Skin Refining Serum

Price:
$38.25 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
11/28/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This water-based serum contains a potent anti-irritant and some very good skin-identical ingredients. It’s an overall great formula, so why the Poor rating? Lavender oil. Even small amounts of this fragrant plant oil have been proven to cause skin cell death and increase oxidative damage (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Without the lavender oil this would be a great serum for sensitive skin, though it cannot shrink pores nor provide exfoliation as claimed.

Red, flaky skin and enlarged pores are the pits—literally! That’s exactly why we created our Skin Refining Serum—your one-stop solution to these three common skin problems. Our exclusive formula contains Willow Bark extract for gentle, non-abrasive exfoliation and APT-GC designed to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Use under moisturizer to help ease dryness, soothe redness, shrink the appearance of pores…and leave skin with a perfectly polished glow.

Water, Willow Bark Extract, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycosaminoglycans, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium PCA, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Benzophenone-4, Lavender Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. Disodium EDTA, Red 40

Is there something about acting talent or being beautiful that is equal to knowledge? We guess there must be, because having celebrities endorse products is big business the world over. It is simply amazing to me that Victoria Principal can convince women that they can have great skin like she does by using her skin-care routine. In fact, Victoria Principal's infomercial is one of the most successful ever.

Victoria Principal's skin-care products were originally formulated and manufactured by Aida Thibiant, a Beverly Hills aesthetician who ran a successful skin-care boutique and cosmetics manufacturing business there for years. Because the Guthy Renker Corporation that markets and distributes the line felt they no longer needed Thibiant to establish Principal's credentials, they severed ties with her in 1995. That isn't good or bad, it just means it isn't Principal's own skin-care genius behind these products.

This is a line with deals, or at least that's what they appear to be on the surface. Look a little deeper and these are just expensive products, and the deals are smoke and mirrors. You can buy groups of products for what appears to be a much-reduced price, but if you really don't need all those products, or if some of them are poorly formulated (like many of the sunscreens, products for blemish-prone skin, and moisturizers) you would be wasting your money, and that's no bargain.

The big deal with this brand today is the Reclaim line. Almost all of the Principal Secret Reclaim products contain the ingredient acetyl hexapeptide-3 (Argireline), an ingredient in many of the products that claim to work like Botox. Indirectly, the same claim is used for these products, which promise to soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles that result from repeated facial expressions, which is what Botox injections accomplish brilliantly. As a brief review of what we have previously written about Argireline, this peptide is synthetically derived, and supposedly has the ability to relax muscles that would normally contract to form the facial expressions that lead to wrinkles. According to the ingredient manufacturer, it does this by modifying the release of catecholamines, which are compounds that occur naturally in the body and serve as neurotransmitters, such as epinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine. However, you would not want a cosmetic to affect any of those substances, because if it did, it could lead to a host of new problems.

Despite Principal Secret's enthusiasm for this ingredient, there is still no substantiated proof that it works as claimed. Further, we don't know the long-term adverse effects of applying acetyl hexapeptide-3 to skin. If it really worked to relax facial muscles, it would work all over the face (assuming you're using the products, and this line contains dozens of them, as directed) (Source: Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2005, pages 521–524). If all the muscles in your face were relaxed from topical application of acetyl hexapeptide-3, you'd have sagging, not youthful, skin. But then no cosmetics company would ever put such a claim on their products!

The makeup from Principal Secret isn't anything special. There are some good products, but nothing that cannot be found for less money at the drugstore. A strong point for color: it is well edited and designed to be simple, which many women will appreciate.

For more information on the products, feel free to visit their website www.principalsecret.com.

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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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