Jane Seymour’s Natural Advantage® Nighttime Renewal Complex claims to deliver retinol to the skin using our patented MicroSponge™ technology in order to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for smoother, younger-looking skin. For $29.95 in a set with a cleanser and a daytime cream, is this product worth the money?
All Day Moisture – Glycolic Acid
Natural Advantage All Day Moisture contains glycolic acid in fairly high concentration. The epidermis is thinned after use of glycolic acid, although the overall thickness of the skin is increased, as treatment has been shown to increase expression of Type 1 Collagen mRNA and hyaluronic acid content in the dermis of the skin.
While glycolic acid is beneficial for the skin, it also makes the skin more photosensitive and thereby susceptible to sun damage. For this reason, many dermatologists recommend using glycolic acid at night rather than during the day, even though glycolic acid is in a day cream here. In addition, many dermatologists also recommend alternating retinol with glycolic acid at night, rather than using both at once (as in the Natural Advantage Line), as both tend to make the skin more photosensitive. Ask your dermatologist if you are unsure if your skin can tolerate it.
All Day Moisture – Sunscreen
According to Dr. Leslie Baumann’s Cosmetic Dermatology, octyl methoxcinnamate and salicylates have a maximum UV absorption at 310 nm to supplement the UVB protection. Oxybenzone and titanium dioxide, found in lower concentrations, are excellent sunblocks for UVA wavelengths. Unfortunately, Baumann cites this Rietschel et. al. study in which oxybenzone is found to be the most common sunscreen agent to cause photoallergic contact dermatitis, so the product may not be particularly good for those with sensitive skin.
In addition, a Baumann-cited study conducted by Tsai et. al found that pre-treatment with 10% glycolic acid caused an increase in UVB sensitivity in white and Asian subjects, and an increase in UVA sensitivity in Asian subjects. Because Natural Advantage All Day Moisture contains a high concentration of glycolic acid, and the Nighttime Renewal Complex contains retinol (another photosensitizing agent), I am surprised that the SPF of this product is not higher.
Night Complex – Patented MicroSponge™ technology
Natural Advantage Nighttime Renewal features a patented form of retinol, in which porous softgel microspheres (size range in between 5 to 300 μm) contain retinol around a soft gelatin shell filled with retinol-impregnated microparticles. It has been proposed in the Journal of Current Drug Delivery that microsponge delivery methods can “provide increased efficacy for topically active agents with enhanced safety, extended product stability.” That’s the good, promising part.
The unfortunate part of the product is that it does not make its concentration of retinol known. According to Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., in the January 2005 supplement to Cosmetic Dermatology, formulation of an ingredient (including its concentration) plays a strong role in a product’s performance. Similarly priced products like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream contain less than 0.2% retinol. Slightly more expensive Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 and Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 contain 0.5% retinol and 1.0% retinol, respectively, while Advanced Skin Therapeutics’ Green Cream 6 and Green Cream 9 contain 0.6% retinol and 0.9% retinol, respectively.
Without knowing the concentration of retinol, and without independent studies demonstrating to what extent microspheres increase product efficacy (is 0.2% with encapsulation similar to 0.5% without?), it is impossible to know if this is a superior retinol product. At this time, it would seem safe to compare it to Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, with a novel delivery system.
Night Complex – Vitamin C and Vitamin E…but with Vitamin A?
Again, good (even great) news and bad news. First, the good. Vitamin C and vitamin E are network antioxidants that synergistically enhance the power of one another, increasing sun protection and reducing free radical damage by impede or slowing the free radical chain reaction. Two favorites for sure!
Now, the bad. Two concerns about this formulation: One, it has been proposed in this study in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics that vitamin C encapsulated as ascorbyl palmitate is “not adequate” in selected long-term microemulsions. The study proposes that sodium ascorbyl palmitate is used instead. Of course, this concern may be disregarded if the patented microsponge delivery system is improved over the system used in the microemulsions study.
Which brings concern number two: It has been reported here in the Journal of Dermatological Surgery that vitamin C and its derivatives should be formulated at a pH under 3.5. Unfortunately, the pH optimal for retinol esterification (which may be thought of simply as activation) has been reported in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology to be between 5.5-6.0. With that said, the pH for each ingredient in the formulation is most likely suboptimal. It would most likely be better to use a vitamin C and E product in the morning under sunscreen (to get the sunblock-boosting effects) and use a night retinol cream without acidic vitamin C.
Overall: decent, but not great
Overall, the product line contains some excellent ingredients that have been proven to work in several scientific studies. Microencapsulated retinol and vitamin C are revolutionary, although one cannot know their efficacy compared to non-microencapsulated creams with those ingredients in higher concentrations and/or at more stable pH levels. [For now, until more research is done, I personally am staying with higher concentrations and more stable pH levels (i.e., retinol and vitamin C at 1.0% and 15.0%, respectively, and in separate formulations).]
Furthermore, while glycolic acid and retinol both make substantiated differences in the skin, using both in conjunction may prove too irritating for those with more sensitive skin. Add in the fact that glycolic acid and retinol make skin photosensitive with the fact that the day cream only provides SPF 15, and this line gets a 6.5/10.
Natural Advantage All Day Moisture Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Oxybenzone, Octyl Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide.
Other Ingredients: Water, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin Steareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Steareth-2, Thea Sinensis Extract, PEG-100 Stearate, Ammonium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Sterate, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Disodium, EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Matricaria Oil.
Use of this product is covered by one or more of the following U.S. Patent Nos.: 4,690,825 and 5,145,675 under license from Cardinal Health PTS, LLC; 5,091,171; B1 5,091,171; 5,547,988; 5,385,938; 5,389,677; and Appl. No. 06/945,680 under license by Tristrata Technology, Inc.
Natural Advantage Nighttime Renewal Complex Ingredients
Water, Capryic/Capric Triglyceride, Emulsifying Wax, Glycerin, C 10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Cetyl Alochol, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Methyl Metacrylate/Glycol, Dimethacrylate, Crosspolymer, Bisabolol, PEG-10 Soya Sterol, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Stearic Acid, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethaol, BHT, Disodium, EDTA, Proply Gallate, Polysorbate 20, Triethanolamine.
Use of this product is covered by one or more of the following U.S. Patent Nos.: 5,851,538; 4,690,825; and 5,145,675 under license from Cardinal Health PTS, LLC; 5,091,171; B1 5,091,171; 5,547,988; 5,385,938; 5,389,677; and Appl. No. 06/945,680 under license by Tristrata Technology, Inc.