12.15.2014
3
Age Affirm Firming Neck & Chest Balm
1.7 fl. oz. for $21.99
Expert Rating
Community Rating (1)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:12.15.2014
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No

Aging skin is not only a problem the face and eye area but also for the neck and chest. In fact those areas can show aging more so than any other part of your body. Many companies love dividing the body into areas encouraging you to believe that the skin on the chest and neck need different ingredients than the face or eye area to look younger, yet it isn't true, not in the least.

Simply put Age Affirm Firming Neck & Chest Balm can't do what it claims because it doesn't contain essential anti-aging ingredients, plus there are limitations on what skincare can do for signs of aging on the neck.

What this cream can do is moisturize skin because it includes a host of emollient ingredients, including shea butter, apricot kernel oil, and avocado oil, making this best for normal to dry skin. There's no doubt that adding moisture to skin improves its appearance and can make lines appear plumped, and bolstering skin's protective barrier but that doesn't fight or reverse aging. Dry skin and aging are NOT related! Improving sagging, discolored, mottled, and crepe paper-like skin requires far more than this product contains.

The issue here is that this cream is sold with both anti-aging and firming claims, but it's not a good option for either concern. Skin can be made to look firmer, but that's the result of a good skincare routine, not a solo product. See More Info for details on how to truly firm skin.

What this formula lacks is a potent blend of antioxidants and cell communicating ingredients that would really pack an anti-aging punch and for daytime a sunscreen is as vital for the neck and chest as it is for the face if those areas are going to be exposed to the sun

As for the "rose petal complex" that's supposed to be the star of the show here it includes violet extract, lavender flower extract, and rose extract. This blend is definitely not good news for your skin especially around the eye area because all of those fragrant plant extracts pose a risk of irritation. Plus lavender also causes cell death.

Add to that the fact that the jar packaging renders what little anti-aging ingredients are present here ineffective with time after the product is opened, and you have a moisturizer that does little more than moisturize and again to fight aging skin needs much more than that. You can find much better options in the More Info section of this review.

Pros:
  • Contains several emollients that moisturize and have a superficial impact on fine lines and wrinkles.
Cons:
  • Contains insignificant amounts of antioxidants or other anti-aging ingredients.
  • Cannot firm skin as claimed.
  • "Rose petal complex" is a mix of fragrant plant extracts that can cause irritation which is not helpful for skin in the least. Jar packaging renders the key ingredients ineffective once opened.
More Info:

Firming Claims: Many skincare products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

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, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so 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, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Community Reviews
Claims

This firming cream for the neck and chest area supports aging skin, exhibiting a visible loss of density and moisture.

Ingredients

Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, Synthetic Beeswax, Cyclopemtasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Stearate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10/-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Dimethiconol, Avena Satvia (Oat) Kernel Extract, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-23, Laureth, Methylisothiazolinone, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Viola Odorata Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Rose Extract.

Brand Overview

Strengths:

A reasonably priced retinol product with packaging that keeps the retinol stable; good skin-brightening product; excellent cream body cleanser; good body cream for dry skin.

Weaknesses:

Many products contain lavender oil, which is a known skin irritant, despite its nice scent; most of the moisturizers are packaged in jars, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients will lose their effectiveness once the lid is opened; many of the “star” ingredients lack independent research proving their effectiveness; very few fragrance-free products; an anti-acne product that has the potential to make acne breakouts worse.

It’s a simple fact of the cosmetics industry, and it’s been the case for decades: A beautiful actress or model touting the benefits of a brand can have an enormous influence on how people make decisions about what products to buy! Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Jennifer Aniston has sold their face and fame to a cosmetic company to proclaim its benefit. Now, actress Salma Hayek has an eponymous line of skincare and makeup products called Nuance Salma Hayek.

Hayek’s acting career began in her native Mexico, where she became a star after appearing in successful films and telenovelas. She then made the jump to Hollywood and found commercial success in English-speaking projects, as well as branching out into directing and producing. Cosmetics companies took note of Hayek’s success and ethnic beauty, which lead to Revlon contracting Hayek to be one of their models in late 1999.

In 2011, Hayek decided to strike out on her own by creating Nuance Salma Hayek. The actress says the inspiration for the line is her grandmother, who used traditional Mexican home remedies to craft her own skincare products. Many of Nuance’s products contain the same ingredients (or at least derivatives of those ingredients) used by Hayek’s grandmother, such as blue agave and prickly pear. As nostalgic and folksy as that sounds, anecdotal stories about skin care don’t relate to the phenomenal evolution of research that now exists about skin.

While it is possible that blue agave and prickly pear are decent ingredients for skin, there is scant evidence or any research proving that to be the case. Though there certainly isn’t any negative information yet about these extracts, the fact that Nuance relies heavily on them for anti-aging benefit means they’re ignoring some truly great ingredients with vast amounts of proven research showing they work!

Even more to the point, regardless of how good an ingredient is for skin, whether the concern is dryness, acne, signs of aging, oily skin, blackheads, sagging, puffy eyes, or anything else, skin is a complex organ, and one or two good ingredients is not even remotely enough to take the best care of it. Believing these kinds of homespun tales will end up hurting your skin. The same way eating only the same two or three foods every day wouldn’t keep your body healthy, two or three ingredients won’t keep your skin healthy, either.

Aside from the marketing spin, the line itself, which is extensive, has far more negatives than positives. The facial moisturizers rely heavily on jar packaging, meaning the light-and air-sensitive ingredients in those products will start to lose their effectiveness as soon as the jar is opened. Another misstep is the inclusion of lavender oil in many products—a not-so-great natural ingredient that research has shown can cause many problems, including skin-cell death, meaning it has no place in skincare products! Yes, lavender smells good, but oftentimes what pleases your nose isn’t going to make your skin happy.

Of course, there are some standout products among Nuance’s offerings. There is a good—and affordable—retinol product, as well as an excellent skin lightener, a truly great body cleansing cream, and a body moisturizer that’s great for dry skin. As a whole, though, the line is largely unimpressive, and is bolstered more by its celebrity cache than by the strength of its products’ performance.

Note: Although Nuance Salma Hayek offers makeup, too, only the skincare is reviewed at this time. We noticed that our area CVS stores carried only a small portion of the makeup, and many items were deeply discounted, which is a sign the color line might be going away.

Nuance Salma Hayek is sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacies. For more information, visit www.cvs.com or call 1-888-607-4287.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Strengths:

A reasonably priced retinol product with packaging that keeps the retinol stable; good skin-brightening product; excellent cream body cleanser; good body cream for dry skin.

Weaknesses:

Many products contain lavender oil, which is a known skin irritant, despite its nice scent; most of the moisturizers are packaged in jars, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients will lose their effectiveness once the lid is opened; many of the “star” ingredients lack independent research proving their effectiveness; very few fragrance-free products; an anti-acne product that has the potential to make acne breakouts worse.

It’s a simple fact of the cosmetics industry, and it’s been the case for decades: A beautiful actress or model touting the benefits of a brand can have an enormous influence on how people make decisions about what products to buy! Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Jennifer Aniston has sold their face and fame to a cosmetic company to proclaim its benefit. Now, actress Salma Hayek has an eponymous line of skincare and makeup products called Nuance Salma Hayek.

Hayek’s acting career began in her native Mexico, where she became a star after appearing in successful films and telenovelas. She then made the jump to Hollywood and found commercial success in English-speaking projects, as well as branching out into directing and producing. Cosmetics companies took note of Hayek’s success and ethnic beauty, which lead to Revlon contracting Hayek to be one of their models in late 1999.

In 2011, Hayek decided to strike out on her own by creating Nuance Salma Hayek. The actress says the inspiration for the line is her grandmother, who used traditional Mexican home remedies to craft her own skincare products. Many of Nuance’s products contain the same ingredients (or at least derivatives of those ingredients) used by Hayek’s grandmother, such as blue agave and prickly pear. As nostalgic and folksy as that sounds, anecdotal stories about skin care don’t relate to the phenomenal evolution of research that now exists about skin.

While it is possible that blue agave and prickly pear are decent ingredients for skin, there is scant evidence or any research proving that to be the case. Though there certainly isn’t any negative information yet about these extracts, the fact that Nuance relies heavily on them for anti-aging benefit means they’re ignoring some truly great ingredients with vast amounts of proven research showing they work!

Even more to the point, regardless of how good an ingredient is for skin, whether the concern is dryness, acne, signs of aging, oily skin, blackheads, sagging, puffy eyes, or anything else, skin is a complex organ, and one or two good ingredients is not even remotely enough to take the best care of it. Believing these kinds of homespun tales will end up hurting your skin. The same way eating only the same two or three foods every day wouldn’t keep your body healthy, two or three ingredients won’t keep your skin healthy, either.

Aside from the marketing spin, the line itself, which is extensive, has far more negatives than positives. The facial moisturizers rely heavily on jar packaging, meaning the light-and air-sensitive ingredients in those products will start to lose their effectiveness as soon as the jar is opened. Another misstep is the inclusion of lavender oil in many products—a not-so-great natural ingredient that research has shown can cause many problems, including skin-cell death, meaning it has no place in skincare products! Yes, lavender smells good, but oftentimes what pleases your nose isn’t going to make your skin happy.

Of course, there are some standout products among Nuance’s offerings. There is a good—and affordable—retinol product, as well as an excellent skin lightener, a truly great body cleansing cream, and a body moisturizer that’s great for dry skin. As a whole, though, the line is largely unimpressive, and is bolstered more by its celebrity cache than by the strength of its products’ performance.

Note: Although Nuance Salma Hayek offers makeup, too, only the skincare is reviewed at this time. We noticed that our area CVS stores carried only a small portion of the makeup, and many items were deeply discounted, which is a sign the color line might be going away.

Nuance Salma Hayek is sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacies. For more information, visit www.cvs.com or call 1-888-607-4287.