StriVectin-TL Tightening Face Cream

Price:
$89 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
9/4/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

StriVectin is making a big deal out of their NIA-114 ingredient, which is patented and included in this and a few of their other products. First, in terms of patented ingredients, a patent has nothing to do with efficacy. A patent is obtained without any proof that what you're patenting actually works. The "patented" claim always sounds impressive to unsuspecting consumers, which is why lots of companies use that claim, but it isn't proof of anything; it merely means that you have laid claim to the use of an ingredient for a specific purpose. Whether or not the ingredient works as stated doesn't impact whether a patent is granted.

Back to the NIA-114: It's the exact same ingredient (listed as myristyl nicotinate) included in the Nia24 brand of products reviewed elsewhere on this site. StriVectin claims they're the only company that uses this ingredient, but clearly that's not true.

Here are the key details: Myristyl nicotinate is a derivative of nicotinic acid, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin). It isn't the same ingredient as niacinamide, but it functions in nearly the same manner (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Just like niacinamide, there is research on myristyl nicotinate's ability to improve the skin's barrier function, mitigate signs of sun damage, and reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis, commonly known as dry skin. Niacinamide and myristyl nicotinate are both compatible with several prescription drugs used to treat various skin conditions and are believed to enhance their efficacy and/or minimize the negative side effects. Myristyl nicotinate is stabilized to prevent the release of, or quick conversion to, nicotinic acid, which can cause facial flushing, particularly in those dealing with rosacea (Sources: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, February 2007, pages 893–899; Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, November 2007, pages 1176–1182; and Experimental Dermatology, November 2007, pages 927–935, and June 2007, pages 490–499).

Is there any research proving NIA-114 can tighten or lift facial skin to reduce signs of sagging? No,… none. It's a very good ingredient for all skin types, but it isn't the solution for a sagging jawline or loss of definition as fat pads beneath skin shift out of place and bone loss occurs. And, given that this ingredient functions identically to niacinamide, which is included in other products from Lauder, to Olay, and Paula's Choice, you don't need to spend this kind of money to get the benefit from this ingredient.

Please see More Info to learn why products claiming to lift sagging skin don't work, and what you can consider to improve other signs of aging.

Without the claims coming true to the extent you may be hoping, is there reason to consider this moisturizer? Although it has a silky, rich texture and is packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients it contains stable, we cannot recommend this facial moisturizer. This is primarily due to the inclusion of potent irritants menthol and menthyl lactate. Both produce a tingling, cooling sensation likely meant to convey to the consumer that the product is "working" to tighten and lift the skin. Instead, these ingredients cause irritation that actually hurts your skin's ability to look and act younger. See More Info to learn why irritation is a problem for everyone's skin.

Note: The amount of corn starch this contains lends a slight clay mask-like tightening effect as this product absorbs. Do not for one second interpret this as your skin actually being tightened. Sadly, that's not what's happening.

Pros:
  • Contains an impressive amount of a type of niacinamide that offers anti-aging (but not lifting or tightening) benefits.
  • Silky-rich texture.
Cons:
  • Cannot lift or tighten sagging skin or in any way shore up "facial contours".
  • Contains two potent skin irritants: Menthol and menthyl lactate.
More Info:

Products Claiming to Lift Sagging Skin: Many skin-care 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.

Why Irritation is a Problem for Skin: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Introducing StriVectin-TL™ Tightening Face Cream, featuring the breakthrough NIA-114 molecule that powers our #1 selling Neck Cream. This rich nourishing anti-aging cream features StriVectin’s exclusive Three-Tiered Technology that works from within, first tightening skin’s surface, then fortifying the skin matrix. Finally, NIA-114™ strengthens skin’s ability to hold natural collagen. So facial contours look lifted, firmer – more youthful.

Aqua (Water, Eau), Myristyl Nicotinate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Di-C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate, Glyceryl Stearate, Propanediol, Myristyl Myristate, Steareth-2, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Menthol, Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Menthyl Lactate, Steareth-21, Pentylene Glycol, Jojoba Esters, Pullulan, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Squalane, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Algae Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Sorbitan Oleate, Isohexadecane, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, Aminomethyl Propanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Chlorphenesin, BHT, Limonene.

We had previously written about the original StriVectin-SD, when a reader asked about its ability to repair stretch marks. That was StriVectin's initial claim to fame, though the fame was all self-promoted, as there is not a single independent, peer-reviewed study to prove that StriVectin is an effective option for repairing stretch marks. The studies that do exist about StriVectin's benefits for stretch marks were paid for by Klein-Becker, the company that distributes StriVectin (and is associated with Bremenn Research Labs, which has a growing history of trouble with the FDA and various watchdog advertising organizations).

According to the company's ads, they were surprised to find that not only was StriVectin-SD getting rid of women's stretch marks, but also that somehow their facial wrinkles were going away, too. This discovery lead to the astounding "antiwrinkle breakthrough of the decade." What followed were the now-famous magazine ads that posed the question of whether StriVectin was "Better Than Botox?" Not surprisingly, this ad captured the attention of millions of people concerned with mitigating signs of aging "without painful injections".

Regrettably, no supportive research needs to be available to sell this kind of hyperbole. All it takes is to promise women that a product will get rid of their wrinkles and they will buy it in droves, no matter how many other product lines, infomercials, advertisements, or cosmetics salespeople pledge the exact same thing. StriVectin isn't and was never "better than Botox"!

Of course, now the original, lauded StriVectin-SD product has been replaced by what the company describes as a "super-charged comprehensive skin repair cream for stretch marks, wrinkles, and aging skin". It seems there's no aging skin concern this product cannot address, but as it turns out, the updated formula presents the same drawbacks as the original, although it is arguably a better formulation (just not for stretch marks).

As for the rest of the StriVectin line, it contains proportionately more misses than hits. It isn't the anti-wrinkle answer and in fact some of their products contain the type of irritating ingredients that hurt your skin's ability to look and function in a younger manner.

For more information about StriVectin, call 1-800-430-0227 or visit www.strivectin.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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