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Product Review: Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse Day Lotion SPF 20

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Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse Day Lotion SPF 20 ($16.75, Drugstore.com) is the latest product from Neutrogena. Claiming to reduce 99% of free radicals and boosting broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection to prevent future aging, and many soothing and moisturizing ingredients to improve skin tone and texture now, Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse seems to be a two-fold treatment for the skin. How does this product compare to other anti-aging antioxidant treatments? Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse seems to be an excellent, inexpensive source of antioxidants. Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse contains three fairly potent antioxidant sources: Soybean Extract, Feverfew Extract (Chrysantemum Parthenium), and Vitamin E (Tocopherol). Although the use of three antioxidants is more powerful than a single antioxidant, the product does not contain two or more "network antioxidants," which synergistically enhance the power of one another (source: Dr. Leslie Baumann). These "network antioxidants" are vitamins C and E, glutathione, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10. (One source containing two or more "network antioxidants" is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic.) In addition, no single antioxidant on the market has the antioxidant potency of CoffeeBerry (which is not found in this product) as measured by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity Score (ORAC) — a method developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the standard to measure the antioxidant capacity of natural substances. However, despite the lack of "network antioxidants" or coffee berry, Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse has been found in studies by Johnson & Johnson to neutralize 99% of free radicals in the skin. This is highly impressive, as an established, more expensive product like Esteé Lauder Advanced Night Repair claims to neutralize only "up to 90% of free radicals" in studies released by Esteé Lauder Companies. Therefore, Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse seems to be highly effective in neutralizing free radicals. Hopefully, studies in the future will compare the efficacy of this product directly to those containing synergistic network antioxidants and supreme antioxidants like coffee berry. How can the product improve my skin texture now? Based on ingredients, it appears that the formulation should be soothing and moisturizing. Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse contains high concentrations of Soybean Extract (Glycine soja), which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, according to Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. The product also contains dimethicone, which is a water-binding that helps moisturize the skin. Finally, the product contains Feverfew Extract. In the past, Feverfew Extract has gotten a bad reputation because it had been shown by Paulsen et. al (amongst several others) to increase skin sensitivity. However, in 1991, a method for extracting the irritating agent in Feverfew Extract, parthenolide, was developed, and it was found that Feverfew Extract without parthenolide was actually soothing, moisturizing, and a potent antioxidant. Since that time, Johnson and Johnson (makers of Aveeno and Neutrogena, amongst others) have extracted parthenolide from Feverfew Extract and placed it in their skin care products, beginning with Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer ($13.42, Drugstore.com). It seems that Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse products continue Johnson and Johnson's use of Feverfew Extract without parthenolide. Is the sunscreen in this product effective? The sunscreen contained in this product features avobenzone (1.8%) and oxybenzone (2.0%), which together comprise the Helioplex complex, which has been shown to provide excellent UVA protection. However, in comparison to Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 70, the avobenzone and oxybenzone concentrations are much lower (1.8% vs. 3.0 for avobenzone, and 2.0% versus 6.0% for oxybenzone). Therefore, the UVA protection has been reduced from that of a top product, and those interested in the additional anti-aging benefits of superior UVA protection may wish to apply a stronger sunscreen over Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse, such as Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 70. In addition, the Day Lotion contains an SPF of only 20, which means that the average user will acquire an SPF (UVB protection) of only about 7 from using this product. Therefore, one should be advised to apply a stronger sunscreen over this formulation to avoid burning as well, particularly when s/he will be in the sun for prolonged amounts of time. Overall, should I buy this product? The product appears to be an excellent source of antioxidants, particularly for the money, as it neutralizes 99% of free radicals for about one-third of the cost of Esteé Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which neutralizes up to 90% of free radicals. In addition, the soybean extract, dimethicone, and feverfew extract should make this product very soothing and moisturizing to the skin. Overall, however, a strong product, especially for the cost ($16.75, Amazon.com). 8.5/10. Active Ingredients Avobenzone (1.8%), Homosalate (7%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (1.5%), Oxybenzone (2%) Ingredients Water, Glycerin, Soybean Seed Extract (Glycine Soja), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Feverfew Extract (Chrysantemum Parthenium), Silica, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ethylene Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Steareth 2, Steareth 21, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Polymethyl Methacrylate, 1,2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylisothiazolinone, Polysorbate 20, Acrylamide/Ammonium Acrylate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Starch Octenyl Succinate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, Fragrance
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Date: October 20 2007 at 9:15 AM
  1. Danielle
    June 2 2008 at 6:55 PM

    Neutrogena confuses me. They are capable of putting C & E in this product to make it better-they are capable of a higher SPF (they have an 85!)-yet they stop short with this Age-Reverse Line. Why?

  2. Tom
    March 25 2009 at 9:16 PM

    I thought this was really good, neutrogena moisturizers can be chalky or greasy and this was neither. Tube lasted a long time, got good coverage. I don't bother going over spf15 with daily-use sunscreens, but after reading on your excellent site, I may need to bump it up. btw my fave spf moisturizer of all time is the murad C moisturizer, absolutely wonderful light citrus scent. But its 3-4 times cost of the N'gena. The loreal skin genesis spf15 ain't bad either, but I like the N'gena a bit more.

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