Ho Ho-Hum.  That's how I would describe the Anthony Logistics For Men Vitamin A Facial Treatment ($35) my father has been dutifully testing over the course of the past few months.  I have no doubt that he will soon relegate his bottle of Anthony Logistics to the shadowy recesses of his medicine cabinet, where a stockpile of cast off products from me and my mom reside. Based on its lackluster results, there is a slim chance that this facial treatment will see the light of day in 2009.

Not to be a Scrooge, but I have to disagree with my dad about the quality of Anthony Logistics's lightweight lotion.  To his untrained eye, the Vitamin A Facial Treatment has a pleasant texture and innocuous citrusy smell.  I, on the other hand, cannot help but be underwhelmed by its performance and disillusioned by some of its ingredients. Though the treatment promises to "iron out the wrinkles, now," my dad has been scrutinizing the lines on his forehead and around his eyes...and is still waiting for that ostensible iron to kick in.

After water, cyclomethicone makes up the majority of the formula.  This silicone oil imparts shine and silkiness, evaporating quickly without leaving residue on skin. Because the molecules are too large to penetrate past the surface layer, unmodified silicones stay near or on the surface of the skin.  There is some concern that along with moisture, silicones trap sebum, dirt, and bacteria in a layer on top of skin, thus potentially provoking allergic flareups and breakouts.

Shea butter and squalane, both derived from natural sources, contribute conditioning and smoothing properties, while fractionated coconut oil acts as a dispersing agent for vitamins and actives.  Carrot root extract, a vegetable source of beta-carotene (vitamin A), has a tendency to temporarily tint skin an orangish hue (a phenomenon that at first alarmed my father).  Ideal for dry and mature skin, carrot root extract is said to stimulate the production of sebum and protect from free radical damage.

As the tenth ingredient on the Vitamin A Facial Treatment's list, retinyl palmitate is hardly present in a sufficient amount to increase cellular turnover and collagen production.  In order to match the power of the anti-ager retinol, retinyl palmitate would have to be so concentrated that it would probably irritate skin. Anthony Logistics uses vitamin A more for a tout on its label than for any real effect on skin's elasticity.

A double dose of parabens is disturbingly high on the ingredients list, especially considering the presence of other preservatives, such as the antioxidant carrot root extract and tetrasodium EDTA.  Lab studies have found that EDTA, a synthetic chemical that removes metals or mineral ions from solutions, is both cytotoxic and weakly genotoxic, though dermal exposure is believed to produce less severe systemic effects.  Another preservative, DMDM hydantoin makes the lotion's environment unfavorable to microorganisms by releasing formaldehyde (limited to a concentration of 0.2% by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel).

Bottom line: The lightweight consistency of this face lotion is ideal for the more oily skin of men; as an emollient, it is inadequate to deeply moisturize female skin.  Unfortunately, the Vitamin A Facial Treatment's undesirable additives do not outweigh its natural components and visible results.

Ingredients:

Water, Cyclomethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Squalene, Shea Butter, Cetyl Aclhol, Carrot Root Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Cholesterol, PEG-40 Stearate-40, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Carbomer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Simethicone, BHT