It struck me the other day that an ingredient that inhibits expression lines from forming might be a bit wasted in a night cream unless you have wild dreams that induce the face to contort. I was looking at Serious Skincare’s SSC A Defy Intense Night Cream, the line being sold on HSN and fronted by Jennifer Flavin-Stallone, wife of Sly. SSC A Defy Intense Night Cream is part of a set that costs $49.95 and, for a celebrity backed, informercial-type product, it isn’t all that bad.

Acetyl hexapeptide-8 is the expression-inhibiting ingredient I mentioned earlier. Also known as Argireline, it is supposed to work by preventing the nerves from sending a signal to the muscle. If muscles don't move, then expression lines are prevented. A more interesting ingredient is niacinamide, a form of vitamin B that suppresses melanin from reaching the surface of the skin and protects the skin from further UV damage. Overall, SSC A Defy Intense Night Cream has a reliable set of anti-aging stand-bys with retinol, retinyl palmitate, vitamins C and E, and a smattering of sodium hyaluronate. Retinyl palmitate is controversial because of some research suggesting it can have cancer-causing properties when exposed to sunlight. Given that it's a night cream, you can likely rest assured that this shouldn’t present a problem.

Not so sweet dreams may result from some of the non-actives including polyethylene glycol, known as PEG. It should not be used on broken skin as there are toxicity concerns. Another PEG (#75) is also listed. Polyacrylate-13, a synthetic polymer also raises concerns because toxins can be formed during processing. And there are some links of ceteth-20 to cancer. The preservative phenoxyethanol is a possible neurotoxin and the other preservative used here, ethylhexylglycerin, may be an irritant. Mrs Stallone’s skincare isn’t super serious, but it does have most of the workhorse anti-aging ingredients. As far as celebrity-fronted potions and lotions go, I’ve seen far worse.

Ingredients in SSC A Defy Intense Night Cream: Water, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glycerin, Polyethylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glycereth ? 26, Glyceryl Stearate, Retinyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Retinol, Methacrylates Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Wax/ Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, PEG-75 Stearate, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Allantoin, Caffeine, Bisabolol, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Resveratrol, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin