SarahF asks…Is there any science behind the effectiveness claims Lancome is making for their proprietary LR2412 (in the Visionnaire product) for wrinkles, pores and evenness? Any theoretical reason to expect this would be an effective agent?
The Right Brain responds:
Sarah F is one of our most loyal Beauty Brainiacs and has been patiently waiting for an answer to this question for a few months now. The bad news is that we’re a bit late to the party on this one since this “new” Lancôme product was launched in late 2011. The good news is that some of the other beauty science-based blogs have already written about the technology behind this product. So, to finally get to Sarah’s answer, we’ll be summarizing the findings of three blogs which we really respect: Truth in Aging, Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, and Nicki Z’s FutureDerm.
What does Visionnaire do?
We’ll start by reviewing the claims from the Lancome website for those of you who might not be familiar with this product. Here’s what they say:
Much more than a wrinkle-corrector, our 1st skincare capable of fundamentally re-creating more beautiful skin. The first skincare with LR 2412, a molecule designed to propel through skin layers. On its path, it triggers a cascading series of micro-transformations.**
Our new vision of skin perfection. One out of two women tempted by a cosmetic procedure decided to postpone it.***
The result: on the surface, wrinkles* and pores* are visibly corrected, imperfections like signs of UV damage and acne marks appear diminished.
** Based on in-vitro testing
*** After 4 weeks of consumer use. Consumer evaluation of women aged 35 to 49 years tempted by hyaluronic acid, laser or chemical peeling. Results not equal to a medical procedure.
In addition they note that LR 2412 is based on 12 years of research and has 20 international patents.
What does all this mean? All three sites that have written about the technology in this product agree that LR 2412, the “magic” ingredient, is a combination of jasmonic acid derivatives. No, “jasmonic acid” is not something that musicians take to alter their state of consciousness and inspire creativity. It’s a chemical that plants release when they are under stress and, among other things, it enables new potatoes to sprout.
What does this ingredient do for skin?
Truth in Aging says she could find no information that this ingredient benefits skin. Similarly, Paula points out that this ingredient is “unproven for addressing wrinkles, red marks, or large pores.” FutureDerm is slightly more optimistic when she points out that these jasmonic ingredients are derived from the fatty acid linolenic acid so they are likely to have some additional moisturizing properties since they contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Given time we could have scoured the patent literature to see if Lancome’s “20 patents” shed any light on how this ingredient works. However, I’m a bit skeptical that there’s really anything there.
Is Visionnaire a good product anyway?
The consensus we’ve seen does not look good. Truth in Aging proclaims this is “a rather bleak concoction” primarily based on standard moisturizing ingredients like silicones. Paula is even less optimistic. She says that this product contains “more skin damaging alcohol then beneficial antiaging ingredients.” (My favorite comment from her was her question: if this ingredient is so great why doesn’t L’Oreal use it in all their other anti aging products?) Nicki at FutureDerm noted that the product does apparently contain a high concentration of multiple moisturizing agents. However she points out that there’s really no reason to spend a lot of money on this product when you could buy another antiaging product with retinoids that really help refine the surface of skin.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
Based on the research of some of our beauty blogging peers, it doesn’t look like there’s much to Lancome’s latest innovation. We’d recommend saving your money for products based on anti-aging ingredients that have been proven to work, like retinol.
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