A crazed, insomniac chemist that had a nasty incident in the woodshed with some bacteria at an impressionable age is behind Guinot’s Longue Vie Cou ($65). How else can you explain 97 ingredients (which is about 75 too many). Of which, no less than nine are preservatives that are so high up the list that they precede all the actives bar one.

With so many ingredients, water is probably the only thing here at over 1%. Which could be just as well as triethanolamine (a pH balancer) is recommended by the CIR for “discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of Triethanolamine should not exceed 5%.” It is a cytoxin and an allergan.

Call me a drama queen, but I almost broke out just looking at Guinot Longue Vie Cou, a neck cream that I have been given no less than six sampler size tubes of. In addition to the above mentioned triethanolamine and preservatives, there are many other ingredients that have known track record as skin irritants including propylene glycol, behenyl alcohol, various fragrance related ingredients such as benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate, hydroxisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde and alpha-isomethyl ionone.

If you can get past all of this (and more - I've spared you all the gory details), you’ll find that there are some good ingredients such as horse chestnut extract (which can help treat broken veins), just about every amino acid known to man and several B vitamins and menadione (a synthetic form of vitamin K).

There’s no way I am going to stick my neck out and try Guinot’s Longue Vie Cou. Thankfully, it is the season of scarves and turtle neck sweaters and I’ll keep looking for a neck cream with a very different active to irritant ratio.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Behenyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Oleate, Octenylsuccinate, Cyclomethicone, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Stearate, Poloxamer 184, PEG-100 Stearate, Saccaride Isomerate, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Methylparaben, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Trisodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Benzyl Salicylate, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Hydroxycitronlellal, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Glucose, BHT, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Coumarin, Cintronellol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Potassium Chloride, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Eugenol, Limonene, Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Phosphate, Leucine, Glutamine, Magnesium Sulfate, Lysine, Arginine, Threonine, Aspartic Acid, Tyrosine, Sorbic Acid, Valin, Sodium Acetate, Phenylalanine, Serine, Glycine, Alanine, Isoleucine, Proline, Methionine, Histidine, Tryptophan, Red 4 (CI14700), Hydroxyproline, Adenine, Yellow 5 (CI19140), Sodium Dehydroacetate, RNA, DNA, Retinyl Acetate, Cysteine, Gluathione, PABA, Pyridoxine HCI, Inositol, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin, Niacinamide, Riboflavin, Menadione, Tocopheryl, Thiamine HCI, Folic Acid, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate.