There is nothing—and we mean nothing—in this specialty body-care product that can help sagging skin on the buttocks, thighs, upper arms, or anywhere else. We know those areas are a concern for many people, but this type of sagging needs to be addressed by surgery or cosmetic corrective procedures, not by skin care. If you're thinking that skin care must be able to help somewhat … well, it does, but not nearly enough and not nearly to the extent products like this promise.
Unbelievably (we had to reread the claim several times and then calm down), this is supposed to re-inflate and support the skin's structure. How does it purport to do this? Apparently, with everyday ingredients like water, glycerin, alcohol (yes, the skin-damaging kind), silicones, and the menthol-derived irritant menthyl lactate (another potentially skin-damaging irritant). All we can say is: Please, don't give your time or money to support this type of marketing insanity.
- Cannot work as claimed, not even a little bit.
- Contains a high amount of skin-damaging alcohol.
- Irritates skin with ingredients such as menthyl lactate and rosemary oil.
Formulated for loose, sagging skin on gravity-fighting body zones including the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, knees and upper arms, this cooling fluid reinflates and supports skin’s structure resulting in a smooth, tight surface.
Aqua / Water / Eau, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Menthyl Lactate, Polyacrylamide, Pentylene Glycol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Panthenol, Yeast Extract, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Triethanolamine, Laureth-7, Cellulose Gum, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil / Rosemary Leaf Oil, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Dimethiconol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Limonene.
With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skin-care market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid. Company founder Dr. Sheldon Pinnell began the line after a falling out with the folks behind Cellex-C, a company for which Dr. Pinnell once served as spokesperson. The falling out had to do with both Cellex-C and Dr. Pinnell holding patents on L-ascorbic acid; Cellex-C held the patent on a formula with L-ascorbic acid (the original Cellex-C serum) while Dr. Pinnell's patent (now conspicuously absent from SkinCeuticals products) was only for the ingredient. The drama continued as, years later, the doctor who joined Pinnell to work on SkinCeuticals' vitamin C products began his own company, also selling products with vitamin C. Who needs Desperate Housewives when we have desperate doctors racing to be the authoritative word on the anti-aging properties of vitamin C?
The good news is that copious research has demonstrated that L-ascorbic acid (despite its stability issues, which, formula-wise, SkinCeuticals products do address) is a good, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It has also been shown to provide photoprotective benefits when skin is exposed to UV light and is capable of stimulating collagen production - though don't take that to mean it is a cure for wrinkles (Sources: International Journal of Toxicology, 2005, supplement, pages 51–111; Experimental Dermatology, June 2003, pages 237–244; Dermatologic Surgery, March 2002, pages 231–236; Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, May 1999, pages 453–461; and International Journal of Radiation Biology, June 1999, pages 747–755). Of course, other forms of vitamin C have equally impressive research, and some forms, such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, have better stability profiles (Source: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, March 1997, pages 795–801).
As we've mentioned before, vitamin C is but one of many good antioxidants, and it's not the best approach to select any one or two antioxidants and bank on them alone to provide every conceivable skin-rejuvenating benefit. Instead, go for products that offer a cocktail of antioxidants because you'll get a greater range of benefits. Plus, some antioxidants in combination have a synergistic effect that surpasses what occurs when any of the ingredients are used alone. SkinCeuticals clearly knows this, because their vitamin C products also contain the antioxidant ferulic acid, and some add vitamin E to the mix as well. Above all, remember that as multifunctional as antioxidants are, they cannot stop aging, they won't eliminate wrinkles, and they do not replace the need for daily sun protection.
L'Oreal purchased SkinCeuticals in May 2005, and, for the time being, seems to be letting them stay on their course. That's a good thing, because despite L'Oreal’s considerable financial reserves and global R&D team, the skin-care products their brands produce consistently lag behind what current research indicates are state-of-the-art options. As long as they continue to let SkinCeuticals retain its stature, there are many good reasons to shop this line; however, that said, this line is far from perfect in terms of being able to assemble a complete skin-care routine. Focusing on what they do best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. Those who find the SkinCeuticals price tags to be a deal-breaker need to know that despite several notable products, they're hardly the only game in town; you can find equally superior products for less money, though not all of them follow the impressive concentration protocols of SkinCeuticals.
For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.