This product reinforces the misguided belief that the neck and chest areas need ingredients different from those you use on your face. In truth, the skin on the neck, chest, and hands can and should be treated with the same products you normally use on your face—assuming you're using good products. Hands do have special needs because they're almost always exposed to the elements and they suffer more wear and tear than skin on the neck and chest. But, regardless of which part of the body we're discussing, this product isn't recommended.
Not only is it overpriced, but the formula also contains a potentially problematic amount of skin-damaging, pro-aging alcohol, along with numerous fragrant plant oils, including lavender. See More Info to find out why alcohol and lavender are big problems in any skin-care product.
This product has a silky texture and contains some intriguing ingredients, including sodium tetrahydrojasmonate, a form of jasmonic acid, which is a plant hormone that helps plants ward off insects. It's also involved in regulating plant growth as well, but what that has to do with skin is unknown.
From its product name to its claims, this product falls short, ending up as a waste of money.
- Silky, lightweight texture.
- Contains a potentially irritating amount of alcohol.
- Does not contain anything special for skin on the neck, hands, or chest.
- Lavender and the other fragrant oils this contains are skin irritants.
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).
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Neck, Chest & Hand Repair delivers dual brightening and restoration action. Powerful skin brightening agents fade accumulated damage and age spots, while a combination of targeted actives help support collagen levels to alleviate crepiness.
Aqua / Water / Eau, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil / Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil / Sunflower Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil / Rosemary Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract / Cucumber Fruit Extract, Linalool, Citronellol, Curcuma Longa Extract / Turmeric Root Extract, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale Extract / Jasmine Extract, Citric Acid.
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.