Friday, August 9, 2013

Product Review: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer

Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer
I received this full size Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer in my PopSugar Summer Beauty Box and was anxious to try it. Juice Beauty touts this cream as “an ultimate moisturizer with a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells infused into a vitamin C and an organic resveratrol grapeseed rich formula to repair damage and aggressively firm and decrease wrinkles.” Sounds good, right? Well, as I’ve been using this product, I’ve also done some research on the claims made by this product and others of its type. Read on for more information!

Juice Beauty container
First things first. Upon opening the container, I was very pleasantly surprised to find a closed jar with a “single serving” delivery system that keeps the hands out of the jar and is therefore very sanitary. By pressing on the wedge shaped section of the jar, the perfect amount of moisturizer is dispensed through the opening on the other side. Very cool! I love that feature! What you find inside is a creamy, lovely cream that smells heavenly! It smells so fresh and luxurious and reminds me of a spa experience.

Juice Beauty swatch
On the face, this moisturizer feels like a sensual experience. It’s creamy, smells good, is moisturizing and I had no skin reactions to any of the ingredients. Good, right? There are a couple of problems, though.

Let’s start with the ingredients:

proprietary blend of fruit stem cells: apple buds, grape buds & lemon bark.
Ingredients: Organic juices of pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, citrus medica limonum (organic lemon juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe leaf juice)*,vegetable glycerin, octyl palmitate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, stearic acid, cetearyl alcohol, malus sylvestris (apple buds), vitis vinifera (grape buds) & citrus limonum (lemon bark), organic plant oilsof helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter)*, simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*, organic essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis(organic evening primrose)*, linum usitatissimum (organic linseed oil)*, borago officinalis (organic borage seed oil)*, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), xanthan gum, panthenol (Vitamin B5), allantoin, tocopherol (Vitamin E), sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin, citrus reticulata(mandarin), litsea cubeba (may chang) and cinnamomum camphora (ho wood) pure essential oils

The first thing you notice is that the brand has bolded all of the juices (emphasizing the word “organic”) as well as some of the oils. Oils are good in a moisturizer (we all know that). And you’ll find many of the same things in most moisturizers. As far as the juices, juices themselves are great for drinking (particularly organic juices) but they do nothing for the skin. Did you know that? I didn’t until I researched it. So organic juices are really double marketing speak. Again, organic juices are good for drinking but do nothing for skin. It sounds good, though, right? Score one for the marketers!

My next area of focus was the claim about fruit stem cells being able to “repair damage, aggressively firm and decrease wrinkles.” Guess what? Plant stem cells are great for plants but do nothing for us because our DNA is very different from a plant’s. If they were like our DNA, they may do something but scientifically, there’s nothing they can do to improve our skin. But mention the words “stem cells” and consumers think there some big scientific miracle. Not so much.

resveratrol molecule
Resveratrol molecule

Now, all of that being said, there are active ingredients available that could actually do something, like the active ingredient Resveratrol, which is mentioned in the marketing speak but not on the actual ingredients list. Reveratrol is a polyphenol substance found in red wine and grape leaves that helps skin by helping with healing and has anti inflammatory characteristics. It is an antioxidant and provides protection against photocarcinogenesis, which is a fancy word that means “causes cancer following illumination (light).” So things like sunlight hitting the skin and causing skin cells to change into cancer cells. All good stuff and having Resveratrol in a skin care product is a great thing. From everything I’ve read, skin doesn’t get the benefit of Resveratrol from putting juice on it. Resveratrol actually has to be extracted in order to use for skincare or oral supplements. Every time I’ve seen it in skin care products, the ingredients list actually says “resveratrol” and not “apple juice” (juice of pyrus malus). Why isn't it listed?

So you may be thinking, “For $65, what am I getting in this moisturizer that actually has anything to do with the claims made?” There are a couple of active ingredients in here that are useful in skin care. They are:
  • Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C):  Also known as “MAP,” this is a stable version of Vitamin C that is useful in skin care products. Vitamin C is necessary for the skin to make collagen, a protein that is the building block of the connective tissue in the body. MAP is an excellent active ingredient and important in any any aging skincare routine.
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Another antioxidant that can help speed wound healing.
 That’s really it. Many, many simple moisturizers include these exact same ingredients and cost a lot less. The substances listed in the formula do not seem to jibe with the claims in the marketing copy. So I thought that I’d look at each ingredient to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Each ingredient (other than the oils and juices mentioned above as well as the 2 antioxidants) is listed below in a category.

Moisturizing substances or chemicals that improve the texture of the cream

vegetable glycerin, octyl palmitate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, stearic acid, cetearyl alcohol, xanthan gum, allantoin


sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin


citrus reticulata(mandarin), litsea cubeba (may chang) and cinnamomum camphora (ho wood) pure essential oils

Now, all of this being said, I do like this product as a decent basic moisturizer. There’s nothing earth shattering here as far as ingredients are concerned but the Vitamin C, especially, should be part of every anti aging routine (as long as it's not too irritating for your skin). The thing is, I can’t justify the cost of this product on its own. I do really love the smell though!!!

Have you tried this moisturizer? What are your thoughts?

Ages of Beauty rating: **