According to Wei East, Chinese chestnut has “astonishing” lifting and firming power. According to published research on this ingredient, it can help inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine, making it a worthwhile ingredient (consumed orally) for those with type 2 diabetes. It also appears to exhibit some amount of anti-tumor activity, but none of this has anything to do with lifting or firming skin, dramatically or otherwise (Sources: Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, February 2010, pages 144–149; and Natural Product Communications, January 2010, pages 13–16). It is nothing short of silly to think any plant extract is going to replace what cosmetic corrective procedures (including cosmetic surgery) can do. If Chestnut Firming Essence worked as claimed, anyone who used it would see sagging skin disappear, but what causes skin to sag and lose firmness is far more complex than what any single ingredient could address, not to mention one that’s applied topically. This is an OK toner for normal to oily skin, but it contains an irritant (sodium polystyrene sulfonate) that can be a problem, despite the fact that, cosmetically, it can constrict skin and make it feel tighter. Of course, skin that feels tighter isn’t the same as skin that actually is tighter (or lifted), which is further proof that the claims are bogus.
Based on the astonishing firming and lifting power of the Chinese Chestnut, Wei East’s Chestnut Firming Essence helps stop and even reverse age-related drooping and sagging. With daily use, Chestnut Firming Essence refines pores, lifts, contours, and increases firmness.
Water, Castanea Mollissima (Chinese Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycine Soya (Soy) Germ Extract, Honey, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Dmdm Hydantoin
The goal of the Wei East skin-care line is to bring Chinese herbal remedies together with Western cosmetics science, a fusion aimed at creating products that provide the best ingredients of the present with those of the ancient past. Many of the ingredients are unique to this line. Yet, aside from the claims, the inherent problem with this concept is that there is very little proof, beyond anecdotal evidence, that any of the chosen Chinese herbs and various plant extracts have benefit for skin. Of course, that fact didn't stop Wei East from assigning all manner of benefits to such romantic-sounding ingredients as white lotus, lily, and Chinese rose.
The good news is that some of the less-exotic plant extracts in these products do have a reasonable amount of research backing up the claims they make for having a positive impact on skin. Not surprisingly, Wei East, just like hundreds of other cosmetics lines, also takes their claims far beyond reality. None of these ingredients, from China or anywhere else on earth, will restore aging skin to its youthful state.
Wei East also claims to offer a "wide range of skincare products [that] meet the unique needs of various skin types," yet there are no products to address acne or blackheads, no AHA or BHA exfoliants, and, most surprisingly, not a single sunscreen (how did they miss that quintessential skin-care need?). A skin-care line without a well-formulated sunscreen hasn't really got its feet on the ground, and must be using research from the turn of the century. Also, you can ignore Wei East's statement that their products are 100% irritant-free because several of the plants they include are irritating. They also claim that the herbal extracts in these products are picked and packed at their peak of freshness, but why would a company so concerned about the freshness and potency of natural ingredients package so many of its products in jars, exposing these substances to deteriorating light and air? What a sad oversight.
Although this is a fairly pricey line, there are some commendable products. The cleansers are all adept at their jobs and also facilitate makeup removal; there are some topical scrub options; and the excellent China Herbal Eyes Alive is recommended, although not because it banishes dark circles and puffiness as claimed. Watch out for the toners and any of the treatment products, which either contain dubious or irritating ingredients or are simply a waste of time and money.
For more information about Wei East (pronounced "way east"), call (888) 934-3278 or visit www.weieast.com.