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Eraclea Restorative Hydrating Night Cream ($85, eraclearskincare.com) boasts a cocktail of anti-aging ingredients, as well as a patented form of hyaluronans, called the HylaSponge® System. When they sent it over to try, I was very excited to see what this skin-boosting formula could do in the night, which is when skin best absorbs ingredients. I found that it was
Hyaluronic Acid and the HylaSponge® System
Eraclea Restorative Hydrating Night Cream includes a patented hyaluronic acid delivery system called the HylaSponge® System. The system, according to the company, is a combination of hyaluronans of different molecular weights (Eraclea Skin Care). Eraclea explains that this forms a hydrating layer on the surface of the skin that hydrates and helps allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin better.
Hyalurnons are natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) that act as a humectant moisturizer, which means they draw in water from the atmosphere (Baumann). While other NMFs have been shown to draw water out from the deeper layers of skin in low humidity, hyaluronic acid works in both high and low humidity conditions (In Cosmetics).
The company claims that these sponges can hold 100 times its weight in water. Researchers have found that hyaluronic acid on its own can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water, which renders the company’s claim very plausible (Brandt, Baumann).
I haven’t been able to find studies done on the HylaSponge® System, as it’s quite new, but the effects of hyaluronans like hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate have been well documented.
[Read More: Sodium Hyaluronate in Skin Care Products]
Shea Butter Helps Anti-Aging
Adding to the rich moisturizing ingredients is Shea butter, very frequently used in beauty products. That’s because Shea butter is excellent for stopping transepidermal water loss (TEWL). In one study, it was found to restore skin that had been washed with ethanol in two hours and actually improved skin barrier by hours three and four (Formulation & Science).
Studies have even found that Shea butter might do some work on the anti-aging front. On study found that Shea butter thickened thin skin, reduced wrinkles from sun damage, and helped heal skin (Shea Butter). Potentially in thanks to its unsaponifiables, it was shown in another study to boost collagen production in rats (Journal of British Dermatology).
It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation to some extent, though studies have not determined exactly how well it does this (British Journal of Dermatology).
[Read More: Spotlight On: Shea Butter]
Acetyl hexapeptide-s, AHA-3, or Argireline, is a topical muscle relaxer that works similarly to Botox™ by having a similar effect on the muscle-nerve connection. Though there are no studies that demonstrate that Argireline when applied topically, as opposed to when injected, is able to reach the deeper layers of skin.
Argireline doesn’t work for everyone, but it does show great results for some and Eraclea’s product has acetyl hexapeptide-3 pretty high up on the label, meaning there’s a good amount of the ingredient in the cream.
[Read More: Spotlight On: Acetyl Hexapeptide-3]
Benzyl Alcohol as a Preservative
Benzyl Alcohol is a new preservative in beauty products that has been previously used as a preservative and bacteriostatic agent in injectable products (University of Illinois at Chicago, FDA). In injectable products, it’s been associated with neonatal deaths (Center for Disease Control).
Benxyl Alcohol is found in natural oils, such as hyacinth and jasmine, and in foods, such as apricot and cocoa, and is known for its sweet scent (Dermatitis). Case studies have reported that products with benzyl alcohol can cause skin irritation and sensitivity, and that it is possible to be allergic to benzyl alcohol, though these reports are relatively rare (Dermatitis).
Though in the final toxicology report, it was not found to be a sensitizer at 2% or at 10%, and has been approved at between 5% and 10% in products (International Journal of Toxicology).
Personal Use and Opinion
Eraclea Restorative Hydrating Night Cream has a pleasant, almost citrus aroma — don’t worry, despite having vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl phosphate, it’s not acidic enough to be problematic with retinol use.
The cream itself is a spongy beige that goes on skin smoothly and absorbs very quickly in the skin. I was pleased that despite being fluffy and thick feeling, it didn’t feel oily on my skin. The night I used it, I woke up the next morning and my skin was smoother, brighter, and more hydrated.
Eraclea Restorative Hydrating Night Cream has several proven ingredients to hydrate skin and improve signs of aging. In addition to the above-mentioned ingredients, it also includes beneficial ingredients, such as antioxidant rich green tea extract, hydrating stearic acid, and vitamin C synergistic vitamin E. It shouldn’t be too acidic to work with a retinol, which makes it a beneficial product to use as a part of an anti-aging routine.
Product Rating: 8.5/9
- High or optimized concentration of key ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 2.5/3
Water, HylaSponge®System, Squalane, Shea butter, Argireline, Glycerin, Lacto-ceramide, Stearic acid, Macadamia nut oil, Green tea extract, Apricot kernel oil, Vitamin E, Triethanolamine, Cocoa butter, Glyceryl monostearate, Vitamin C, Aloe barbadensis, Rosehip oil, Benzylalcohol-DHA, Carbomer 940, Xanthan gum, EDTA, Potassium sorbate, Fragrance oil