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The Truth About The Latest Celebrity Beauty Endorsements - Fall 2013

September 24, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments

Have you noticed a new slew of celebrity beauty endorsements lately? Me too! In fact, my email box is overflowing with pitches from beauty brands touting their latest products and celebrity spokesmodels.

Brands are putting a lot of effort into marketing these products that claim to give our favorite celebs their flawless skin. I analyzed the latest celebrity-endorsed skin care products to see if they met the criteria we look for at Truth in Aging. (In order to be considered for review at Truth in Aging, products must have a scientific basis that would support their claims.) Read on for our round-up to see whether the claims these celebrity endorsed skin care products make are true.

The Celebrity: Julie Bowen I The Product: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF ($13.99)
The Claim: An "exclusive blend of antioxidants" that keep Julie Bowen's skin "young and healthy" looking.

The Truth in Aging Truth:
I expected the "exclusive antioxidants" to amount to a smattering of vitamin E in a sea of silicones. I was not far off the mark, although to be fair, there is also feverfew extract, which research corroborates to be an effective antioxidant. These two antioxidants, however are swamped by a ton of controversial synthetics like talc, alumina and methylisothiazolinone that deliver no benefits.

Alternatives to Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF:
If you want your foundation to come with antioxidants then you'll be happy with Juice Beauty' s Perfecting Foundation ($35 in the TIA shop). It has good coverage, staying power, at least eight antioxidants, a base of natural oils and no chemicals. It doesn't have the SPF that comes with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup, so if you want a foundation alternative that also provides sun protection, try Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream ($48 in the shop), a BB cream with a titanium dioxide SPF 20 and antioxidant green and white teas, vitamin C and apple extract.

The Celebrity: Kate Winslet I The Product: Lancome Renergie Skincare line
The Claim: Anti-Aging Products That Produce Radiant Youthful Skin

The Truth in Aging Truth:
In the past, we've described Lancome Renergie Double Performance Treatment Anti-Wrinkle Firming ($80) as the world's most expensive petroleum jelly. But to give Lancome and Kate Winslet the benefit of the doubt this time around, I also took a look at Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye ($68). Sadly (especially since I am such a big Kate Winslet fan!), it isn't much better. Among the first 20 ingredients listed, only glycerin is worth mentioning. (The others are standard ingredients like mineral oil and alcohol). Further down the ingredients list, Lancome includes fermented black tea extract, an antioxidant, and linseed (flax), with fatty acids, soy protein and adenosine. Beware, though. Lancome has been very heavy-handed with the preservatives - some heavy hitters are here and pretty high up the ingredients list - so this is not for those with sensitive skin.

Alternatives to Lancome Renergie:
Lancome Renergie Double Performance is supposed to firm and smooth wrinkles. Comparable in price but with infinitely greater value is La Vie Celeste Eclairage Restorative Serum ($98.50 in the shop), one of our Five Best for sagging skin. This serum's firming peptide, caprooyl tetrapeptide-3 is derived from a growth factor calledTGF-ß and stimulates production of laminin 5 (as well as collagen VII). For an eye cream that might work better than Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye), try Medik8 PRETOX Eyelift ($70 in the shop); it targets fine lines, puffiness and dark circles with four peptide blends and ceramide. For a more natural option, try Tilth Beauty Eye Wondrous Serum ($62) with wrinkle-preventing peptides, retinol and vitamins to brighten the under eye area and deplete lines.

The Celebrity: Katie Holmes I The Product: Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm
The Claim: "Strengthens" skin

The Truth in Aging Truth:
I am not sure what "skin strengthening" even means, but Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm ($93) is part of a line that touts anti-aging ingredients. Unfortunately, what could have been a good formula with clary, pea extract, cucumber, wheat, grape and rosehip has been shamefully marred by having cheap drugstore ingredients dominate. Petrolatum is the second ingredient! There are PEGs, irritants such as lanolin alcohol, behenyl alcohol, potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide.

Alternatives to Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm
Pea extract gets center stage in Arcona Peptide Firming Complex ($72). It is unusual to see the powerful antioxidant pea extract so dominant in a serum. There is also an epidermal growth factor, which stimulates fibroblasts. As the name of this serum implies, it is the peptides that take center stage. Syn-coll is a small peptide with a unique sequence to mimic the human body's own mechanism to produce collagen. With the growth factors and peptide, Arcona's formula builds collagen helps the skin retain elasticity.

The Celebrity: Kate Moss I The Product: Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara
The Claim: Micro-fibers, Keratin and anti-oxidants that make lashes appear 99% longer

The Truth in Aging Truth:
I suppose one shouldn't expect too much change from a $9 mascara and, it should be said, I was pleasantly surprised to see biotinoyl tripeptide-1 and biotin, two ingredients that could promote lash growth. However, they do come way down at the end of an ingredients list that includes quite a few things I would rather not have near my eyes, such as triethanolamine, retinyl palmitate, parabens and phenoxyethanol.

Alternatives to Rimmel Lash Accelerator
For biotinoyl tripeptide-1 front and center, there's AQ Lash ($135 in the shop). OK, I appreciate there's a price difference, but not one that would matter to Kate Moss and AQ Lash does make your eyelashes grow. For a more comparable mascara with good things for lashes go for jane iredale Purelash Extender & Conditioner($16.50 in the shop) with algae extract, wheat protein and vitamin B (panthenol).

The Celebrity: Kylie Minogue I The Product: Luxtural
The Claim: "Luxury meets skin"

The Truth in Aging Truth:

We recently had some Luxtural testers in and sent them out into the Truth In Aging community for review. We were intrigued by the mostly natural ingredients in an upmarket setting. Unfortunately, they did not pass muster. Luxtural Mystique Fountain Facial Deep Hydrating Rainy Mist($93) was not hydrating for reviewer, Janet, despite being made with Pacific Ocean rainwater (gathered before touching the ground). Emily wasn't impressed by LuxturalMystique Fountain ($93), a moisturizing anti-aging lotion, LuxturalSilk Premonition ($219), or a moisturizing serum, or LuxturalSophisticated Veil ($276) felt that the ingredients and effects didn't warrant the price and Gunilla thought that they might work better on younger skins.

Alternatives to Luxtural:
Perhaps Kylie Minogue should follow Gunilla's lead. Our intrepid reviewer went back to her "beloved" ReLuma Skin Illuminating Anti-aging Serum ($145 in the shop) when LuxturalSophisticated Veil failed to tackle her wrinkles. This serum with cutting edge stem cells will also save you over $130.

The Celebrity: Martha Stewart and Eva Medes (and countless others) I The Product: Mario Badescu Skin Care Products
The Claim: Healthy, radiant skin

The Truth in Aging Truth:
Mario Badescu skin care products usually employ some good active ingredients, but unfortunately, they also take an old fashioned formulator's approach to fillers, viscosity controllers and irritants, as we pointed out in our review of Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap. The Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($45) is a bit better with 7.5% ascorbic acid and hyaluronic acid. But they sit in a base of propylene glycol, a possible carcinogen (research is sketchy) that should not be used on damaged skin.

Alternatives to Mario Badescu
Sticking with the sea theme for the cleanser, I would recommend the nothing-to-dislike and everything-to-love Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop), one of Truth in Aging's all-time favorites with algae, reishi mushroom and juniper. 

  • October 6, 2013

    by Kim

    Marta- thank you immensely for your response. I know I am overwhelmed at the many things I didn't know about skincare ingredients and trying to find suitable products that are safe which work the best for me. You are certainly right about sifting through and weighing the good vs the bad then applying it to each person's life. Your candor and knowledge is valued likely more than you even realize as so many like myself truly need and want someone to "show us the way" when selecting skincare that truly is the best all around. Yet we- especially myself- tend to forget it still is individualized and up for interpretation even. I am new to TIA tho I find your reviews reflect a kindness, humility, knowledge, and kindred spirit to readers of finding great safe products that work. After my comment I read a great deal more and certainly see skincare like life isn't always black and white. So appreciation for helping sift through things offering your opinions and view while providing a good knowledge base for the readers to make up our minds. Looking forward to catching up on the information throughout this site. Blessings to all.

  • October 5, 2013

    by Marta

    Kim, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern about potentially toxic ingredients. However, you hit the nail on the head with the word "rules". I don't apply any rules. I try to give information so that a reader can make up their own mind. I happen to think that with ReLuma, the good outweighs the bad and I am prepared to use it. Others might not and that is why I make a call out to ingredients that might give cause for concern, usually with links to further information. With regards to the Rimmel product, for me, the bad outweighs the good and I more concerned by things like the triethanolamine, which is linked to a post saying that it specifically causes irritation around the eyes. Other readers may consider this and the other ingredients, weigh this with how the product performs and still choose to use it. That's their call. All opinions and experiences are welcome here.

  • October 5, 2013

    by Kim

    I've spent the better part of two hours pouring over this site enjoying the information and seemingly no nonsense approach to skincare. However I was shocked to read the review by Marta on Reluma quoting that the ingredient phenoxyethanol can be an irritant and toxic seemingly breezing over the toxic point. And yet one of the above products- Rimmel Mascara- contains phenoxyethanol where the review states it as one of the ingredients one wouldn't want near your eye. I'm perplexed why it shouldn't be near your eye and is toxic but yet the ingredient didn't warrant a second glance on the Reluma review. No explanation on why phenoxyethanol is used in it or what benefit it has in Reluma. But it's one of the ingredients we should run from in a mascara? I truly don't understand the logic of putting it on your skin where it might be absorbed into skin (the good ingredients get absorbed hence their efficacy) yet getting it in or near your eye is acceptable somehow? Truly I would like an explanation for my clarity as I am exhausted no just thinking I will need to reconfigure what you recommend and what isn't considered safe. Toxic scares me in any form so I don't know how I can trust these reviews when it seems like " rules "are applied randomly with little to no explanation.

  • September 27, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Marta! This is a great article; I wholly appreciate the critiques and your picks as the desired alternatives. My opinion: Celebrities are clueless and rely on assistants to (do research and) tell them what to use. These assistants are also clueless, do lousy research (or none at all), thus, we, the fanbase, read such hogwash information. Us TIA "informed" can sift through this trash, but the masses will follow like cattle to the slaughter and buy these products because their "idols" use them. SO SAD!

    Diana- Stick around. Are you new to Truth in Aging? Read some of the older posts about ingredients. Take your time. It takes a lot of time to become familiar with what is good; what is harmful; what works in tandem; what works FOR YOU; and it is overwhelming at first. But it's all here. All you need to know if you want healthier, brighter, younger looking skin. Welcome. ~jk

  • September 26, 2013

    by Alana

    Glad to hear Im not the only one obsessed with celebrities and what products they use. Just wanted to say thanks for a great read. I agree with your Jane Iredale comment. :)

  • September 24, 2013

    by Lori

    Paula's Choice is a supposed skin care line that has like Marta tested products on her website Beautypedia. She claims that her line is substantiated by documented evidence and is also safe. Has TIA ever reviewed her line? I am curious as my friend uses it and swears by it!

  • September 24, 2013

    by Marta

    How about our Five Best for sagging skin Linda - you should find one of these will meet your needs: http://www.truthinaging.com/review/five-best-for-sagging-skin-2013

  • September 24, 2013

    by Diana

    You have listed so many firming products, how do you know what to choose? I had breast cancer and seem to be aging quicker than my sister, who is 3 years older. I have lines along my face below the cheeks, as well as my eyes, and those lines around my mouth, and going down each side of my mouth. Also, I have always been thin, and my neck looks like a turkey wattle. I would appreciate some help.

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