As you may know by now I do post some beauty related science posts once a week. I thought I’d start a series called Ingredient wise where I look at the claims of some of the latest beauty products in the market and see how many of their claims are supported by science and the ingredients in them and how much is just pure marketing at work 🙂 The Ingredient wise series is a reflection of the thought process and research I do before I go ahead and buy a new skin care product. I am sure many of you like to think hard about the claims made by companies before you go out and splurge on their products, so I hope you enjoy this series!
I thought the L’oreal youth code texture perfector pore vanisher is an ideal candidate to inaugurate this series of posts on my blog since it does claim to do a lot!
The claims (from L’oreal USA website)
What is Pore Vanisher™?
Pore Vanisher™ is a fresh, airy cream that instantly minimizes the look of pores and shrinks actual pore size in 1 month.
How does it work?
Pore Vanisher™ works on three dimensions to shrink pores: depth*(with product on ), number and size. Instantly pores appear virtually vanished and skin feels hydrated. Perlite absorbs excess oil for an all-day, shine free, smooth finish. In one day LHA micro-exfoliates to visibly smooth skin’s surface. In one month pores begin to snap back into shape as our highest concentration of Perline-P strengthens and tightens pore walls to shrink actual pore size.
DIMETHICONE • AQUA/ WATER • GLYCERIN • DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER • METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • ISONONYL ISONONANOATE • ALCOHOL DENAT. • VINYL DIMETHICONE/ METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER • BUTYLENE GLYCOL • LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE • BORON NITRIDE • SILICA SILYLATE • PHENOXYETHANOL • PEG/PPG-18/ 18 DIMETHICONE • PERLITE • MAGNESIUM SULFATE • CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • MENTHYL LACTATE • LENS ESCULENTA SEED EXTRACT/LENTIL SEED EXTRACT • BISABOLOL • PARFUM/ FRAGRANCE • DEXTRIN • DIMETHICONOL • CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/IRON OXIDES • CI 77891/ TITANIUM DIOXIDE • SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE • EPERUA FALCATA BARK EXTRACT • FARNESOL • LIMONENE • DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE • ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE • CITRONELLOL • ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE
Do all these claims work?
- Instantly minimizing the look of pores : Yes, it is going to be able to achieve this because if you take a look at the ingredient list you’ll see that this product is loaded with silicone based polymers which can temporarily fill in the pores and give a smooth silky feel to the skin. The very first ingredient is dimethicone! and it seems to be the top ingredient, being listed before water! In addition to dimethicone you can see that the product is laden with cross polymers of silicones of all kinds..so ingredient wise this claim will work for sure!
- Leaves skin feeling hydrated : The 3rd ingredient in this product is glycerin so yes there is an ingredient to back up this claim. How it works depends on how dry your skin is to begin with. Glycerin is a humectant ( it draws mositure to the skin from the surrounding environment) and so it can work well to hydrate moderately dry skin. Additionally, Isononyl isononanoate is also present which is an emollient so the product does look promising in the hydration department.
- Shrinks pores in depth, number and size : Before we talk about this claim we need to take a look at what exactly are pores? Pores are hair follicles, outlets for the sebaceous glands and sweat glands. Our body is covered with millions of pores but the ones which annoy us are the visible clogged ones which are concentrated near the nose and cheeks since that is where a lot of sebaceous glands are present. Unfortunately, no product can reduce the number of pores since its hereditary. So that claim of reducing the number of pores is not true at all. Now lets talk size ..pores get enlarged due to a number of factors..clogging of pores, age and again some people have large pores due to genetics. Shrinking of pores can be achieved but again its temporary in nature. I f you take a look at the ingredient list you’ll see alcohol denat listed. This is essentially denatured ethyl alcohol which causes a tingling sensation to your skin (thereby making you feel like the product is working) and causes a certain amount of irritation of the skin. When skin is irritated it swells slightly and this in turn makes the surrounding pores look closed. Regarding depth of pores..I am not sure what they really mean by depth of pores since if your pores are getting clogged they enlarge in size not depth. But in case you really do have deep pores or any imperfections, the silicones in the formula will take care of it temporarily.
- Perlite absorbs excess oil for an all-day, shine free, smooth finish : Perlite is used as a filler and absorbent in cosmetic products. Here in addition to perlite, Boron nitride and silica silylate also help with the mattifying and oil control aspects.
- In one day LHA micro-exfoliates to visibly smooth skin’s surface : First off what exactly is LHA? D’ont you hate it when companies throw 3 or 4 letter acronyms at you!? 🙂 LHA stands for Lipohydroxy acid. The LHA in this formula is capryloyl salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is known to have bacteriostatic, fungicidal, and keratolytic actions. It is a lipophilic (oil loving) molecule that penetrates the epidermis easily and can help soften or loosen corneocytes or dead skin cells (keratolytic activity), this in turn helps with removing dead cells which have accumulated in the pores of the skin and gives the skin a smooth appearance. By attaching a fatty acid molecule to the salicylic acid , the molecule becomes even more lipophilic in nature thereby enabling better penetration into the epidermis. It also has better keratolytic activity as explained in this study. The article is based on a conference presentation so it isn’t published study in the traditional sense.
- In one month pores begin to snap back into shape as our highest concentration of Perline-P strengthens and tightens pore walls to shrink actual pore size : Now I have no idea what is Perline- P . It appears to be a trademarked name for a plant based complex used by L’oreal as per their website. Perline -P might be Lens esculenta (lentil) seed extract along with something else since there is a study showing the effect of Lens esculenta (lentil) seed extract on tightening pore walls and minimizing pores done by researchers at a french cosmetic ingredient company called Silab. Now since its not an independent study by someone outside the cosmetic industry I do advise you to take it with a grain of salt 😛 The Silab study does conclude that there is a visble reduction in pore size after 28 days , which is similar to L’oreal’s claims.
Overall, I might just pick up this product sometime since I am looking for a hydrating primer which is what I expect this product to be and also I am quite curious about it in general :). Regarding its other promises of strengthening pore walls and shrinking their size I am not so sure. Do tell me your experiences with this product if you’ve already purchased it 🙂
If like me sitting you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to take the plunge or not I hope this post helps you decide!
- The New Science of Perfect Skin: Understanding Skin Care Myths and Miracles. Daniel Yarosh, PH.D.