Dark Spot Minimizing Serum

by Sephora  
Price:
$20 - 0.67 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
Last Updated:
4/19/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This water-based skin-lightening product lists alcohol as its second ingredient, which makes it a problem for all skin types. See More Info to learn how alcohol harms skin and why it's a must to avoid when listed among the main ingredients in a skin-care product.

If the alcohol weren't enough of a problem, the formula lacks proven skin-lightening ingredients. It contains a form of vitamin C—sodium ascorbyl phosphate—but there's scant research showing it can improve dark spots (it seems to be much more helpful for acne). Licorice root extract is another hopeful, but it's present in an amount that's likely too low to offer improvement.

The salicylic acid this contains may help lighten dark spots due to its exfoliating effect, but you're better off using a skin-lightening product that pairs this exfoliating ingredient with proven skin-lightening ingredients such as hydroquinone. See our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products for superior options.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Unlikely to lighten dark spots.
  • Lists potent skin irritant alcohol as the second ingredient, which hurts skin.
  • Contains fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation.
More Info:

Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).

This serum works to reduce the appearance of dark spots and other minor skin imperfections, while its ultratargeted micro-exfoliating applicator helps the penetration of ingredients to boost the efficacy.

Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Salicylic Acid, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Laureth-7, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Sodium Phytate, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate.

Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-care products can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.

Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.

Sephora Makeup

Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold in their boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.

What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.

More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesn’t compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.

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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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