you get.
  • The formula isn't as well-rounded as an anti-aging serum should be. A greater range of antioxidant, skin-repairing, and cell-communicating ingredients is necessary to get skin that looks and acts younger.
The breakthrough technology of Neutrogena Clinical® Anti-Aging Booster Serum for your face, eyes, and lips complements the effectiveness of your skincare routine, smoothing lines and improving the look of collagen-depleted skin for healthier, younger looking skin. This high potency age-defying serum with ion2complex™ technology activates when combined with your anti-aging moisturizer.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trisiloxane, Silica, Zinc, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Copper Powder

Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena has been around for over 50 years, and they've come a long way since they launched their first transparent, bronze, detergent-based bar soap (it also contains tallow). The bars are still sold, and while we still don't recommend them (they are too drying for all skin types), the good news is that Neutrogena has come a very long way from where they started. In fact, several of their products represent truly state-of-the-art options.

Strolling the skin-care aisles of any drugstore or mass-market store reveals that Neutrogena vies for shelf space and prominence with only one other brand, Procter & Gamble's Olay. For the most part, both companies offer a similar assortment of products, with Olay being slightly more focused on anti-aging products and Neutrogena going for broader appeal, offering a nearly equal amount of antiwrinkle and anti-acne products. Regrettably the latter category presents few viable options.

Where Neutrogena really excels (and has for years) is with water-soluble cleansers, AHAs, retinol, and sunscreen products. Their Healthy Skin lineup offers some beautifully formulated moisturizers with glycolic acid, and the sunscreens offer something for everyone, including some ingenious options for those with oily skin (or anyone who finds the texture of high-SPF products as unappealing as slathering your skin with Crisco).

A recent self-proclaimed advance in sun protection came with Neutrogena's Helioplex complex. It is not the superior breakthrough Neutrogena makes it out to be. It's a good system to keep avobenzone stable for longer, but Helioplex isn't the only way to get the most out of this important UVA sunscreen. If it were, why didn't Neutrogena scrap all of their other sunscreens that don't use Helioplex technology? And why do they still offer a handful of SPF-rated products that leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage? Although they offer a proportionately greater number of sunscreens that provide excellent UVA protection, it's hard to unequivocally deem them a sun-care leader when they still sell inadequate sunscreens.

It's common to see commercials and magazine ads for Neutrogena's plethora of products designed to combat breakouts and blackheads. It's nothing short of amazing that, after all these years, the majority of these products, while well intentioned, still don't get it right. Far too many of them contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, and menthol, none of which are the least bit helpful for someone struggling with breakouts. If your dermatologist recommends these products for acne without reservation, definitely consider a second opinion! Even Neutrogena's on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide product contains some potentially problematic thickening agents. Despite this, if you choose carefully, there are some great products (including a BHA lotion) that can make a positive difference.

What's most frustrating and, frankly, surprising, is that Neutrogena's enormous assortment of products represents both the best and the worst the cosmetics industry has to offer. Given their worldwide distribution and research capabilities, they really should be offering a consistent range of effective, irritant-free products to address a variety of skin types and conditions. As things stand now, healthy, protected skin is only assured if you know which Neutrogena products to look for and which ones to never put in your shopping cart.

For more information about Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (800) 582-4048 or visit www.neutrogena.com.

Neutrogena Makeup

Neutrogena's "beautiful and beneficial" pronouncement is a great tag line, but most of their makeup doesn't live up to that assertion. This line was lacking in several key areas when it first hit store shelves in 1999, and although some things have improved, the number of problematic products is a bit startling. (I'm not aware of any cosmetic line that uses menthol or its derivatives as often as Neutrogena.) Each product carries on about the vitamins it contains, yet compared to the leading roles played by cosmetic staples like silicones and thickening agents, the vitamins have mere cameo roles, and as such have little to no impact.

There are a few key items to seek out, especially if you're looking for makeup with excellent sun protection. We also found their lip gloss to be one of the best at any price, and a few of their foundations successfully bridge the gap between skin care and makeup.

The most frustrating aspect of this line is that almost all of it is packaged so you cannot see the color. Even worse, the color swatch on the box is a poor representation, not only of how the color looks in the compact, but also how it looks on your skin. What would truly be beneficial is for Neutrogena to offer more revealing packaging or provide testers or offer trial sizes. Their overall collection and in-store displays aren't nearly as tempting as most other drugstore makeup lines, so in most cases they're relying on their constant magazine and television ads to drive shoppers to explore the world of Neutrogena makeup, or they're relying solely on those who don't mind guessing what color they are really buying. It's obviously working, because despite the problematic elements, this is a line that has survived and is very well distributed.

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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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