Closer Look & Review: Hyaluronic Acid & L'Oreal's RevitaLift Volume Filler line

Thursday, February 18, 2016

l'oreal revitalift volume filler line skincare hyaluronic acid review anti-aging mature skin

I'd been hearing the words "hyaluronic acid" spoken a lot for quite a while, but always attached to the phrase "anti-aging." The word "acid," too, sounded abrasive and potentially damaging for someone who hasn't experienced significant signs of aging. Being somewhat of a purist, that scared me. But when I received an e-mail from Influenster (which provides products free of charge in exchange for reviews) suggesting that I might qualify for the new L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler VoxBox, I decided to pay this hyaluronic acid a bit more attention.

Turns out hyaluronic acid isn't just for the old -- nor is it specifically geared towards aging; it's just mostly marketed that way. Hyaluronic acid is actually not an acid at all, but a glucose molecule/polymer (chemists, you may want to close your eyes). Hyaluronic acid is a relatively large molecule and is supposed to be capable of holding something like six times the amount of moisture than the average molecule, and is thus used for a multitude of functions, including volume boosting under the skin. In the health and cosmetics industry, it's most effectively used as an injectable, to fill empty space between cells and lubricate joints. As we age, we begin to lose this naturally-occurring hyaluronan.

According to my research, in topical treatments, hyaluronic acid is too large to be absorbed through the skin. Thus, thinned-out versions of hyaluronic acid have been developed that eschew the "unnecessary" bits and bobs when it comes to beauty and skincare. One of the more commonly-used variations in skincare is sodium hyaluronate. According to Paula's Choice, hyaluronic acid in topical treatments works to speed up the hydration process that can be achieved by any form of moisturization. Those fine lines and wrinkles can be "plumped" and "re-volumized" by any old moisturizer -- but it's a temporary fix, and hyaluronic acid will bring a temporary boost faster. Which brings me to L'Oreal RevitaLift's Volume Filler line.

The line boasts use of hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) to give the appearance of fuller, more hydrated skin. Each of the four products I was sent (moisturizer, night cream, eye treatment, serum) touted miraculous fixes. The Daily Re-Volumizing Moisturizer ($24.99 for 1.7 fl oz), for example, claims to bring along "more hydrated" skin "within hours," "replumped," "re-volumized" and "firmer" skin within one week, and "significantly reduced" "forehead wrinkles, nasolabial folds" and "diffused" "crow's feet" in four weeks' time. The eye treatment claims to re-volumize "undereye hollows" within four weeks. That's a lot of big claims.

I don't have noticeable wrinkles or crow's feet, or I'm just not observant enough to notice them if I do. Influenster found me old enough to test the product, though, so tested I did. For one week, I slathered on all four products -- a ritual, really -- serum, eye treatment, night cream or daily moisturizer. Barring the day and night creams, the serum and eye treatments are meant to be applied twice daily, but I couldn't bring myself to do that. I used the ritual for one week and I didn't see any visible plumpness or smoothing of wrinkles (I have developed some laugh lines over the past handful of years).

What I did find was that my not-particularly-sensitive skin stung upon application, particularly after either the daily moisturizer or night creams. If hyaluronic acid's not really an acid, what caused the stinging? A cursory look over the ingredients lists of each of the products identified a potential culprit: hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, an ingredient which TruthinAging thinks may be a cause for concern. My skin began flaking in spots, and developing pimples where pimples hadn't been in at least 10 years. My skin felt sticky after all four products were applied, and it never settled to a tolerable smoothness. I'm not sure how one would apply makeup over the daily moisturizer, honestly, or how said makeup would perform. The products, overall, were overly fragranced (a mature, floral scent) and the ingredients didn't impress me -- the eye treatment and night cream contained methylparaben, and all products contained many alcohols and silicones. Hyaluronic acid, or sodium hyaluronate, were low on the ingredients lists, often in the latter half or third. Alcohols, you might know, have a drying effect on skin and should be avoided, particularly in products that have anti-aging claims.

In my research, I found that dermatologists tended to recommend hyaluronic acid-based serums the most of all types of topical treatments, and I found L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler Serum ($24.99 for 0.5 fl oz) the least offensive. The texture was light, and it boasted a concentrated amount of hyaluronic acid -- raising sodium hyaluronate to eighth place on the ingredients list, but still behind the alcohols and silicones. Both the serum and eye treatment were less heavily fragranced, though still scented. The entire line of skincare products took on a gel-like consistency.

Did it work? Not in the one week timeframe which, according to L'Oreal's claims, should have yielded some positive effects.

What did I love? Not much. I didn't hate the serum and would consider purchasing another, down the line.

What did I hate? The stinging and drying out were red flags for me, and I don't have sensitive skin. The sticky after-feel never receded and the products caused a mini-eruption of pimples on my typically dry cheeks.

Would I (re)purchase? Probably not. Of all four products, I most preferred the serum -- and I would potentially consider purchasing that. I think maybe when I begin to experience fine lines and wrinkles, I might look into it -- but most likely I'd reach for a product that has fewer alcohols and fragrance.

Ultimately, I do think that hyaluronic acid may deserve some of the hype it's received over the past several years, but only as a temporary fix.

MORE INFORMATION

l'oreal revitalift volume filler line skincare hyaluronic acid review daily volumizing moisturizer anti-aging mature skin
L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler Daily Re-Volumizing Moisturizer, $24.99 for 1.7 fl oz
Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Silica, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Secale Cereale Extract (Rye Seed Extract), PEG 10/15 crosspolymer, PEG-10, Dimethicone, Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Nylon-12, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic, Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Phenoxyethanol, CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Fragrance

l'oreal revitalift volume filler line skincare hyaluronic acid review night cream anti-aging mature skin
L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler Night Cream, $19.99 - $24.99 for 2 fl oz
Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Alpina Galanga Leaf Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Oleate, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Ceteareth-6, Caffeine, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Adenosine, Nylon-12, Disodium EDTA, Isopropyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Ext. Violet 2, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Fragrance

l'oreal revitalift volume filler line skincare hyaluronic acid review serum anti-aging mature skin
L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler Serum, $19.99 - $24.99 for 0.5 fl oz
Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Methylsilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide/Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium Edta, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Fragrance

l'oreal revitalift volume filler line skincare hyaluronic acid review eye treatment cream anti-aging mature skin
L'Oreal RevitaLift Volume Filler Eye Treatment, $24.99 for 0.5 fl oz
Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Secale Cereale Extract, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Caffeine, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Nylon-12, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

See below for my video on this line ...

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