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What Hoda and Kathie Lee should know about Good Housekeeping's picks

Hoda and Kathie Lee, Goodhousekeeping Picks
March 16, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 21 Comments

Good Housekeeping was touting its new book, 7 Years Younger, a New York Times Bestseller on the Today show, where the magazine’s beauty editor treated Hoda and Kathie Lee to her recommendations for anti-aging potions and lotions to make you look seven years younger. Here’s my take on them and some alternatives that might actually work without subjecting you to a cocktail of chemicals.

Boots No. 7 Advanced Renewal Anti-Aging Glycolic Peel Kit ($24.99)

I don’t know what possessed Good Housekeeping to give this product its seal of approval. It is truly horrible. Fortunately the process of mixing the peel and using neutralizing pads will put most people off using it too often. The peel mixture is basically glycolic acid, which is fine. But there is a high dose of drying and potentially irritating alcohol, sodium hydroxide and tetrasodium EDTA (known irritants that are also linked to cancer) as well as phenoxyethanol (a possible neurotoxin). I don’t really understand the point of the Neutralizing Pads, other than as a carrier for every paraben (a controversial preservative) known to man and the irritant and penetration enhancer propylene glycol.

If glycolic acid (a good exfoliator) with pads is your thing, then consider Arcona’s natural alternative with no nasties. I like Arcona’s The Solution Pads ($42) so much that I bought a tub when my tester ran out. They are pre-soaked (so unlike No. 7, no mixing) and in addition to glycolic acid and pH balancing beta glucosamine, there is the excellent free radical fighter spin trap. There’s also Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel ($45 in the shop), which is effective and organic as well as natural, and the lovely Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask with glycolic acid by La Vie Celeste ($60 in the shop).

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum ($39.50)

I looked at Clinique’s pore closer a while back and noted that there were a lot of silicone crosspolymers and silicon-based surfactants. If you can get past them, there are some convincing ingredients, including the botanical extract Salvia Sclarea (clary). This can restrain excessively oily complexions. Another helpful ingredient is nordihydroguaiaretic acid, which corrects the abnormal shedding of skin cells (hyperkeratinization) that cause skin pores to clog.

For some alternatives, I would suggest Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol ($79 in the shop). This also features nordihydroguaiaretic acid, retinol (one of our Five Best with retinol serums of 2012) and a host of anti-aging ingredients. Our tester found it hydrating as well as skin refining. Clary is featured in the ever popular Mad Hippie Vitamin C ($30 in the shop) serum. I personally use Sevani’s Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Crème ($68 in the shop) with alpha hydroxy acids, which I rub on my nose and wherever I am prone to large pores, preceded by my trusty Clarisonic brush, which is excellent for ridding the skin of the dead cells and dirt that can block pores.

Elizabeth Arden Lift & Firm Day Cream ($72)

Elizabeth Arden is all about ceramides. And that’s fair enough. For years, ceramides were thought of simply as a structural component to the lipid bilayer of all cell membranes, including the upper layer of skin. Interestingly, though, recent studies reveal that they can also act as a signaling molecule that send messages to the rest of the body and they have been confirmed as useful anti-agers in topical applications. The problem is that this Elizabeth Arden Day Cream has a cocktail of chemical sunscreens, silicones, mineral oil and a host of other things unworthy for my skin.

Thankfully, ceramide features in many of Snowberry’s organic and natural products, including the Cellular Regeneration Night Cream, which gives the skin a healthy and moisturized glow. Snowberry Rich Nourishing Day Cream is a rich and heavy-hitting day cream that is absolutely jam packed with antioxidants, peptides and, of course, ceramide-3. Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum ($35 in the shop) exfoliates with lactic and glycolic acids, brightens with a botanical complex called Gigawhite, and has the peptide Matrixyl 3000 and ceramide-3. Read the full review.  Ceramide is also a favorite of  Osmotics and is in its classic Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense ($111 in the shop). This anti-aging treatment attacks free radicals that damage skin cells in three different ways, with carnosine and aldenine as well as ceramide.

L’Oreal Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Night Lotion ($19.99)

This is almost a joke. The main ingredient after water is mineral oil. The only useful ingredients are glycerin, shea butter and cocoa seed. It isn’t even worth commenting on the rest. The best thing about it is the price, so if you want something that competes dollar for dollar, it is worth looking at the Sheer Miracle range. Its Lift It Firming Serum ($25 in the shop) has mostly great ingredients and its Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is just what it says it is for a mere $17 in the shop. If you really want a night cream that can “deep-set wrinkle repair” then look at our tester’s results (with before and after pictures) after using the Skin Nutrition Night Cream.

See all our Five Best recommendations, including Five Best for sagging skin, Five Best with vitamin C and Five Best eye creams.

Ingredients in Boots No. 7 Gentle Glycolic Peel: Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat, Glycolic acid, Glycerin, Sodium hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA

Ingredients in Boots No. 7 Soft Neutralising Pads: Aqua (Water), Butylene glycol, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Panthenol, Methylparaben, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Propylene glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) root extract, Sorbitol, Cetraria islandica extract, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben

Ingredients in Clinique Pore Refining Correcting Serum: Dimethicone, water, polysilicone-11, alcohol denat, acetyl glucosamine, peg-10 dimethicone, butylene glycol, rosemary leaf extract, saw palmetto fruit extract, St paul’s wort extract, clary extract, sea whip extract, laminaria saccharina, caffeine, pantethine, hydrolyzed soy, peg-11 methyl ether dimethicone, algae extract, polysorbate-20 salicylic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, tocopheryl acetate, caprylyl glycol, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, lecithin, isohexadecane, DI-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, polysorbate 80, hydrogenated lecithin, polymethyl methacrylate, coconut acid, padina pavonica thallus, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, acrylyamide/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, silica, citric acid, hexylene glycol, ascorbyl tocopherol maleate, sodium hydroxide, disodium edta, phenoxyethanol, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, mica

Ingredients in Elizabeth Arden Lift & Firm Day Cream: (Active) Octinoxate 7.5 % W/W, Oxybenzone 5.0 % W/W, Octisalate 5.0 % W/W, Octocrylene 2.2 % W/W, Avobenzone 2.0 % W/W (Other) Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Ppg-2 Isoceteth-20 Acetate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 Ii, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Abelmoschuss Seed Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Linoleate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Pca, Trehalose,Urea, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Phytosphingosine, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Sucrose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 80, Trideceth-6, Acrylamide/Sodium Acrylate Copolymer, Polyquaternium-51, Peg-8, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Bht, Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum/Huile Minérale, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Parfum/Fragrance, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Red 4 (Ci 14700), Yellow 6 (Ci 15985)

Ingredients in L’Oreal night lotion: Water, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerin, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (Cocoa), Dimethicone, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexl Glycerin, Carbomer, Ceteareth 20, DMDM Hydantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance, Panthenol, Citric Acid

  • January 26, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Toni, thank you for raising this. I'd like to explain how this works. We test products for at least 30 days - and by we, I mean me and an extensive panel of readers. If we like something and strongly endorse it then we consider selling it on our shop. If our reviewers don't like something then we don't sell it. I am very proud of this model and the way that everyone in the Truth In Aging community contributes to it.

  • January 26, 2013

    by Dennis

    Doesn't Marta only sell what her reviewers recommend?

  • January 26, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    Thank you, Darrell. I sat here quite a long time earlier trying to sum up easily in my head how I wanted to respond and you have done so brilliantly. Only someone with a total lack of comprehension of the sheer depth of knowledge and nearly endless (need I emphasis "free") information here at TIA could leave such a uninformed comment. I, too, applaud Marta for her tireless dedication to Truth in Aging. ~jk

  • January 25, 2013

    by Darrell

    Hi Toni,
    I believe you mean Marta, not Martha.

    It is interesting though, indeed -- that there is this wonderful community of readers here at Truth In Aging all sharing ideas; and that Marta provides quite a lot of free content here (literally thousands of relevant articles) to help readers like you make sense of the good and the bad in the beauty industry.

    Cheers to Marta, for the great content her and her team produce, a rich TIA community and a store spotlighting indie brands like mine that might have never been heard of before were it not for her and her wonderful team.

    I personally love reading articles anywhere that offer for sale, alternatives to mainstream products and big brands that pay off beauty editors left and right via advertising dollars -- goods being passed off as "editors picks" when it's becoming more and more well-known that those beauty magazine editors are only selecting and promoting products from their top advertisers. I find it more interesting, these magazine beauty editors promoting products they've never actually used nor actually love.

    Cheers to Marta for selling and talking about products she has tried and believes in.


  • January 25, 2013

    by Toni

    Isn't it interesting that all of the products that Martha recommends just happen to be sold through her website's shop?

  • January 19, 2013

    by Vicki Hunt

    Thank You Marta! Between you and Paula Begoun(Cosmetic Cop) we can easily steer clear of those nasty chemicals. I'd love for TIA to review Paula's Choice Resist skincare line.

  • January 18, 2013

    by ValerieB

    You are too modest, Emily! You came to us with the idea for this story, and it was brilliant.

  • January 17, 2013

    by Wanda Sanders

    Thanks for the straightforward evaluations of these products. It is refreshing to read candid, honest commentary instead of "nice" drivel. Please continue to call out crap.

  • January 17, 2013

    by Dotti

    I am so curious about Boots7. It is highly recommended in the media and gets trotted out in every beauty feature on The Doctors (daytime tv). What is the big deal? I just discovered our web site today, so fogive me for being uninformed. I use Philosophy products and Algenist. Any problems i should
    kmow of. Thank for your wise comments. Got to read those labels

  • January 17, 2013

    by Emily

    Well looks like lots of folks beat me to it but I had meant to comment with a kudos! to TIA and Marta on this post. Especially great to know there are such sane alternatives...I am embarrassed to admit I actually caught the segment when it aired and I was just appalled at how little "there" was there. Thanks!

  • January 17, 2013

    by Amy Robinson

    You are awesome, I love that you are fighting the traditional chemical-heavy cosmetics industry with real information and natural products.

  • January 17, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Kim, I have not yet read the book - I was responding only to the recommendations made on the Today show. But I will take a look - there may be good advice in other areas such as nutrition - and report back

  • January 17, 2013

    by Carol

    Felt I was misled about a 7-week anti-aging plan, nothing new was offered. Don't buy it.

  • January 17, 2013

    by Anna

    The extesive list of chemical poisons in E. arden's cream id frankly scary..One look at it should put people off buying it- if you can't even pronounce the names of the ingredients, they can in no way be good for you!

  • January 17, 2013

    by Suzan

    I can't BELIEVE people will just slather their hair, face, and bodies with all this chemical poison and not even CARE! Thanks for alternatives Marta.

  • January 16, 2013

    by Darrell

    What Julie said.

  • January 16, 2013

    by Julie Kay

    The entire thing is a joke. It's time for YOU to write your book, babe. Put an end to this funny business. ~grasshopper

  • January 16, 2013

    by Michelle G.

    I'm not a bit surprised that Good Housekeeping is lauding such garbage products... the same products made by huge conglomerates that do all the advertising in their magazine! Always question the source of recommendations. As one of your TIA reviewers, I work hard to be honest about all the products I test!

    Which reminds me... you mention some exfoliators here, and I was reading the other day that during the winter an enzymatic exfoliator is a better choice than a Alpha-hydroxy - the reason given in the article was that the enzyme ones are less irritating to dry winter skin. What are your thoughts?

  • January 16, 2013

    by kim

    I wish I had read these comments before I bought the book (last week). Marta did you read the book? Other than the products you mentioned as "not recommended" above, was there any value in the book's advice fromj your perspective?

  • January 16, 2013

    by Georgia

    Thank God for Marta!! Whew, that was close.

  • January 16, 2013

    by JMS

    Thank you, Marta, for your gutsy commentary. It is irresponsible on the part of 'Good Housekeeping,' Hoda and Kathie Lee to tout these recommendations. I hope that young people will soon view such use of synthetic chemicals as archaic, and embrace truly natural methods, which are, in fact, healthy, superior and more effective.

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